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Robots and sustainable crossbred cows

Rista Gård farm has 200 ProCROSS cows that are ideal for the robot milking system.

Rista Gård started crossbreeding in 2012 and decided to go all in for ProCROSS in 2016. Today, the oldest three-breed cow of the herd is in her 4th lactation. During the time they have been crossbreeding, they have expanded the herd from 40 cows to 200 and changed milking systems twice. Today, they have three milking robots and are waiting for the fourth to be delivered. He is very happy with his ProCROSS animals.


ProCROSS suits robot milking

Kenneth says that the ProCROSS cows work very well in the robot, they have a high appetite for feed and are therefore happy to go to the robot to get concentrate. This also means that they do not look at and fiddle with the robot arm.

“Most animals need a short time to learn the system, they are very easy to milk in,” says Kenneth.

The teat placement of the crossbreed cows is good and with Montbeliarde as the sire they have good rear teat placement. “For anyone who is unsure whether ProCROSS cows are suitable for robot milking, our cows have a milk flow of 3 litres/min, which is higher than average,” says Kenneth.

“It will work fine with ProCROSS. Younger animals are strong, tough and forward, so they do well in the robot. But they're not rough, they're curious.”

ProCROSS farm in Sweden Rista Gård

Cows that are easy to work with

Cows that work well in the herd and with those of us who work with them is important to Kenneth. Good milkability, nice udders and easy calving also make them work well in the robot.  He likes the temperament of the animals and that they are very friendly and sociable. They have very good hooves and a drive to get out on the pasture and eat.

“We have increased the number of cows but not increased our replacement places. So, we have a lot of older animals in the herd," says Kenneth. And continues: “Today we sell about 40% of our heifers before three months of age and we have also sold some first calvers. Despite this, we have a surplus of replacements.”

Although it's easier with ProCROSS than with purebred breeding, you can't just drop the breeding work. Kenneth points out that it is important to have a plan for what you want the animals to look like in the future. He gets help from Växa with his breeding advice, which is currently about strategy and focuses on herd level and groups of animals.

Farm facts:

  • 11,236 kg of milk (11,763 kg ECM)
  • 4.2% fat and 3.7% protein
  • 200 cows
  • 100% ProCROSS
  • 1.4 inseminations / pregnancies
  • Replacement rate 31%
  • 30% of cows have 4 or more calves
Read more about ProCROSS
ProCROSS farm in Sweden Rista Gård

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