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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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We’re finding more dairy farmers are looking for experts in specific areas of barn design rather than accepting a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The best builders coordinate these experts, ensuring the new building will not just look good in the photo taken on day one but will continue to provide a return on investment 30 years later.

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For three years running, I’ve had the honor of sharing with the readers of Progressive Dairyman, both in Canada and the U.S., what I believe are cutting-edge robot dairy facilities. These designs are the culmination of decades of combined experience from dairy producers, veterinarians, nutritionists, builders, equipment manufacturers and architects/engineers like myself.

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Forage processors are an invaluable component of many of our cattle operations today. If you are feeding cattle in bunks or on the ground, forage processors add efficiency by reducing manpower, improving forage utilization and reducing waste.

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Koopman Dairy, operated by brothers Chad and Brent Koopman in Epworth, Iowa, makes use of two barns that run parallel and are connected by a breezeway. They retrofitted this facility to house two Lely A4 Astronaut automated milking systems in what was once the holding pen for the old parlor.

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When the time came for brothers Chad and Brent Koopman, Epworth, Iowa, to take the reins of the second-generation dairy farm from their dad and uncle, they recognized changes were imminent.

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Hydraulic power is something easy to use but not always easy to understand. At its root, hydraulics is the science of how fluids are harnessed to perform mechanical tasks. That can be anything from folding a disc at the end of a field to running a generator at the bottom of a huge dam.

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