Dairy equipment specialist DeLaval has begun building a brand new dairy complex for 550 cows, which the Swedish company says will be “more modern and sustainable.”
The new complex at DeLaval’s Hamra farm in Sweden, which extends to 18,000 square meters, will include new barns, four new DeLaval VMS V300 automatic milking robots, as well as other digital technology to improve animal health, quality and efficiency.
In addition to being a commercial dairy farm, Hamra Farm has always been used as a test unit for the company’s latest innovations with a strong focus on animal welfare.
Today there are around 250 cows on the farm producing an average of 12,200kg of milk per cow per year and with this new investment they hope to more than double the herd size to 550 cows.
Johan Bjurevall, CEO at Hamra Gård, said: “We have always had a strong focus on our animals and their well-being. It is part of our philosophy; good animal husbandry and long-term planning often result in good harvests.
“We are incredibly happy about the new opportunities the investment gives us. To be involved in planning and building such a modern farm with a long-term focus is fantastic.
“We have been working on planning and preparations for construction for a long period now. The new barns will house 550 dairy cows and 500 young animals of the SRB (Swedish Red and White breed) and Holstein breeds. We currently have a good mix of these two breeds, and it has been successful for us for many years,” he added.
Hamra Gård is only 30 minutes from Stockholm and covers 2,800 ha of land, of which 1,000 ha is arable land that grows winter wheat, barley and corn to feed the herd.
Various pieces of DeLaval equipment have been tested at Hamra over the years, which also serves as a demonstration farm for customers. Johan said: “It makes our job incredibly fun and exciting, but it also requires more planning now during our construction project.”
Although the financial details of how much the new complex will cost have not been announced by the company, DeLaval said the investment will “continue the development of modern and sustainable dairy production.”
DeLaval’s President and CEO, Paul Lofgren, added: “Continuously finding new and innovative solutions for more sustainable milk production with a high focus on animal health is something we truly believe in and what drives us at DeLaval.
“We can achieve this with the help of automatic solutions, more digital systems that, for example, provide the farmer with important information at the right time and good animal knowledge and advice.
– We will see even more of that when the reconstruction of Hamra Gård is finished. It is a big day for us, and to eventually be able to show off this fantastic facility makes us extremely happy and proud. The plan is for the first animals to move in at the beginning of 2024, he says.