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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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Summary: In a February e-newsletter, we reprinted an article from Dairy Farmers of America's Mideast Area Council, featuring Joe Ramsier and two recently installed Lely robots on his Rittman, Ohio, dairy. We asked Ramsier to provide some insight on his decision to make the change in his operation. We recently learned that Ramsier's dairy suffered a barn fire in July, resulting in the loss of the main barn, one of the robots, the milkhouse and office, as well as several pieces of equipment.

Ramsier remains positive as his family begins to rebuild the operation. "Thankfully no animals or people were hurt or lost," he told us in an email.

Because this article was so popular, we asked Ramsier and a Lely representative follow-up questions:

Q: What is another example of new technology you're looking to implement?

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This is the concluding segment on electrical systems. In the future, however, I will be discussing specific areas of electrical systems.

The battery, starter and alternator are the three electrical team players. Without them, nothing will happen. In past columns, we have discussed the battery and the starter. Now we’ll move on to alternators.

Batteries only last a certain period of time and you can only make so many starts. Not only that, when the battery starts the engine, the energy taken from the battery storage has to be replenished. The alternator is the part that restores energy back into the battery in a safe manner.

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Last summer, the milking herd at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station Pasture Dairy Research and Education Center (PDREC) moved into a new freestall barn, equipped with two robotic milkers.

We collected data on the cows’ responses to being milked by the new system. The information allowed us to evaluate how well cows adjusted to being milked by robots.

In case you were wondering
Why is it important to understand how (or if) cows adapt to being milked by robots? As many of you know, stress during milking can inhibit milk letdown, which can reduce milk yield and could lead to health problems such as mastitis.

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ASABE, The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers recently announced McLanahan Corporation – Agricultural Systems Division of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania has won an AE50 award.

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ASABE, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers recently announced that GEA Houle has won two AE50 awards. GEA Houle developed the XPress, Cascading Roller Press and the XPulse, Twin Piston Pump, deemed two of the year’s most innovative designs in engineering products or systems for the food and agriculture industries.

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The following producers were chosen by a committeee of industry professionals and dairymen as the newest, most innovative dairy products and will be showcased during World Ag Expo Feb. 8-10 in Tulare, California. Progressive Dairyman asked each of the product inventors or sponsoring companies to discuss how their products fill an industry need.

(Click on the title of the product to download a pdf.)

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