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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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Agriculture is one of the most important professions you could choose, but it can be unfriendly at times. Commodity prices are often inconsistent, weather patterns are unstable, markets can be volatile, and labor is growing scarce. With so many factors outside of your control, it’s understandable to want predictability and productivity.

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If you have been actively farming for as long as I have, you have seen more than a few changes in the machinery we use. Today’s farm machinery is more powerful, faster, “smarter” and more comfortable than ever before. To be fair, they are also more complicated and expensive.

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When it comes to the adoption of automated milking systems, Dr. Nigel Cook said, “The U.S. is way behind.

“This is a European system being transplanted in North America and that’s great because we can learn from some of the teething problems and issues that Europe has had to deal with, but we also create some other problems and challenges that they haven’t,” he continued.

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I just had a virtual look inside some farmer’s toolbox and expected to see familiar things – adjustable wrenches, assorted nuts and bolts, an oily rag, pliers, pry bar, hammer, starter fluid and penetrating oil.

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Author’s note: This is not a brand endorsement, and neither Progressive Dairyman nor I are compensated (directly or implied) for any portion of this article. I simply want to bring to your attention some of the advancements in equipment presented at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Space requirements limit us from mentioning all new products.

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Milking system optimization not only leads to better overall milk quality, but it’s also good for your cows and can have a positive impact on employee attitude and performance.

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