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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Dairyman Terry Ketterling wanted to lower breakeven costs for his 10,500-cow dairy. He could have built another milk barn, filled it with cows and stretched his fixed costs over more animal units.

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Moving calves around the farm used to be a stressful task for Cassie Zirbel of Ledge-Rock Holsteins in Greenleaf, Wisconsin, until she decided to stop struggling with the halters and trade them in for a solution that would relieve stress on both her and her calves.

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I am often asked, “How can I get more cows through my parlor?” This is a very common question, as the economics of dairying are getting tougher. Another huge issue facing dairymen is that labor to milk cows is harder to find, and the labor is coming at a premium price.

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When it comes time to add new equipment to your dairy farm, there are many factors to consider. Do you want to buy or lease the machine?

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Since wheel loaders are often a staple machine on many dairy farms today, it’s critical for producers to understand the machines are not designed like they were 20 or even 10 years ago. They require special care, particularly the diesel engine and emission systems.

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Can dairy farmers expect there to be an ag equipment dealer within 30 minutes of the farm five years from now?

With tougher profit margins, the search for efficiency isn’t restricted to just dairy farmers.

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