To help meet the demand from dairy farmers looking to expand, DeLaval has launched its ‘Think Big’ initiative.

According to Teagasc National Farm Survey figures, the average herd size in Ireland increased by 23% between 2012 and 2018.

The survey also showed that the number of farms growing herd size to more than 100 cows was up 11%. This shows a growth trend and “a desire to establish greater operational efficiencies”, DeLaval said.

“Dairy farmers looking to increase herd size are presented with a plethora of milking systems that are often anchored to their choice of milking equipment,” according to DeLaval.

DeLaval Think Big lead Wynand Bodenstein added:

For farms looking to grow, the choice of milking equipment can be influenced by a variety of farm pressures. Can the land, buildings, and other farm equipment withstand growth?

“Is there enough human resource to meet the demands of a growing herd? We have launched Think Big to help advise farmers more holistically when it comes to expansion.”

More options for farmers

Milking equipment technology has created more options for farmers than ever before. Rotary, swing-over, rapid exit and the rise of robots has made decision making harder for farmers.

Bodenstein continued:

Think Big is all about DeLaval applying our experience of fitting milking equipment on thousands of farms. We take a holistic approach to consider herd planning, feeding facilities, barn layouts, milking parlour or rotary sizing and system planning.

“Our analysis provides the roadmap to create the future operations of the farm with the whole process revolving around the farmer,” he concluded.