“Reliability is extremely important when you’re milking this many cows around the clock”
More than a decade ago the DeGroot family found a new home in Idaho, helping them expand their operation and maximize the milking potential of their dairies.
Ed DeGroot is a fourth generation producer who grew up in Washington State. When urban sprawl made him consider opportunities elsewhere, he sought the good dairy infrastructure, dry climate and readily available feed sources of Mountain Home, Idaho in 2005. Almost ten years later, the DeGroots broke ground on their second Idaho dairy, Sunview Dairy #2, to help them milk 4,550 Jersey cows.
A smooth running operation is key to the DeGroot’s success. Ed relies on the service, reliability and overall product quality of his double-60 EnDurance™ parallel parlor. “When you’re milking on a large dairy, these big barns are moving a lot of cows so we need durable equipment that can handle that volume,” says Ed.
Ed also prioritizes animal welfare and providing cow comfort solutions for his herd. His DeLaval Herd Management software system helps him control the sorting of cows for breeding, drying off and catching others that need attention – helping to minimize disruptions to the herd’s routine and reducing labor.
Ed is confident that the newest expansion will be more efficient than Sunview Dairy #1 which milks 3,850 Holsteins. He points to more automation in the cooling as well as programmable logic controllers (PLCs). He is also proud of design changes which took milker comfort into consideration. Along with enhanced LED lighting, Ed realized that most of his employees are of shorter stature. The cow deck was lowered to take into account their overall smaller frames.
“If you think about the productivity of our barn, it is truly amazing. To think about the pounds of milk that are flowing through here every hour, that number is huge,” remarks Ed.