19 November 2008
For immediate release
Phase One Of Ground-Breaking Project To Close
DairyNZ is ending Phase One of its robotic milking research project at Greenfield Farm at Newstead and the farm will
close on 31 May 2009.
“In a sense, our work is done here. The automated milking systems project initiated by the late Dr Murray Woolford has
made tremendous progress against original expectations and automated milking systems are now operating on commercial
farms this season within New Zealand,” said Dr Tim Mackle, DairyNZ Chief Executive.
Operations at the Greenfield site will be wound up when the lease expires in May, and scoping for Greenfield Phase II is
already under way.
“I would like to sincerely acknowledge the innovative thinking and hard work and effort put into this key project by
many DairyNZ staff over the last few years, in particular Murray Woolford who along with Dr Jenny Jago and others have
shown great leadership,” said Dr Mackle.
No positions have been lost as a result of the decision.
DairyNZ Chief Scientist Dr Eric Hillerton described the Greenfield Project as the single most important agricultural
attraction in the North Island.
“We’ve hosted hundreds of international visitors, from Chinese Premier Hu Jintao to many of New Zealand’s innovative
“Since 2001 this project has shown proof of concept, has been developed stage by stage from one robot to two, had cow
selection added, been used for experiment after experiment, been a platform to test many other new technologies and
hosted controlled systems trials.
“The knowledge gained is now supporting the first commercial automatic (robotic) milking systems on farms in New
Zealand. The dream has become a reality,” he said.