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    "Dairymaster have a great
    reputation and it is competitively
    priced for the quality and the
    performance of the equipment
    you get, I think its great value for money."

    Richard Geary

     
     
    Richard Geary
     

    More Profit for this Cork farmer with Dairymaster!


    Richard Geary farms in Ballinvarrig House, Minane Bridge, Co. Cork. He decided to install a new Dairymaster Swiftflo Swing parlour in April of 09. His reasons for installing a new parlour were to expand the herd and modernise his workplace. Presently Richard is putting approx 90 cows through his 22 until parlour however in time he is aiming to increase this to 150 cows. The Geary's herd is made up of Pedigree Holstein Friesian and are known as the Lehenagh herd. In total they farm 260 acres of grazing land. The farming business was established by his Grandparents who were depopulated with brucellosis, they then built back up the herd and Richard's father Sam has been milking cows twice a day since 1958.

    In the new parlour it takes approx 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the milking and washing up whereas in the old parlour it used to take over 2 hours.  Milking is done twice a day at 7.45am and again at 5.10pm with just one operator being present for milking and another person responsible for driving in the cows and doing the cubicles. Richard's father Sam is very involved with the farm and he is responsible for looking after the heifers. Richard does block calving in the winter from October - December and in the Spring from January until June he sells all the bull calves and rears the heifers as replacements for the herd. The Geary's had no reservations about going for a Dairymaster again as they were very pleased with their old parlour and the high performance capabilities of it and he said "Dairymaster have a great reputation and it is competitively priced for the quality and the performance of the equipment you get, I think its great value for money."

    While the old system was basic, on the new parlour Richard decided to go with a number of automation features in order to make life easier on him and the cows and also to reduce his labour costs. What with being a newlywed Richard also wanted more free time to spend with his wife Aiveen. "Auto ID was installed which makes it very easy to identify cows even if they are not freeze branded. Milk Meters give very accurate yields and the fact that they are recorded is worth a lot and is important for the management of the farm. Automatic Cluster Remover's milk out the cows a lot more evenly and I don't need to worry about over milking or under milking. The ACR's also save a man in the pit and even if there is only one person milking that person can still go away and look at a cow calving or a calf and not be worried that the cows will be over milked. The Autowasher while being a great time saver also saves trips in and out of the dairy as you can just press a button and it does its job without any interference from you." Also installed is 3 way Integrated AutoDrafting which he finds fantastic for drying off cows and he advises that he will be using this a lot when it comes to artificially inseminating cows.

    Sound messaging in the parlour is a great aid for Richard as it makes him effortlessly aware of cows that need extra attention in the parlour and of particular cows whose milk needs to be kept. The farm messenger is another innovative utility that allows Richard to receive milking reports and statistics direct to his mobile phone even when he is on holiday. A diversion line was installed which feeds directly into the calf house which eliminates the need to be hauling buckets around. Swiftflo Bailing he comments "offers fantastic control and it makes it a lot easier to manage heifers and livelier cows especially when you are milking on your own as each cow has her own designated space and it prevents pushing and bullying." Richard also has in-parlour feeders and he feeds to yield as it is a much more efficient way to effectively manage an expensive input such as feed.

    When installing his parlour Richard decided to go with ClusterCleanse, the Dairymaster ClusterCleanse rinses each cluster after each cow is milked, and he commented that while they still do get an odd case of mastitis they are now only getting a fraction of what they used to get and even if a cow goes down with it now, it doesn't spread. Richard commented "The Dairymaster ClusterCleanse has improved my cell counts by 50,000 to 60,000 and since installing it we are now easily reaching Grade 1 for milk quality which in turn results in better payments for my milk." Richard's SCC is 150,000 and his TBC is between 9,000 and 10,000 with a butterfat ratio of 4.1.

    Dairymaster Scrapers are installed on the farm and these are running since November 08 and he is very pleased with these. Also installed is a Dairymaster milk cooling tank, he installed a bottom fill optional attachment which he comments is a great feature and he likes the automatic washing feature, what also appealed to him was the fact that he can have it outdoors as this saved him a substantial amount of building costs in the dairy.

    The average yield of the cows is approx 1,800 gallons with the annual output of milk being 720,000 litres, Richard can see this increasing by adding additional cows in time.

    The diet of the cows is made up of grass silage and maize silage and then he tries to graze them as much as possible depending on the weather. Top up amounts of ration are fed in the parlour and he goes through approx a ton and a half of ration per year. Dairygold co-op is supplied with the milk and it is collected every 2nd day.

    Richard first heard of Dairymaster through a neighbour who had a Dairymaster milking plant and was very happy with it. The features that interested Richard the most was the Swiftflo Bailing and the automation features of the plant and the way that they all interlink together.

    He would have no hesitation in recommending the plant to anyone that spoke to him about it as he is very satisfied with the whole system. For the moment Richard is hoping that things will improve and for the immediate future his plans are to fine tune what they have. If things do improve he can see himself expanding by another 60/70 cows. The main objective of the farm is to produce as much milk as he can in the most profitable way possible so that he can cover the labour and the loan repayments.