TDI Farms LLC of Westphalia, Mich., has signed an agreement to purchase 24 DeLaval Voluntary Milking System (VMS) robots, citing advantages in animal welfare, employee development and the farm’s longevity as main catalysts for the project.
Owners Frank, Paul and Bryant Treirweiler expect to milk 1,500 cows at the new site, which will become the largest DeLaval robotic dairy in North America.
“We decided to transition to robotic milking first and foremost for the benefit of the cows, since we’ve seen improved longevity and lower cull rates when evaluating other robotic milking herds. We also have a great core of employees and prefer to develop their talents as opposed to adding more labor,” Bryant Trierweiler explained. “For the last few years, my family has been discussing the farm’s next steps. Ultimately, the conversations kept coming back to robotics as we felt it was the best fit.”
TDI Farms said it selected DeLaval in part due to its long-standing relationship with the local dealer, DeLaval Dairy Service – Michigan. They also cited as part of the decision add-on technologies such as Herd Navigator, DelPro Software, Smart Pulsation and Body Condition Scoring, which they expect to add value once the VMS robots come on line.
“This project, in conjunction with Fundo El Risquillo, near Los Angeles, Chile, strengthens DeLaval’s position as the leader in large-scale robotic dairy solutions and services,” said Fernando Cuccioli, vice president of market area North America for DeLaval. “This marks the beginning of a new standard for large dairy farming in North America, and we’re honored to be the preferred solution supplier.”
In June, Fundo El Risquillo agreed to purchase 64 VMS milking robots to milk 4,500 of its cows, making it the world’s largest robotic milking farm. This project is expected to be completed in early 2017.