Clemson University’s Lamaster Dairy Employs latest robotic technology

Clemson University students catch some rays next to a giant Clemson Tigers Paw print on Bowman Field on a sunny spring day, March 31, 2015. (Photo by Ken Scar)

Three DeLaval VMS V300 robots now milk the University’s research and education herd

The Lamaster Dairy Unit at Clemson University is the first U.S. educational institution to implement the VMS milking system V300 robot, the latest milking technology from DeLAval. Since its adoption by a Canadian university earlier this year, the VMS V300 has set the new standard for production, research, and education in herd management.

“This was a great solution to help with our labor issues and to demonstrate a modern solution for our producers,” says John Andrae, Clemson University Experiment Station Assistant Director. “It allows our researchers to explore dairy nutrition and dairy management research that’s relevant to robotic milkers, which is something unique for university in general and particularly for those in the Southeast.”

Three VMS V300 robots milks the school’s 160-cow herd, which is expected to max out at 200 cows. One robot milks the Jerseys, while the other two milk the Holsteins. Previously milked in a double-4 parlor, University staff felt the need to upgrade, not only because the system was wearing out, but also to remain relevant for teaching and accommodate the strict labor regulations of a state institution.

Clemson's three DeLaval VMS V300 robots. Courtesy of DeLaval
Clemson’s three DeLaval VMS V300 robots. Courtesy of DeLaval

According to Steve Waggoner, Operations Manager at Clemson’s dairy farm, after examining the latest technology the VMS V300 robots were chosen as the best fit for the goals of their school and research herd. “We’re hoping this will help with our labor force,” he says. “I like the accuracy and how fast and efficient they are.”

Lamaster Dairy is historically known for Jersey genetics, however the Holstein herd has become one of the top University herds in the U.S. Clemson University’s six research and education centers provide science-based solutions that directly support South Carolina’s $42 billion agribusiness industry.

Source: DeLaval