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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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The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) has approved Alltech’s application for Sel-Plex 1000. This approval makes Sel-Plex 1000 the third product Alltech has listed with OMRI.

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In the last column, I discussed batteries because they are the source of the electrical system. In this article we will continue our discussion on electrical systems, shifting focus from the battery to the starter.

The battery cables are directly connected to the starter and the ground. Then you have neutral safety switches and some kind of starter switch, which could either be a key switch or a relay (mag) switch leading into the solenoid starter. These neutral switches prevent you from starting the engine while it is in gear, making it more of a safety switch.

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In December 2009, Progressive Dairyman featured the Reed family in Jasper, Minnesota. The Reeds were forced out of dairying because they weren't able to overcome problems with stray voltage, despite their efforts to solve these issues with the help of Chuck Untiedt.

Out of the more than 1,500 articles we published since then, the article, "The boogey man in the milking parlor" ranked as the third most read.

As part of our year-end recap, we followed up with Untiedt to find out what he's learned since then about detecting stray voltage.

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The following is the first part of a series that will focus on the electrical systems of engines.

The first part of the electrical system is the source, which in this case is the battery. This is where everything starts.

This article will discuss the testing of batteries as well as some tips to help you troubleshoot and avoid battery problems.

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Now that 2010 is coming to an end and people are starting to reflect on the past year, I think it would also be good to look back at a few of the topics we covered throughout the year.

Early this year we talked about hydraulic filters and how, even though they are easily accessible, operators sometimes overlook them.

Hydraulics, steering and brakes are essential to the safe operation of equipment. If you remember, I told you about the farmer who had called me and said his hydraulics weren’t working. While checking the system we looked at the hydraulic filter and found a large chunk of ice inside the filter.

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This article was #3 in PDmag's Top 5 most-well read New Technology articles in 2011.

Summary: Cows at Grand View Dairy and D. Kulper Dairy in Arizona were some of the first to experience the FlipFan Dairy Cooling System. The design of the system allows the 36-inch fans to rotate 180 degrees to point outside of a shade structure. It also features control options that allow producers to adjust for time, temperature, humidity, milking and feeding times and, new to the industry, wind speed and direction.

Because this article was so popular, we asked Schaefer Ventilation Equipment President and CEO Neil Crocker some follow-up questions:

Q: What type of interest have you received? How do you quantify that interest?
A: We have seen significant interest from dairymen and academics. In 2011, we installed a total of eight FlipFan dairy cooling systems in Texas, Arizona, California and Mexico.

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