Farm Overview: Tim Gibson, Hunters Hill Farm, UK

TheCattleSite article Automatic Milking: How Effective Is It? looks at the benefits of automatic milking machines. Junior editor, Charlotte Johnston interviewed Tim Gibson, a dairy farmer in the UK.
calendar icon 20 October 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Hunters Hill Farm, UK

  • Milks 140 cows
  • Yields average 8000 litres/cow/year
  • 1 full time man
  • 2 robots
  • Averages three milkings per day
  • Achieving on average over four lactations per cow
    Tim Gibson

  • Tim Gibson introduced robots to his farm in 2001. Faced with the extortionate costs of upgrading his herringbone parlour, Mr Gibson explored the potential of automatic milking machines.

    Eight years later, with two robots working away, individual cow yields have increased by 1000 litres, cows are lasting more lactations and money has been saved on labour and feed costs.

    Mr Gibson is now a northern area representative for Lely, covering South Yorkshire, Northumberland, Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway. He and his team, which consists of three full time engineers and four sales representatives, assist customers in installing and servicing the machines as well as improving management techniques and enabling the farmer to efficiently manage the machine and the herd. His business also sells products associated with dairy units ranging from bulk tanks, cubicles, slats to feed silos etc.

    However, it has not been an easy year for Mr Gibson. He was a member of the cooperative Dairy Farmers of Britain. Earlier in the year, the cooperative went bust, leaving its 1,800 members or so without a buyer. Most have now managed to find new buyers - although many will be selling at a loss. Mr Gibson lost a months milk cheque and his stakeholder investment.

    On a more positive note, Mr Gibson has recently been working with Roundhouse Limited to design a roundhouse that incorporates cubicles and an automatic milking machine. The Roundhouse will house 75 cows, one robot and feeding on the outside of the building will allow all cows to feed at once.

    October 2009
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