“One of the main reasons we expanded was so we could milk more cows with less people.”
Challenging margins within the dairy industry are forcing most milk producers to rethink how they farm. For the Voight Acres farm in Shioctin, Wisconsin, a future in dairy meant scaling up their operation.
Voight Acres, a 4th and 5th generation dairy producer, transitioned in November 2014 from a tried and true pipeline milking system, built in 1972, to a DeLaval Champion™ milking parlor. They tripled their herd size from 90 to 270 cows.
“This really helps our bottom line. Before, we had two guys milking six cows at a time, and now, one guy can milk 16,” says owner Steve Voight.
The Voights have also seen a positive trend in milk production since building their new freestall barn. The freestall barn environment is encouraging cows to milk to their full potential. They’re averaging one pound more per cow per day in the new facility.
The most impressive results however have been with the farm’s milk quality. Back in the stanchion barn days they were averaging a somatic cell count (SCC) level of 140,000. Today, that count has dropped to around 40,000. That’s one healthy herd.