MADISON, Wis. — A brand new dairy facility was constructed at Good-Vue Farms to supply alternatives for the next generation to be concerned with the operation.
“We did this as a result of we had boys that graduated from school with dairy science levels and needed to affix the operation,” mentioned Linda Hanson.
Situated in Goodridge, Minn., Good-Vue farms is owned and managed by Mike and Linda Hanson and their sons, David, Matthew and Steven.
“Competitors for land the previous few years has been extraordinarily sturdy, so this was one thing we might do with out competing with the neighbors,” Linda defined.
Situated in northwest Minnesota, about one hour from the Canadian and North Dakota borders, the household homesteaded in 1904.
“We moved into our new facility in September 2016, and that is truly the third website for Good-Vue Farms,” Linda mentioned throughout a digital farm tour presentation on the World Dairy Expo.
The brand new free-stall barn has 120 free stalls for lactating cows, 35 stalls for dry cows, two Lely robots for milking and a Lely Vector feeding system.
“We've two Luna brushes for the lactating cows, and one for the dry cows that helps with cow consolation and cleanliness,” Matthew mentioned.
“We're presently milking 105 head of Ayrshires and Holsteins, and the Vector feeds the lactating herd 10 to 11 occasions per day and the 2 to a few occasions a day for the dry cows,” he famous. “Every combine takes about one hour to combine, depart, feed, come again and begin mixing once more.”
The kitchen is positioned on one finish of the barn, and there is also a drive-via feed alley, Linda mentioned, “for if and when the Vector doesn’t work to feed the cattle.”
“The stalls have waterbeds, and I mattress day by day with sawdust and sprinkle powered lime on the again of the stalls,” Matthew mentioned.
Earlier than deciding to construct a brand new facility, the Hansons toured dairy farms in Canada.
“It didn’t seem as difficult whenever you noticed it function in particular person, and plenty of issues made sense,” Linda defined. “We pushed some numbers and we'd have wanted to construct a commodity shed anyway and that’s what we did, however we put the commodity shed on the finish of the barn.”
The tradeoff was for lessening the workload, the dairywoman mentioned.
“And when its 30 levels beneath zero in northern Minnesota within the morning, it's very nice to not need to open the barn doorways,” she added.
The operation went via many adjustments suddenly going from a tie-stall barn to the brand new facility.
“In a matter of two hours one morning, we moved the cows down the highway,” Linda defined. “The cows made a giant leap, to not point out us.”
Within the previous facility, cows had been fed dry grain and dry hay, and most of it was carried by hand.
“Now the cows are fed a partial blended ration within the bunk, and the remainder of their power they get fed via the robotic,” the dairywoman mentioned.
There are 9-, 10- and 11-year previous Ayrshires within the Hanson herd.
“They've completed very nicely transitioning, so previous women can study new methods,” Linda mentioned.
“It took one journey with the Vector, and the cows realized the feed was there,” she recalled. “That’s how fast they discovered, so it was an incredible transition to the free stalls.”
“There was an eight to 10-pound per cow enhance in milk manufacturing after the transfer,” Matthew reported. “Our herd common was at 18,000 kilos once we moved into the barn and now we’re getting cows beginning their second lactation on this barn and our herd common has elevated to 22,000 kilos.”
“And the being pregnant price was the largest enhance. The cows are settling so much higher,” he famous.
As well as, Linda mentioned, it's troublesome to quantify the intangibles which are a part of the robotic milking and feeding techniques.
“You don’t have to fret about getting residence to combine feed as a result of the feed is getting blended,” she defined. “And we don’t have to fret about snow and dirt being drug into the feeding alley as a result of we’re not driving a tractor via there.”
The Hanson facility is designed for enlargement.
“We are able to double in dimension and add two robots,” Matthew mentioned. “We don’t have so as to add a Vector to double the dimensions of the barn as a result of the Vector can deal with 300 cows.”