Tom & Katrien De Vos
Centrus XP HD Composite Rotary
“Easily milks 500 cows per hour 20 hours a day, 24/7”
Originally from Belgium the De Vos family has been farming in the US for nine years expanding their herd from 700 to 3,400 cows in 2015.
“The increase in herd size meant we needed a parlor which was well designed so it would be easy to operate, reliable and robust enough to withstand milking 20 hours a day for 365 days of the year with minimum maintenance requirements. We wanted to create the optimum environment for the cows and the people working in the parlor and, for us, there was only one option – a rotary.
“Rotary parlors are very easy on the cows. They move very calmly on and off the platform and the overall milking environment is very peaceful.
“We chose an 84 bail Centrus Composite Rotary platform because Waikato Milking Systems understood we wanted various aspects of the parlor customized to our needs and were willing to work with us to make that happen.
“We liked the concept of a composite platform which is extraordinarily strong yet light and easy to keep clean.
The new parlor was built in 2015 and Tom and Katrien say they were very satisfied with the support they received from Waikato Milking Systems throughout the build and, most importantly, in the months and years after the new parlor was commissioned.
“The Centrus consistently and easily milks around 500 cows per hour for 20 hours each day delivering on average over 267,000 pounds of milk per day, 365 days per year.”
The new parlor is also very energy efficient, in 2016 Cow Pleasant was named the Large Business of the Year by Consumers Energy, the largest electric and natural gas utility in Michigan. The Award is one of three made to businesses which demonstrate substantive energy savings.
The new Centrus Composite Rotary is highly optioned with SmartECRs, SmartPULS, SmartLINK, SmartWASH, Electronic Milk Meters, herd management system and auto-sorting.
The parlor also features a unique direct load milk cooling system which cools the milk from 95 to 36 degrees before it goes into a trailer parked outside the parlor, bypassing the need for a bulk milk tank. When the trailer is full, it is picked up by a truck for transportation to the processor, leaving an empty trailer in its place.
Tom De Vos said “it is a very efficient system, minimizing risk of bacteria, preserving the quality of our milk and, along the way, eliminating a lot of water.”
These and other features, including fans which cool the cows and LED lighting, led to the Consumers Energy Award with energy rebates worth more than $US117,000.
Two years on from those first milkings Tom and Katrien say the new parlor is as good as they hoped it would be. “We are very happy, it’s a show place and something we are very proud of.”
- Electronic Milk Meters.