Gerrit Herrema - Herralea Farm

“I wish we put it in when we first installed the parlour”

Gerrit Herrema - dairy farmer - Ontario

Farm: Herralea Farm
Name: Gerrit Herrema
Parlour type: Swingover
Milking points: 10
Herd size: 90
Installation date: 13/02/2019

4th generation dairy farmer Gerrit milks 90 cows and farms 800 acres with his father and the rest of their family on Herralea Farm in Uxbridge, Ontario. The family decided to install the ADF System in 2019 due to high somatic cell counts. “We were having some somatic cell troubles, and we felt that adding the ADF System to our existing parlour would bring down our somatic cell level and hopefully reduce the spread of mastitis throughout the herd,” explains Gerrit.

The biggest benefit the ADF System has brought to Herralea Farm is improved cow health, including teat condition. “Number one improvement is somatic cell. We quickly saw significant drop in our somatic cell count, which is now under 100,000,” says Gerrit. “We have also seen an improvement in teat condition. With the ADF System the iodine application is a lot quicker, so it is able to deal with any teat end issues sooner than when we were having to run back and post dip by hand. The teat coverage with the ADF System is as good as, if not better than, using a manual dipper or sprayer.”

Gerrit and his family have also noticed a time saving aspect with the automatic dipping and flushing of the ADF System. “Before ADF our parlour needed that extra half a man in it to help move cows through the parlour. And now we’re able to milk with one person pretty seamlessly and still get up to 65 to 70 cows an hour when everything’s really rocking.”

Dairy farmer Gerrit Herrema milking with the ADF System

As a result, the farm has benefited from labour saving in the milking parlour. “From a milking standpoint ADF takes a lot of stress and workload off the operator as they don’t have to go back to those cows and post dip. You can just keep the cows moving. The guys that are milking with us are a lot happier milking now we have the ADF System. It’s been a really nice labour saver and ergonomically on the operator they really enjoy it,” says Gerrit.

The cows at Herralea Farm also enjoy the ADF System. “The cows like it because they can keep flowing through. They’re not held up in the parlour any longer than they have to be,” he adds.

Gerrit regrets that he and his father didn’t install the ADF System sooner. “I wish we put it in when we first installed the parlour. I think it would have helped with some of our somatic cell problems at the start. It complements a swing parlour perfectly and installation was seamless. It’s slick – it works really well.”

Gerrit recommends that other dairy farmers should install the ADF System in their milking parlour. “With the results we’re seeing, we really think that it’s a great thing for the industry. It’s been great for our farm and we think that other farms could benefit from it as well. If farmers are having trouble with their somatic cell count or they’re looking to invest to make their milk quality better, ADF is a good system for farmers to bring on to their dairy.”

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