Farm adds robotics with NatWest package
A Cornish dairy farm is set to expand its herd after installing robotic milkers using a NatWest funding package.
The new technology will cut out the manual milking process at Furslow Farm, near Blunts, which can take up to eight hours a day.
Stephen and Maria Poad, who run the farm with their son Ben, said the farm will now increase its herd from 180 to 210, as well as saving money on energy costs.
Stephen said: "It is a lot more cow-friendly. They are not hanging around in the yard waiting to be milked. They are eating, sleeping or producing milk, and they spend more time displaying natural behaviour, such as using their everyday back scratchers.
"I'm now able to spend the extra eight hours a day taking better care of the cows' health and welfare instead of just milking them.
"The family is also enjoying the flexibility the new technology gives us, and we are getting to spend more time together. I'm also able to attend dairy meetings and discussions."
The family secured capital from NatWest and its funding arm Lombard to buy and install the milkers and carry out further improvements.
Ian Snowdon, relationship manager at NatWest, added: "I have had the pleasure of working with Stephen and Maria for many years and when they mentioned that they were interested in looking at robotic milkers I was delighted to confirm that NatWest had an appetite to help them invest in their business' long term future.
"The robots have made their daily workload much more manageable and also given them the peace of mind of knowing that Ben will be able to continue milking for many years to come."