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    "I am now looking forward to
    milking the cows next spring,
    for me it was the best money
    I have ever spent."

    Edward Carr

     
     
    Edward Carr
     

    Best money ever spent!


    Edward Carr from Knockmarow, Milestone in Thurles, Co. Tipperary installed a new 20 unit Dairymaster Swiftflo Swing parlour in October this year. The building is a new building and was done by Edward himself. His old parlour was a 10 unit Dairymaster parlour however he found that it was taking him too long to milk as he had increased his cow numbers dramatically. When Edward started out 10 years ago he had between 30/40 cows however he is now milking 120 cows and is farming on 180 acres of land. Edward's herd is made up of Friesian cows and he also runs a beef enterprise. Edward is the third generation of his family to take over the dairying enterprise. Edward and his wife June have 4 children however the children are too young as of yet to be that interested in the farming side of things.

    It now takes Edward an hour to milk whereas in the old parlour it took anything up to 2 hour 15 mins. By installing the new parlour he has freed up a lot of time to concentrate on other aspects of the farms management. Edward's cows are milked twice a day at 7.00am and again at 5.30pm with Edward being the sole person responsible for all aspects of the farm.

    The reason that Edward decided to go with a Dairymaster parlour is that he was very interested in the Swiftflo Bailing system and there wasn't anything that compared to it on the market. On his new parlour Edward decided to go with ACR's and he comments that after one month he believes that he wouldn't be milking the cows properly without them, with the Autowasher Edward commented that its great the cows are ready for milking from when you stand inside the door and it the same when finished you just press a button and go on with your other jobs.

    Standalone AutoDrafting is also installed, Edward commented that this is a major labour saving piece of equipment. With the AutoDrafting system you can very easily pick out specific cows that you want to keep effortlessly with no stress on the cow and no stress on you. It's a convenient, efficient and safe way to segregate cows. The drafting crate is of extremely robust construction and is built for a long life. With AutoDrafting it reduces the risk of drafting the wrong cow and there is minimal disturbance to the routine of other cows. It is a very convenient and hassle free way of sorting your cows during milking. "During milking as I'm on my own I cant afford to leave the pit, with the drafting system I don't need to worry about it, all I have to do is attach a tag to each cow I want separated and once I have completed milking the cow is waiting for me in a separate holding area."

    A diversion line in Edward's opinion is a must on this size of parlour when you have just one person for milking, Swiftflo Bailing he comments "caters for every size cow and you have 100% control over the cows it's just fantastic", Automatic Scrapers which he has installed with the last 10/12 years and Automatic Feeders which he advises offers great advantages as they are easy to use and extremely accurate. Edward also went with split level drains which he advises speeds up washing up and keeps things very clean even during milking.

    A variable speed milk pump ensure optimum cooling and gentle milk transport as it responds to the level of milk in the receiver and controls water flow through the cooling system. Variable speed milk pumping is used when optimum cooling and gentle milk transport is required. The plate cooler is utilized 3 to 4 times more when compared to typical milk pump controls. This system ensures the pump speed increases as the milk level increases. When the milk level is low, the pump speed is reduced. The result of the variable speed milk pump is a controlled milk flow through plate coolers and gentler milk handling with less water usage.

    The average yield of the cows is 1300/1400 gallons of milk with an annual output of 140,000 gallons. The diet of cows is made up of grass silage, maize silage which he finds a big advantage in this part of the country and then dairy nuts in the parlour. Milk is collected by Arrabawn Co-Op every 2nd day normally. The herd are a spring calving herd and he rears all the calves and they are finished at 2 years old.  

    Edward first heard about Dairymaster through a farmer discussion group when they visited different farms and he saw Dairymaster parlours and from what he saw he was very impressed. One of the features that interested Edward the most is the Swiftflo Bailing as it is unique to Dairymaster however Edward advised that he liked all the different features of the plant and the way that they all interlinked with each other and the fact that any further automation features can be added on when/if necessary.

    Edward commented that "with the ACR's I can milk at my ease and still be certain that any cow leaving the parlour is not under or over milked. With a 20 unit parlour and to keep it a one man operation the ACR's weren't so much an option as a must" as otherwise he believes that the cows would be way over milked.

    When asked if Edward would recommend Dairymaster to family and friends he responded that he would recommend Dairymaster without hesitation as he advised the control you have with the bailing in fantastic especially when it's a one man operation. He also commented on the automatic start of the swing arm as being a notable labour saving feature. Edward advised that in his opinion you get great value for money especially when you consider the quality and performance of the equipment. Edward advised that his brother has a Dairymaster parlour with the last 10-12 years and he has never had any problems with his parlour and this would also have influenced his decision. He was "fierce impressed with the speed of installation, 2 days in and out" he advised that from day one he was very impressed as he got a lot of help and a lot of great ideas from looking at other parlours and from Dairymaster in relation to the plans and the building stage.

    Edward's future prospects for the farm are that with time to possibly add another 20/30 cows onto the herd however he advises that land could be the limiting factor. When you think that 10 years ago Edward started with 30 cows he has come a long way since then, this has not gone unnoticed and Edward won the Teagasc Young farmer of the year in 2000 and then went on to win the Development farm of the year in 2001. At that stage he had been farming for 5 years and the award was in relation to the amount of development on the farm.

    Edward commented that his quality of life has improved dramatically since the installation of the new parlour and will improve even more, "I am now looking forward to milking the cows next spring, for me it was the best money I have ever spent, compared to tractors and other farm machinery it was great value for money."