In 2014 dairy farmer Graham Hanmer of Forton Heath Farm, Shropshire, decided that it was either time to give up milking his cows and let the farm go, or move forward and try something completely new. Frustrated at having to spend 4 hours milking his cows each time, Graham was looking for ways to bring the farm into the 21st century.
Turning farming from an obligation and a tradition into a profitable business.
“Most of our lives were spent milking cows and not looking after the cows” Graham said of his 340 strong milking herd. Graham’s story is familiar to many farmers across the UK, EU and US as a host of new technologies continue to revolutionise farming. Technologies that not only save time but increase productivity on farm, turning farming from an obligation and a tradition into a profitable business.
Easy to use technology is changing life on the farm.
As many farmers do when investing in machinery for the farm, Graham took his time looking into new systems and technology. He eventually decided on a 44 unit Dairymaster Swiftflo rotary parlour. Many farmers will relate to Grahams fear that he doesn’t have the knowhow to work the array of new technology that is revolutionising the farmyard. That’s why companies like Dairymaster have put an increasing amount of time and energy into making sure their systems are clear and as easy to use as possible. Most functions operate at the press of a button – which has gone some way to putting people like Graham at ease.
For a man that was once on the verge of giving up the cows, Graham now has an extra 35 hours a week to work on other aspects of the farm.
Two years on and Graham now takes an hour and a half to milk the same cows that once took him 4 hours! While Graham may have been reluctant to take on the world of technology, he knew he had to change the way he was farming and hasn’t looked back since. For a man that was once on the verge of giving up the cows, Graham now has an extra 35 hours a week to work on other aspects of the farm, increased milk yield, cows that are “milking better” and lower electric bills, all because of his decision to use the Dairymaster Swiftflo rotary parlour.
The time savings continued in other aspects of his duties. The new parlour operates a cluster flush system to clean and disinfect the cluster before the cluster is attached to the next cow. His use of the manure scraping gate and stainless steel surfaces has cut his cleaning time in half. Graham has more time to spend with his family and more money in his pocket because he decided to invest in his farm.
The decision to change and embrace new technology can be a difficult one for many farmers who value traditions and the ways of their fathers and grandfathers. Farming is a business that doesn’t change very fast but for those that take the leap of faith, the rewards are rich and plentiful.