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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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Should I fix that aging tractor or piece of equipment or trade it (or scrap it) and purchase a new one? That has always been a daunting question and, in times of tight- to no-profit margins, that question takes on all kinds of new layers.

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Controlling energy costs on the farm is one way to reduce input costs. But turning off lights when a space isn’t being used just isn’t enough to make a big change in that monthly power bill.

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Not long ago, Kent Hoffman’s morning routine included milking 580 cows in a step-up parlor. Today, he watches an automated arm attach the units on his 40-stall robotic rotary.

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No one wants to spend more time than they have to cleaning fans in their barn. Yet, we all know that fans need to be cleaned. Here are some tips and tricks to make cleaning your fans and other ventilation equipment go as smoothly as possible.

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Every dairy producer wonders how much they dare overcrowd the freestall barn. When asked that question, I usually respond that they can go 15 percent over for a two-row pen and 5 percent over for a three-row pen. However, I do realize that’s likely the wrong answer for almost everyone.

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They called it the “turd hearse.” It was a Korean War-vintage 10-wheel former military truck with a liquid manure tank mounted on the frame.

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