As cow numbers increase and parlours age milking systems might need upgrading or full replacement. That change is one of the most significant capital investments made on a dairy farm.
When considering building a new parlour, one of the biggest questions to ask is can you do what you want with what you have, Technology has changed considerably over the years and producers may be missing out on developments that could help capitalize on their bottom line.”
There are three areas that indicate the need for a parlour change, they are
Stall work: Some parlours are well beyond their intended use, metal work and stalls are worn and broken, this could lead to a monumental system failure or worse: injury to cows or workers.
Parlour is too small: When herd size increases this leads to cows spending more time in the milking process that means more time away from feed, water and relaxation.
Increase efficacies: That could be in terms of labour, time or automation. There’s a big difference between wanting and needing a new parlour.
Convincing yourself of a solid return on your investment is a first step, “Will the new investment improve returns? Will the leap in technology improve cow care, performance and efficiency? Generally it comes down to return.
Working capital, repayment capacity and overall equity position are key components of knowing whether a dairy business is secure enough financially to take on a parlour renovation. With regard to parlour type,
When it comes to incorporating technology in the parlour, how information will be used is what really matters. “Technology can improve return on investment, despite the added cost, can you demonstrate how data will be used, if you just let the information pile up and never look at it, producers should just go with simple parlours.