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It’s All Academic for DeLaval

October 2013

Bridgewater College’s Cannington Centre for Land-Based Studies promotes best practice to the next generation of farmers using DeLaval dairy farming products and equipment.

Students at Bridgewater College’s Cannington Centre for Land-Based Studies are making the best start to their farming careers with assistance from DeLaval dairy farming solutions.
Thanks to products and technology from the worldwide dairy supplier, the next generation of farmers are able to gain practical experience at one of the region’s leading providers of agricultural training. Using nothing but the most effective techniques and equipment, students are able to learn best practice promoting cow comfort and longevity.

The Cannington Centre’s own 160-hectare working farm provides the students with access to 240 Holstein cows under the watchful eye of Farm Manager, Steve Jones. As their learning mentor, Steve is keen to ensure that the students understand the importance of the high standards required as farming moves forwards into the future.

The use of DeLaval products and equipment in many of the day-to-day farming routines has already seen an increased milk yield and improved cow health. Over 100 students are involved in teat spraying, using DeLaval’s ProactiveTM premium teat dip, contributing to a virtual eradication of mastitis amongst the herd. “Once we switched away from ProactiveTM the cell counts went up,” says Steve Jones, “so we switched straight back and now our cell count averages 86. The teat condition is far better. We hardly get one case of mastitis and definitely no drying of the teats. I don’t think we’d ever change now.”

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High performance detergents such as Delaval’s Cidmax acid cleaner and Ultra alkaline cleaner have not only contributed to a Bactoscan of just 9, but also ensure that the growing demand from consumers and dairies for high quality milk is reached. DeLaval mattresses and swinging cow brushes further contribute to cow comfort, keeping them clean and happy.

It’s not just the cows that are benefiting from DeLaval. The 32 unit Herringbone Parlour with adjustable floor has made milking times more relaxed and productive for the trainee farmers as well as the herd. While the cows experience a faster milking time with yields rising from 8500 litres to 9500 litres, the non-slip hydraulic floor system provides maximum comfort and safety for the milkers. A simple push of a button means that each student can be at their optimal height, no longer risking injury from incorrect stance. “We use it more than we thought we ever would,” says Steve.
Feeding time is a simple affair, too with DeLaval’s out of parlour feeding system removing any guesswork. Each cow is fed the correct amount and mix of feed suitable to her stage of lactation through natural, stress-free eating patterns.

DeLaval’s desire to develop products along with the new farmers has been demonstrated through the installation of 2 bespoke automatic foot baths at the Cannington Centre which have been designed in partnership with dealer BH White. “These foot baths are very good!” exclaims Steve. “It’s a job that is done automatically via the traffic route from the parlour. The baths empty and refill every half hour and take the hassle out of hoof care.”
So, while student farmers are busy benefiting from the best training facilities, DeLaval is also learning how it can constantly improve dairy farming technology, ensuring that cow health remains a priority now and into the future.