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Slideshow: Progressive Dairy Operators tour eastern Ontario and western Quebec

Published on 04 September 2019

From Aug. 20-23, members of Progressive Dairy Operators (PDO) toured dairy farms and other agricultural businesses in eastern Ontario and western Quebec to gather new ideas to bring back to their dairy operations.

Farm stops included:

  • Crovalley Holsteins, Asphodel-Norwood, Ontario – John and Cynthia Crowley milk 95 cows in two robots. The herd averages 42.5 kilograms of milk per cow per day. Cows are housed in a six-row, sand-bedded freestall barn with perimeter feeding, and the tiestall barn was renovated for calves and heifers.

  • Corner View Farms, Richmond, Ontario – The Schouten family is milking 650 cows in a double-25 parallel parlour with the help of foreign workers. An anaerobic digester is operated in a joint venture agreement with Dairy Lane Systems to produce 500 kilowatts daily. A four-row, perimeter-feeding freestall barn is bedded with digested solids.

  • Tibben Farms, Brinston, Ontario – At Tibben Farms, Mike Tibben cares for the cows, and Mark Tibben looks over the crops. They are milking 180 cows with three robots. An automated feeding system travels the perimeter of a new six-row, sand-bedded freestall barn. The original freestall barn was renovated for heifers and dry cows.

  • Harlee Farms, Chesterville, Ontario – Harold and Laura Lee deJong and their three sons milk 100 cows with two robots in a toll booth arrangement. An automated bedding delivery belt system spreads a straw, limestone and water mixture for bedding in their three-row freestall barn. The barn also features a dual-ventilation system with cross ventilation and ceiling inlets for winter and tunnel ventilation for summer.

  • Wilkridge Farms, Fournier, Ontario – Ken Wilkes milks 71 cows with two robots in a three-row freestall barn with mattresses and shavings. The barn is a steel structure with inflatable curtains.

  • Ferme Frederic, Plantagenet, Ontario – Luc Fredette uses three tiestall robots to milk 110 cows. The barn also has an automated feeding system, manure solids separator and computerized weather monitoring. 

  • Ferme Camporet, Brownsburg, Quebec – The Campeau family milks 140 to 145 cows with three robots in a six-row, freestall barn with perimeter feeding. The calf barn has an innovative manure handling system with a moving floor.

  • Starhill Farms, Vankleek Hill, Ontario – Trevor and Allen Cunning are milking 65 cows with two robots equipped with an in-line milk-testing system. The three-row, sand-bedded freestall barn has 90 stalls and tunnel ventilation. Feed is stored in bags on a cement pad and fed with an automated system. There are also automated calf feeders.

  • Newbrabant Farms, Lancaster, Ontario – Peter and Louise Sommers and Jason and Melanie Trottier milk 700 cows with a 50-stall rotary parlour. Two freestall barns have a combined total of 750 cows. They are bedded with recycled sand from the farm’s sand separation system.

  • Heidi Farms, Bainsville, Ontario – The Oeggerli family received the top CanWest DHI herd management score in 2018. They are milking 320 cows in a double-20 parallel parlour and farming 1,000 acres. The cows average 40 kilograms of milk per day.

  • Ferme Estermann Inc., Ste-Agnes-de-Dundee, Quebec – Regula Estermann and Martin Estermann had the top CanWest DHI and Valacta herd management score in Canada in 2018. They milk 200 cows three times a day. They have a thermoenergy barn with sand bedding.

  • Hoftyzer Farms, Frankford, Ontario – Jon and Mark Bakker and Albert and Gerard Hoftyzer milk 110 cows with three robots and an in-line milk-testing system. The cows average 45 kilograms of milk per day. They are housed in a six-row, sand-bedded freestall barn with an automated feeding system.

Nonfarm stops included the Tweed Cannabis Growing Plant, Vodcow Distillery and the Popsilos in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.  end mark

View the slideshow below by clicking on the image. Photos provided by Harold House.

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