Case Study

Pointing Way to the Future

Two wet seasons in a row were all that it took for Chertsey farmer Craig Copland to look for solutions to help over the winter season when milking 900 cows.

The solution is a 5000 square metre shed housing a Dairy Barn System (DBS).

Constructed by rural building specialist Calder Stewart and fitted out with state-of-the-art barn equipment and effluent management systems from GEA, the DBS allows Craig to maintain winter productivity without compromising the health of the cows.

The Barn features a Houle Cable Scraper system for barn alleys which allows for easy operation without manual cleaning necessary.

Besides being easy to install, the scraper makes multiple passes per day and does not interrupt cow traffic. Rotating diagonal cow brushes are a favourite with the herd, they keep the animals clean, maintaining a high level of hygiene and helping the cows dissipate heat easier through their skin. The brushes take advantage of the cows' liking for rubbing and is built to withstand the forces the cows can exert.

Stainless steel troughs have been installed in the barn and the animals are housed in a single beam freestall mounting system design.

A final touch of comfort for the animals is added by the Sofmat mattress systems, which features a 3cm duracushion underlay and a waterproof covering.

Craig Copland, whose family has been farming for decades in Mid Canterbury, runs a 730ha farm with 1600 cows. He grows all the feed for his cows on the property being mainly wheat with some fodder beat and maize.

"We made the decision to commit to a full housing system," Craig says. "With proper mattresses we don’t have any concern for the welfare of the animals and they can stay inside as long as they like."

Shane McDonald from Calder Stewart worked with GEA to construct the DBS.

"Over the years we’ve put up more than 5000 rural buildings and involvement with the rural sector is where the company started. The move into Dairy Barn Systems is a step towards the future as the modes of dairy production used in New Zealand evolve," Shane says.

Craig Copland says he is confident that the investment in the Calder Stewart DBS is a sound one.

"While the payout hasn’t been great this year, this is a long term investment. It means we’re confident in maintaining our production during the winter and looking after our animals."