Valsigna Farms in Hilmar, CA has added the RotaryMATE EXPD to its rotary parlor. The 2400-head herd is milked two and a half times per day and has already begun reaping the benefits of the RotaryMATE system.
Like many similar-sized dairies, the Valsigna Farms operation, prior to adding the RotaryMATE, used a flex position that was responsible both for monitoring and attending to cows as they were being milked as well as for applying the post-dip chemicals to the cows prior to exiting the rotary parlor. This created a few challenges that the RotaryMATE Post-dip robot was able to address — inconsistent application of the post-dip chemicals, animal stress, worker stress, and wasted product/lower yields.
According to Tim Wickstrom, owner of Valsigna Farms, the RotaryMATE successfully addressed these challenges and is adding value to his operation in multiple ways.
- Since adding the robot, post-dip chemical usage has been reduced by up to 35%, contributing to significant cost savings.
- The RotaryMATE is more effective at applying the post-dip with the proper coverage on the teats on a 24/7 basis. This has the benefit of eliminating a variable point if the somatic cell counts do rise, effectively allowing the herd manager to focus on other areas and variables that may be the root cause of the somatic cell increase.
- The dairy workers are able to accomplish their tasks with greater effectiveness and productivity because they are not having to cover the post-dipping position in addition to the other positions. This increases morale, improves attitudes, and creates an overall more positive environment, which in turn benefits the animals.
- Because the RotaryMATE is handling all the post-dipping, the rover/flex position can be moved closer to the "cups on" position which allows him the opportunity to act more quickly in addressing cows that have kicked off the milk cups or need other attention. This enables milk production to increase and allows “ride-arounds” to decrease.
- The animals respond very well to the gentle, consistent operation of the RotaryMATE and are therefore much less stressed, which contributes to an improvement in milk yields.
"I have been extremely pleased with the RotaryMATE solution and how it has allowed my barn to run more smoothly. My workers are happier and the cows are less stressed and healthier since adding the post-dip robot to our operation," said Tim Wickstrom. "I am looking forward to adding the RotaryMATE EXPS on the pre-milking side of the rotary to reduce additional human variables in the barn and bring more consistency to our cow teat-handling environment."