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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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Fear and trepidation is normal when searching for used equipment. If only we had supernatural powers to see and know where trouble may lie.… Since we do not have such powers, a systematic examination of the used piece of equipment can help you locate problems which might otherwise be overlooked.

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While rotary parlors have become a predominant choice for milking large herds, rotaries are not a new idea. They date back to the unveiling of the Rotolactor at the 1930 World’s Fair. Many variations of rotary milking environments have been brought to market since then.

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Robotic milking was first adopted in the U.S. on a dairy farm in Wisconsin in 2000. Nearly 20 years later, the vast concentration of automated milking systems in this country remains north of the 40th parallel – the latitude line that runs across the U.S. and is marked by Kansas’ northern border – while very few systems can be found in the southern U.S.

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Bankers and salespeople tend to look at the cash flow of milking robotics, but Larry Tranel, Iowa State University Extension dairy specialist, said profitability and quality of life may be the more important factors to consider.

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As farmers, we frequently find ourselves serving as our own service and repair departments. With apologies to highly trained and experienced service personnel reading this, there are times when we are better trained than the employees at a local dealership.

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At Hoffman’s Happy Holsteins, robot technology comes together with rotary efficiency in one of the continent’s very first robotic rotary milking parlors.

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