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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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Farmers are problem-solvers; we have to be. Often, when the chips are truly down, there are few if any options in the way of assistance we can call in time to make a difference. Winter weather can bring all kinds of challenges – frozen pipes, protecting livestock from the elements or simply being able to physically traverse to our tasks.

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“They ruined the fan, intercooler, hydraulic cooler and radiator – 15,000 dollars.”

“Had that happen on a 2388. Insurance would not cover it.”

“Just before harvest this year, two took out the radiator core; 1,700 dollars and about 16 man hours to replace.”

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In 2017, nearly 9.4 million dairy cows in the U.S. produced 215 billion pounds of fluid milk. With that much milk, you could fill 3,100 large tanker trucks, take a dip in 38 Olympic-sized swimming pools of milk or give every single American a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast – and then some.

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April 15, 2018, is a day brothers Chad and Darren Van Camp say they will never forget. Not because it was the annual income tax deadline but because it marked the most severe winter snowstorm either men had seen in their lifetimes.

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Just as parlors may be challenged by below-zero temperatures, robot barns are at risk of freezing too.

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Dave Bohnhoff’s frustration still surfaces when he recalls the dates of April 14-15, 2018. On those days, a heavy spring snowfall resulted in the collapse of numerous dairy barns in Wisconsin.

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