A revolutionary composite rotary milking parlor has boosted the production and labour efficiency of an Idaho dairy farm.
The Andersen family have farmed in Idaho since the 1980s, Ben Andersen recalling he grew up on the family farm which milked 150 cows.
“The farm was well established and put us in a good position to grow so when, in 2005, a 320 dairy farm came up for sale, around 50 miles from home, my father, brother and I formed Andersen Dairy and bought the property.
“The increased capacity was a big improvement but, within a year, we were milking more than 1000 cows and it was taking 24 hours to milk, three times a day.
"We wanted to get more efficient with labour. As it is all around the world, it’s always challenging to find and retain good people and we wanted to have a system which would be very labour efficient. We’d been looking at rotaries for around 20 years and thought they’d be the best option,” Ben said
We really liked the idea of a composite deck which was extremely strong but light and so, in 2015, we went to the World Dairy Expo and met with Waikato Milking Systems’ International Sales Manager, Grant Wisnewski. The event gave us a chance to see and understand the advantages of the Centrus Composite Rotary Platform over traditional platforms.
Working with Automated Dairy Systems, supported by a specialist team from New Zealand, the construction of the 60 stall Centrus Composite Rotary Platform commenced in April 2016 with the first milking taking place six months later on 9 November 2016.
“The first impression is always how quiet it is. The platform’s rubber matting provides comfortable footing for the cows and contributes to the quiet environment. Comparing this platform with the previous parlor, the milking environment has really been transformed. It’s a very quiet, peaceful, productive environment for our cows and milkers.”
The deck surface of the Centrus Composite Rotary is impervious to urine and chemicals with the result that cleaning is now quicker and easier.
“When we set out to build the new milking barn, our goal was to have a labour intensive/efficient operation and we’ve achieved that. We anticipate milking 400 to 500 more cows with three people in the parlour with the same amount of labour,” Ben Andersen said.
Centrus Composite Rotary