Farmer/owner: Peter, Judith and Phil Blowey
Farm location: Tavistock, Devon
Farm name: Higher Woodley Farm
Herd: 100 cows
Milking system: Fullwood 20×20 herringbone
Date of installation: October 2015
Phil Blowey farms with his parents, Peter and Judith, at Higher Woodley Farm near Tavistock where they milk 100 cows on 148 acres.
The herd has historically been milked through a 10:10 jar-type herringbone parlour that was originally installed in 1974. This was becoming increasingly unreliable with milking times extending to six hours or more per day.
Faced with the option of replacing the parlour or quitting milk production, the Bloweys have recently installed a 20:20 Fullwood 50-degree herringbone parlour that has not only reduced milking times, but also led to improvements in cow welfare and the family’s working conditions.
“The old parlour was basically falling to pieces,” Phil Blowey describes. “It was over 40 years old and had got to the stage where there weren’t many milkings when something didn’t go wrong”.
With the new parlour installed and commissioned by Fullwood South West in October 2015, each milking now takes just an hour and a quarter including washing down.
“The cows are happier going in and out of the new parlour and they fit onto the milking platform much more comfortably,” Phil describes. “It’s also a brighter, more relaxed and nicer place to work. I have more time during the day to concentrate on other jobs and can finish milking earlier in the evenings.”
When he was finalising the parlour’s specification, Phil knew he wanted the parlour to be as open, airy and easy to keep clean as possible. “We’re now better placed to produce higher quality milk and for the herd to reach its optimum performance.”