With technology rapidly improving, the De Jongs felt confident with the decision to go with robots. The family said, “Robotic milking was a great option for us to milk cows more often without the extra labour that we otherwise would have had to perform ourselves or hire out. It provides a greater level of precise management that enables us to meet each cows’ needs and allows for more flexibility in day-to-day scheduling with other jobs on the farm.”

The De Jong family immigrated from the Netherlands in 2000 to an ongoing dairy farm in Watford, Ontario, Canada. After 20 years of working in their free stall and parlour facility, the family was excited to take the next step to help their farm move forward.

Dairy Lane Systems, GEA dealer in Komoka, Ontario, had the opportunity to work with the De Jong family on designing and building a complete DLS turnkey operation. This project consisted of a 5 GEA DairyRobot R9500 milking robots with GEA manure equipment. There is room for a sixth robot within the center room.

AHE Dairy GEA Dairy Robot R9500 set up
The centre room with 3 GEA DairyRobot R9500. There is room for a future addition.

With technology rapidly improving, the De Jongs felt confident with the decision to go with robots. The family said,

Robotic milking provides a greater level of precise management that enables us to meet each cows’ needs and allows for more flexibility.”

AHE Dairy GEA Dairy Robot R9500 in operation
GEA DairyRobot R9500 milking pit gives a pleasant working environment with easy access to rear part of the robot to treat special needs cows and perform manual attachment when needed or to train a first-calf heifer.

Naturally, after deciding to go with robotic milking, the next step is to choose which colour robot. In choosing GEA, the De Jongs said,Naturally, after deciding to go with robotic milking, the next step is to choose which colour robot. In choosing GEA, the De Jongs said, “We went with the GEA robot because it showed itself to be a reliable machine with its quick one-time attachment and consistent in-liner prep system. The camera is only used once per cow for each milking, allowing for a quicker box time, and with the in-liner prep system, there is greater consistency for the cows’ milking experience. It also has the option to divert milk individually per quarter, and that can be based on different parameter settings or done manually, which allows for less wasted milk and provides higher quality milk.”

We went with the GEA robot because it showed itself to be a reliable machine with its quick one-time attachment and consistent in-liner prep system.”

Results speaking from themselves

The DeJong’s very quickly saw an improvement in milk quality and an increase in milk production. With the increased milk production, they have been able to milk fewer cows, and they are confident they will see continued improvements in milk production. In terms of SCC, they used to run around 200,000 in the old barn, but it has been steadily decreasing. They are currently just over 100,000 with expectations to continue to decrease to be below 100,000.

“Our cows have adjusted very well to the new barn, and the transition process went much better than we anticipated. We are very happy with the new barn and the GEA robots.” - The De Jong Family

AHE Dairy GEA Dairy Robot R9500 manure equipment
At H.A.E. Dairy, manure collection is done with GEA Alley Scraper driven by GEA SW cable drive units mounted on stand over the cross gutter and manure transfer with GEA Futuro hydraulic piston pump.

Thank you to Mark Wescott for the story and pictures. 

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