Gea Farm Tech Breaks Ground at North American DairyPROQ Installation
GEA Farm Technologies announces that ground has been broken on the first North American installation of DairyProQ, a revolutionary milking system allowing farms to install individual, fully automatic, robotic milking stall modules on a rotary parlor. The installation of the 72-stall DairyProQ rotary parlor is occurring at Mlsna East Town Dairy, Cashton, Wis., where the groundbreaking was held on August 20th.
“The application of this technology on such a large operation has not been done before anywhere else in the world and for most every dairy farmer in America, this is quite significant,” says Matt Daley, chief executive officer with GEA Farm Technologies. “We are excited by the opportunity to increase farm profitability with the introduction of automation for large-scale dairies, to reduce their dependency on labor and allow them to produce a more consistent, high quality food product.”
Each stall unit on the DairyProQ rotary has its own robotic arm, and is designed to completely automate the entire milking process. Teat cup attachment, teat prep (including pre-dipping), fore-stripping, stimulation, the milk harvest process, and post-dipping are done in-liner, in one single attachment. The unit is automatically removed and backflushed between milkings to sanitize the clusters between cows. Problem cows, or special needs cows, can be milked on a semi-automatic, manual basis if required.
“Being involved in a project of this size is very exciting on its own; add DairyProQ to it and it becomes the largest thing to ever hit the dairy industry,” says Larry Ferguson, president of Advanced Dairy Solutions, Inc., the local GEA Farm Technologies dealer completing the installation at Mlsna’s. “Having seen the system in operation at the test farm in Germany as well as working on the second installation also in Germany, I believe that GEA Farm Technologies has raised the bar on how we milk cows in the commercial atmosphere to a level that will not be exceeded for a long time, if ever,” adds Ferguson.
For the Mlsna family, DairyProQ technology will bring a solution to the herd, which plans to expand from 900 cows to 2,000 cows with the rotary installation. More than doubling the milking herd, the Mlsna’s were faced with concerns about their labor force being able to handle the increased cow volume. They were looking for a solution when they were introduced to DairyProQ technology by their GEA Farm Technologies representative.
Nick Mlsna, co-owner of the dairy, looks forward to the consistency that DairyProQ will bring to the milking process. “We’re glad that we’ll have the consistency factor down with cows being milked and handled the same way every time,” says Mlsna. Nick owns the farm with his wife, LeAnne, and parents, Dennis and Barbara Mlsna.
The DairyProQ installation at Mlsna’s will be the first in North America, with prototypes and pilot farms only seen before in Europe. The expected completion date for the new parlor and DairyProQ installation is March 2015.