Andrew Bennett is the 4th generation of Bennetts to farm at Whiteley Green Farm near Macclesfield, Cheshire. Farming with his Mother and Father, Mary and Stephen and wife Hannah, they run a commercial herd of 160 Friesian Holstein dairy cows.
The family farm 220 acres with a further 100 acres for young stock and dry cows as well as keeping 220 Texel x Charollais breeding ewes. Cows calve all year round with milk being supplied to Wisemans on a Sainsbury’s contract.
“Milking 130 cows through a ten point abreast parlour was very time consuming, taking up to 4 hours each end of the day. We looked at various options including making improvements to the existing parlour as well as a investing in a new parlour”
After a few farm visits accompanied by Edwin Finney from JACE Supplies and impressed by the quality of the equipment seen, it was soon decided the way forward was to install a new GEA milking parlour.
A new building was erected and a GEA 16/32 herringbone parlour with a fully automated wash system, the C21 feed programme, IQ Clusters and heat detection responders.
Now milking 144 cows through the parlour, Andrew is particularly impressed with the I.Q. clusters.
“There has been a significant improvement in Somatic Cell Counts since milking began in the new parlour with results falling from an average of 200 to 120 and a noticeable reduction in the cases of clinical mastitis. Slow milkers are milking out much better too and general teat condition of the cows has improved”.
Along with the new parlour a heat recovery system has also been installed and a bore hole is currently being drilled to supply drinking water for the cows and water for the plate cooler. The heat recovery system heats 450L of water to 60ºC which is then topped up to 90ºC by the water heater. The water is then used to wash the parlour and plant, a great way of saving on energy costs.
“We are extremely pleased with the standard and quality of the work carried out by JACE Supplies and are now set up for the future”