Seeing a Waikato Milking Systems’ rotary in operation was enough to convert a Waikato dairy farmer from a lifetime of milking in a herringbone.
“We’d been milking on the farm for 30+ years, taking over around half of the current 214 hectares from Sharon’s parents and then purchasing the neighbouring farm.
“Both properties had herringbone sheds, and we opted to milk out of the 30 aside dairy on the home farm, eventually increasing it to 50 aside to handle the progressive growth of the herd from 680 to 780 cows,” Philip says.
“In 2016 we decided to improve the entire farm infrastructure to future-proof the farm.
“I wanted a dairy with technology which could easily be upgraded so the shed would always be current. Waikato Milking Systems came highly recommended by all the farmers I talked to. It’s a New Zealand owned company, which I liked, which equates to good backup and I liked the simplicity, strength and sophistication of the gear.
“I went to the neighbour’s and watched a milking in his 60 bail Waikato Milking Systems’ rotary – and that convinced me it was the way to go.
Philip recalls it was taking two people 3.5 hours twice a day to milk the then herd of 780 cows through the 50 aside herringbone “with another member of the team bringing in the second mob. That’s seven hours a day devoted just to milking.
Now one person easily milks 680 cows with one person bringing in second herd. Takes around 2 hours.
“In time I will add milk meters so I can measure per cow production at each milking – and the Waikato system allows me to do those upgrades as the budget and technology allows.”
Within two days most of the cows were walking on calmly, with 80% of the herd by the third day. Four days in all our cows walked on as though they’d been milked on it all their lives. I was rapt.”
Philip and Sharon Dench say the new dairy is “all we’d hoped it would be. We’ve achieved our goal of labour efficiency with one person comfortably milking 680 cows with another member of the team bringing the second herd in.
“Overall, every aspect of the project went so smoothly. It’s really future-proofed the farm and we’re rapt. Couldn’t be happier.”
Orbit Concrete Rotary