AN ELLESMERE company that design, make and supply milking machines has officially launched a product in the UK that they say has been working well in Europe.

Fullwood Packo, in Grange Road, officially launched its batch milking set-up, the M²erlin Meridian, in the UK on Tuesday, May 4 after more than three million cows milked on the continent.

Simon Redfearn, country manager at Fullwood Packo, says UK dairy farmers are in need of intuitive, flexible milking systems to cater for changing cow needs and production demands and batch milking through robots could be the answer.

He said: “More and more dairy farms are seeking milking solutions that can handle larger herds and have capacity for other management systems – like grazing – without compromising efficiency or cow comfort.

“Batch milking could be a productive and practical asset and give UK dairy farmers more flexibility to respond to market and contractual changes.

“It has a cow-first design philosophy because it is widely accepted that cow comfort is key in quality production.

“But we also know that a ‘one or the other’ approach to conventional and robotic milking might not be the best solution for all dairy farms – larger farms face their own unique challenges.

“For the farmer who is larger scale - or who wants to grow cow numbers - they need innovation and systems that meet real needs and allow them to stay competitive in a demanding market.”

A starting size would be six robots to 150 to 300 cows, although this will depend on how much time producers want to spend moving cows to the robots.

Accessible and usable data is a major component of both modern dairy herds and future planning; the M²erlin Meridian links directly to the compatible smartphone app, which makes vital data immediately accessible to producers.

“Data is now so important; farmers are using data not only to see real time performance, but to also make decisions that have long-term impacts on the herd and business,” said Mr Redfearn.

“This is undoubtedly a time of transformation in agriculture and any innovations or products need to help businesses work smarter not harder. Cow health and performance, workflow efficiency, and farm profitability all follow on from adaptable and supported systems.”

For more information on Fullwood Packo’s M²erlin Meridian batch milking system, visit