According to Teagasc National Farm Survey figures, average herd size in Ireland increased by 23% between 2012 and 2018. The survey also shows that the number of farms growing herd size to more than 100 cows was up 11%.

This shows a growth trend and a desire to establish greater operational efficiencies. To help meet the demand from dairy farmers looking to expand, DeLaval has launched its Think Big initiative.

Dairy farmers looking to increase herd size are presented with a plethora of milking systems that are often anchored to their choice of milking equipment.

We have launched Think Big to help advise farmers more holistically

“For farms looking to grow, the choice of milking equipment can be influenced by a variety of farm pressures. Can the land, buildings and other farm equipment withstand growth? Is there enough human resource to meet the demands of a growing herd?

“We have launched Think Big to help advise farmers more holistically when it comes to expansion,” explains DeLaval Think Big lead Wynand Bodenstein.

The Think Big approach was offered to a dairy farmer to help it select the right milking system.

Everything is easier and quicker with the new milking system

“Having Wynand and the DeLaval team help us with the decision to invest in a new E300 rotary was the best decision we made.

“It was taking us over five hours to milk 500 cows through a rapid exit parlour. We have now grown the herd to 700 and we are looking to increase to 750.

“Everything is easier and quicker with the new milking system which means we have more time to concentrate on herd health and farm management,” says Ross Edwards, Manor Farm, Somerset, England.

Milking equipment technology has created more options for farmers than ever before. Rotary, swing over, rapid exit and the rise of robots has made decision making harder for farmers. “Think Big is all about DeLaval applying our experience of fitting milking equipment on thousands of farms.

“We take a holistic approach to consider herd planning, feeding facilities, barn layouts, milking parlour or rotary sizing and system planning.

“Our in-depth analysis provides the roadmap to create the future operations of the farm with the whole process revolving around the farmer,” he concludes.

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