South West Dairy Development Centre
Dairy production innovators have a novel, state-of-the-art facility in which to test technology following the relaunch of Agri-EPI Centre’s South West Dairy Development Centre (SWDDC).
Already established as a high-performing dairy innovation unit, the SWDDC has reopened following an extensive upgrade to install the latest robotic and sensor technology. Additions include a high-welfare, free access system for cows, integrating Lely A5 robotic milking systems with precision-grazing, while incorporating the existing GEA robotic feeding system. Galebreaker side curtains ensure the climate within the building is continually optimised.
The resource offers a truly innovative environment for developing, testing and demonstrating new technologies and techniques to support sustainable, efficient, high health and welfare, cost-efficient milk production. Located close to Shepton Mallet in the heart of the region’s milk field, the unit features a typically sized 180-cow herd run on a commercial basis and provides a platform for higher technology readiness level developers.
The Centre key areas of focus are to
· Provide state-of-the art facilities for research, development and demonstration with an
emphasis on optimising productivity
· Integrate robotic milking wth precision grazing
· Demonstrate profitable and resource efficient milk production techniques
· Demonstrate the highest standards of animal health and welfare and how technology can be used to optimise this
· Demonstrate routes to sustainable milk production by adopting circular dairy principles in all aspects of the production process