Farmer/owner: Rod MacBean
Farm location: Aston, Wem, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Farm name: Brockhurst Farm
Herd: 130 Holsteins / Brown Swiss Cross (180 in Herd)
Milking system: Two Fullwood Merlins
Date of installation: October 2011
The Brockhurst farm is no stranger to Fullwood. It was back in 1977 that they installed a 5:10 Fullwood Herringbone Parlour Pack, and apart from standard maintenance it has only needed the minimum attention – serving above and beyond the call of duty.
When Rod took over the farm in 2003 he took a number of key decisions to secure the farm’s future. Then in 2010 he decided the time was right for a complete modernisation. He was determined to create the very best working conditions for himself, his team and his growing dairy herd. As part of the modernisation programme, Rod decided to invest in two Fullwood Merlin robotic milking systems.
Three years on, Rod is experiencing further improvements in milk yield and is very efficient with Crystal, our herd management software. “The key is working out how to use Crystal to its maximum potential.”
“Now we fully understand the system, we are able to milk the maximum 140 cows.” There is also a saving in labour costs of an impressive £30,000 a year and a reduction in milking time. This time is now spent focused on managing the herd with impressive results. The Merlins are providing an average daily milk yield of around 2000 litres with each cow producing a daily average of 31 litres per unit. “Our all year round calving pattern makes this sustainable 365 days a year.”
Rod commented, “The biggest improvement in our third year, has been a greater understanding of our feeding system, utilising top quality feeds accurately, effectively and efficiently.”