Jeff Balmer's farm features 2 A4 Robots in a unique "L" Shape barn design.
Q. How long have you been milking in your 2 robots?
A. We are in our sixth year with the Lely Robots. The calf born the day before we moved everyone into the barn is now dry with her 4th calf on the way around Thanksgiving Day.
Q. What is your favorite part about milking with robots?
A. Consistency---same procedure no matter who is away from the farm. We are able to see more of our children's activities than our previous milking schedule would have allowed.
Q. What considerations went into your robot setup?
A. It matches the way we think. Enables us to work with any special needs cows at the head locks and allows the majority to freely come and go at the feed rail, stalls and robot.
Q. How have the cows behavior changed from before robots to after?
A. Cows are still cows, but they are calmer and like being on their schedule.
Q. What is your biggest tip for other robot farmers?
A. Be willing to trust the cow and the reports.
Q. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
A. Perhaps take a longer look at a compost pack for the special needs end of the barn, or even the entire barn.
Q. What is your favorite report in T4C and how do you use it?
A. I'm not sure about a favorite report, but I like a few of them for various reasons. The rumination graph shows cows to pay close attention, the heat list for cows to breed, udder health, production, robot efficiency.