Farm Overview: Doug Heintz, Heintz Badger Valley Farm, Minnesota, USTuesday, October 20, 2009
TheCattleSite article Automatic Milking: How Effective Is It? looks at the benefits of automatic milking machines. Junior editor, Charlotte Johnston interviewed Doug Heintz, a dairy farmer in the US.
Heintz Badger Valley Farm, Minnesota, US
When Doug Heintz lost his herdsman of six years, he decided to change his farm management and become more labour efficient. Whilst purchasing two robots, 10 months ago, he also erected a new free stall barn to house his cows indoors all year round. Since then he has been able to make use of dynamic feeding to target high yielders with protein.
A previously high yielding and healthy herd, Mr Heintz had a five per cent cull rate and excellent foot and udder health prior to installing the robots - and has maintained this since then.
Over the 10 months he has gradually built up his herd through on-farm replacements and the herd will be operating at full capacity when he is milking 140 cows. Mr Heintz would recommend operating the machines at slightly lower cow numbers for the first couple of months when introducing the cows to the system.