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FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

Whether using a tie stall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Earlier this year, brothers Teun and Ben De Beer welcomed their herd of 480 milking cows into a new facility on the farm near Mount Elgin, Ontario. The new six-row, sand-bedded freestall barn with perimeter feeding was built for the milking cows. It was built to reduce crowding in the farm’s existing four-row barn with mattresses and a slatted floor.

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When Ben and Elly De Beer and their three sons immigrated to Canada in 1999, they purchased a cash crop farm in Mount Elgin, Ontario, and started to build a dairy. They put up a double-10 parallel parlour with a slatted-floor freestall barn.

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Not too long ago in this column, we discussed some of the different ways we cut metal in and around our farm shops; therefore, I thought it reasonable we talk about some of the ways to repair metal that either was cut by accident or broke outright on its own. 

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Should I fix that aging tractor or piece of equipment or trade it (or scrap it) and purchase a new one? That has always been a daunting question and, in times of tight- to no-profit margins, that question takes on all kinds of new layers.

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Harvesting high-quality milk involves interactions among humans, cows, milking equipment and the environment. Implementing and training staff on milking routine standard operating procedures can influence the outcome, but efforts in the parlour shouldn’t end there.

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The health and productivity of any tracked machine starts with its undercarriage. Representing a significant portion of a piece of equipment’s purchase price, the undercarriage also represents a high percentage of a machine’s lifetime operating costs, so proper maintenance and operation practices are critical for protecting your equipment investment.

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