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Robotic dairy opens in Dookie today

Cows will "milk themselves" with a new $5 million dairy that opened in Dookie this morning.

May 23, 2014 10:55am

A $5 million robotic dairy was opened at the Dookie campus of the University of Melbourne on Friday.

No dairy staff are required for the milking operation, carried out completely automatically by robots.

Facility manager Bill O’Connor said the robotic dairy had been in use for several weeks beforehand as cows in the university herd gradually learned their way around the system.

The dairy will be used in teaching and research focusing on integration of robotic milking into farm systems of northern Victoria and southern New South Wales.

The third year of the University of Melbournes Bachelor of Agriculture continues to be taught at Dookie and the university has applied to the Federal Government to double its student intake to 200 a year.

The farm’s 180 cow herd is expected to deliver up to 2000 litres a day which will be collected by Fonterra.

Solar panels will supply up to 50 per cent of the dairy’s energy and electronically controlled gates will manage cattle movments at the dairy and around the farm.

The Victorian government is contributing $2.5 million to the capital cost.

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