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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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When the Henschel family of Manawa, Wisconsin, built a freestall barn for robots last year, they could not stand the thought of the former tiestall barn sitting empty. After a thorough gutting and renovation, the barn has a renewed purpose for calves, dry cows and maternity.

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Not too long ago in this column, we discussed some of the different ways we cut metal in and around our farm shops; therefore, I thought it reasonable we talk about some of the ways to repair metal that either was cut by accident or broke outright on its own.

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During challenging times, dairy producers are thinking about ways to improve their situation and maximize the benefits of the investments already in place, like long-day lighting (LDL) systems. While known to boost milk production, some dairy producers may not realize the payback on LDL only happens with proper timing of lights and recommended management for both lactating and dry cows.

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There has been much press lately about how our nation’s roads and bridges are badly in need of repairs or replacement. Recent bridge collapses are prime examples of how bad things can get when maintenance and replacements are forgone in the face of financial strains.

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It is imperative for the success of a robotic milking operation that its cows consistently have healthy legs and hooves with minimal lameness. After all, they need to stand and move about the barn for things to work, regardless of the cow flow system in use.

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There is no middle ground. If your workday involves the regular use of a pickup truck, one will either see it as a necessary evil or as a marvelous do-everything machine the universe cannot exist without.

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