"The robots make it possible for us to effectively milk our cows more than twice daily without hiring additional help."
Spruceafton Farms Inc. is reaping the benefits of increased efficiency after installing a voluntary milking system in a unique, double robot barn.
James and Susan Nafziger represent the third generation to milk cows on their current location in Milverton, Ontario. They expanded their operation through purchasing cows and quota from a family member. To accommodate the expansion, the Nafzigers built a new facility, and in 2016, installed two DeLaval VMS robots to milk their 85 cows.
The Nafziger family strives to breed cows with good conformation and increasing production, while at the same time keeping input costs at a respectable level.
"We enjoy working with cattle and the challenge of breeding good, strong cow families. We also enjoy the variety of responsibilities that dairy farming requires," says James Nafziger, co-owner.
James and his wife, Susan, and son, Corey make up the main workforce with occasional help from children: Joel and Olivia at Spruceafton Farms Inc.
Spruceafton's double robot barn measures 132' x 208' with a 42' x 48' calf barn and 40' x 48' entrance. It is equipped with a milk house, office, utility room and mezzanine.
"We chose DeLaval because we have always had DeLaval milking systems, received support in the past and feel that they have a good product," says Nafziger.
Spruceafton cows have acclimated well to the new facility; production has increased and the cows are exercising more and averaging 2.75 milkings per day.
In addition to cattle, the family raises alfalfa, corn, soybeans and wheat.