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The Robots Are Advancing!

2013.12.10

Robotized dairy farm in Kaluga regionFerzikovo district saw the opening of a robotized dairy farm which will soon become the largest in Russia.

This event has been anticipated for over a year. Even the initiator, President of EkoNiva- APK Group Stefan Dürr, admitted that he had doubts about the efficiency of robotized milking until the very last moment. It was Leonid Gromov, Minister of Agriculture of Kaluga region who made Stefan change his mind. As a result of this persuasion, a large-scale reconstruction took place on a formerly run-down farm in Boldasovka village, Ferzikovo district, after which the farm became home to milking robots manufactured by GEA Farm Technologies and delivered and serviced by EkoNivaFarm, LLC. In fact, this is the second set of milking robots in the region – the first two robots were installed just a year ago at a dairy farm of Agros LLS in Kartsevo village, Dzerzhinsky district. So, what are the advantages of these robots over the Dutch Lely Austronaut A-4 already known in our region?

‘The main diRobotized dairy farm in Kaluga regionstinguishing feature and advantage of the robots manufactured by GEA Farm Technologies is that they can work in a multi-box system’, explains Alexandr Venglinskiy, Executive Director of EkoNiva-Farm, ‘it means that one robot can service from one to five milking stalls which considerably reduces the total cost of a robotized milking parlour. Besides, unlike other robots, the GEA Farm Technologies system prevents animals with empty udders from entering the milking stalls to which cows are often attracted by the delicious concentrates. Another important feature of these robots is that they allow stressless production of immaculately pure liquid milk.

All in all, there will be 32 milking robots at the reconstructed dairy farm in Boldasovka, it will be the largest robotized dairy farm in Russia with the capacity of 1,800 head of lactating herd. So far, the farm has only one two-box robot for 120 cows and a small automated Tandem milking parlour (2 x 5).

Robotized dairy farm in Kaluga regionA grand feast was organized in Boldasovka to celebrate the occasion. The first to appear on stage were the life-size puppets, among which the Gorgeous Cow was, undoubtedly, the main star. After the performance, the numerous guests, among which were heads of agricultural enterprises and Heads of Regional Administrations, were welcomed by Leonid Gromov, Minister of Agriculture of Kaluga region, and Stefan Dürr. There was no traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. As a host, Stefan Dürr invited his colleagues-agricultural producers to see the “Cow Realm” – it would be hard to give a different name to these “suites” for cows. Leonid Gromov assured the guests that the cows of Red and White and Brown Swiss breeds are going to produce record yields in such comfortable conditions.

Probably the most important result of this pre-New Year event is that those who used to be skeptical about robotized milking, – including Stefan Dürr himself, as mentioned before – started to believe in this new undertaking and saw for themselves that therein lies the future of all dairy production .

Among the persuaded were Viktor Gorobtsov, Head of the Collective Farm Named after Lenin in Zhukov region and Svetlana Preobrazhenskaya, Head of the NIL farm in Kozelsk region. Together with their colleagues, they bombarded the representatives of GEA Farm Technologies with questions and stood watching the process of robotized milking attentively, trying to estimate when their enterprises will also turn into “cow realms”. In fact, everything is in their hands. And the government will support with subsidies.

By Igor Fadeev
Photo by Sergey Konstantinov