“People will always need food – beef or dairy. So there’s a future in farming, but we want to be the most efficient.”
Cub Run Dairy had its sights on the future generation when it upgraded its milking system to a double-24 parallel parlor in 2016. Always looking for ways to improve, the family-run farm reduced labor per cow by 40 percent.
After 35 years in operation, Cub Run Dairy is constantly aspiring to be the best version of itself. In 2016, the family-run farm installed a double-24 DeLaval parallel parlor after wearing out a double-12 DeLaval Herringbone parlor.
“We’re always looking to the future and trying to see what’s going to be most successful,” says owner Monte Heatwole. “The old parlor lasted 35 years; this one ought to last longer than that!”
Monte’s dad, Gerald, bought the dairy in 1983, and together they milk 600 Holstein cows, grow crops for forage and cash, and raise replacement heifers. They also raise 20,000 large turkey toms.
Parlor throughput is a major advantage of the upgraded DeLaval milking system. Monte says their work efficiency has improved per cow by 40 percent. The robust, yet cow-friendly design of the parallel parlor means cows are milked faster and wait less to be milked. Monte attributes a 6-pound increase in milk per cow and a four-tenths of a point increase in butterfat to these factors.
Milk quality is another improvement point for Cub Run Dairy. Consistent pulsation and vacuum, combined with udder health solutions OceanBlu and Barrier Dyne 10, have helped reduce somatic cell counts by 100,000. Food safety is further ensured with the help of DelPro farm management. “It helps us monitor treated cows so we know we’re meeting protocols for when milk can go into the tank,” says Monte.
The dairy uses other herd management tools like DeLaval Activity Meter Systems and two DSG10 sort gates. The activity collars help monitor heats and sick cows whereas the sort gates automatically group cows and send others to a special needs pen.
Cub Run Dairy works with Dairymen Specialty Company, Inc. as its DeLaval dealer. “We need a strong dealer to support what we’re doing every day,” says Monte. “What’s great is DeLaval also has a team of specialists we can call and get things solved if we need to.”