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Published: 8 april 2020 16:07

Quarantine does not stop work: Labūnava agricultural company launches smart milking robots, the first of their kind in the Baltic States

Karvės pienas nuotr. / Milk

AB Linas Agro Group’s Kėdainiai region-based Labūnava agricultural company has completed renewal work at a cow milking farm and installed two BouMatic Robotics milking robots. The five-month-long project valued at 345 thousand euro will be completed during the quarantine. Obtained through purchase lease, modern robots can milk 100-120 cows.

“We have a major dairy farm renewal in mind, however, given the current milk wholesale purchase prices, this is an impossible mission. As such, we made a compromise decision to renew the farm in a way so that we would spend relatively little funds. The large part of the construction work has been done by the company by its own strength, while UAB Dotnuva Baltic – another company of our group installed the robots,” says Andrius Pranckevičius, deputy CEO at AB Linas Agro Group.

The Labūnava agricultural company owns a total of 580 cows and plans reconstruction works at another three farms, with another six robots due to be installed.

“Our project is unique – these are the first robots from the Dutch company BouMatic not only in our company but all of the Baltic States. We have dreamed of the convenient and modern robots for a long time now. They will help not only improve the efficiency of milk production and help resolve the problem of lacking qualified labour but will also improve the conditions the cows are kept in. These robots not only milk, they also perform analysis and various statistical calculations, monitor the cows’ welfare,” Simonas Greičius, head of the Labūnava agricultural company, says.

In the renewed Labūnava agricultural company farm, which holds the newly installed robots, will have more space allocated for each cow now, they will not be tied down and can comfortably lie on a thick layer of litter or freely move around a spacious cowshed, where very convenient and wide drinking and fodder areas are also established. When a cow approaches the milking robot placed at the end of the cowshed, it evaluates whether it is time to milk and sets an individual milking mode.

One robot can service around 50-60 cows, who are milked around 2.5-2.8 times a day, while a single staff member can supervise even several pieces of such equipment.

According to S. Greičius, the farm with the newly installed milking robots will hold 100-120 cows. “We are increasing the number of cows in this farm gradually so that they can get used to it and wouldn’t experience stress. We hope that by the end of the week, the robots will be servicing 100 cows. In the first days, some of the cows need reminding that it is time to approach the milking area, but after a time, they get accustomed to the new equipment and human assistance is no longer needed,” the head of the Labūnava agricultural company says.

About the Kėdainiai region Labūnava agricultural company

The Agricultural and food industry investment company AB Linas Agro Group’s Kėdainiai region-based Labūnava agricultural company produces crops and milk. Over a year, it grows around 12 thousand tonnes of grain and milks 5.7 thousand tons of milk, also selling around 400 tonnes of dressed weight meat.

The company’s annual revenue exceeds 5 million euro; it employs 85 staff.

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