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ADF Milking system in the news and at exhibitions

Farmer says milking system ‘good investment’

Bruce and Helen Donald have been dairy farming in the Waikato for thirty-three years and love the lifestyle.

On their 200ha farm near Tirau, the couple milk 550 cows through what may well be the oldest milk shed in the district, a 38-year-old rotary.

Twelve months ago they were joined on the farm by share milker, Irishman Bill Moore and his South African wife Anke.

An ongoing problem with mastitis, something all dairy farmers are familiar with, saw Bruce and Helen have the ADF (Automatic Dipping and Flushing) milking system installed on their farm last year.

Developed in the UK, ADF Milking has been operating since 2004. The system, designed to disinfect the teat immediately after milking and sanitise the cluster between cows, had already proven itself popular with farmers overseas and was being used on farms throughout Europe, the US and Canada before its introduction into New Zealand and Australia.

Bill was already familiar with the ADF system as his parents had it installed some time ago on their farm in Ireland.

Today Bruce describes the system as ‘really good’ and says the incidence of mastitis is now well down.

“We’re getting far less cows with mastitis, the system is simple to use and we are having no problems with it. It’s been a good investment.”

Bill agrees and says he is very happy with its performance and ease of use. “You don’t get the cross contamination now. Since January we have only had twelve incidents of mastitis which is great in a herd of 550.”

While farming takes up most of their time, both couples have outside interests that they love to pursue.

For Bruce it’s motorbikes - when he’s not out on the farm he can usually be found out cruising THE Waikato roads on his pride and joy, a FJR Yamaha 1300 while Helen, who does not share that passion prefers to pursue her interest in woodwork.

Meanwhile Bill and Anke are busy making preparations for an addition to their family - the impending arrival of their first child due in July - an event Bill laughingly describes as ‘pretty exciting’