The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Reliability and functionality remain at the top of the list for those moving their family farms from hobbies to long-term business ventures in North America.

“We are seeing many farms grow in size. They’ve found ways to be more professional and that has a lot to do with better management,” said David Potter, Head of Sales Support & Operations in North America for Waikato Milking Systems.

“Those groups of dairy farmers are looking at optimization and that’s where we believe our Centrus Composite Rotary Milking System can play a big part in their development.”

The Centrus is unique to Waikato Milking Systems. It is made from composite material which means it’s much lighter and structurally superior than traditional concrete or steel rotary milking systems.

“It’s easier and more precise to install and when you are talking about a rotary, establishing a perfect center is critical for the longevity of the system.

“It’s design and lightweight features means there’s less wear and tear on components and over time that translates into fewer maintenance costs for the lifetime of the system.”

The deck of the Centrus is resistant to chemicals and effluent and is very easy to clean.

It operates very quietly providing a stress-free environment for the animals. Rubber mats on the deck further reduce noise and also increase cow comfort.

“All of our customers using our Centrus systems are large family-owned farms and most definitely some of them I would consider to be large commercial operations.”

David said the Centrus is more than just a rotary platform, it’s a complete package which can be scaled up or down with technology options to suit the needs of each individual farm.

“People understand the value of technology but they also want a milking system which is easy and simple to use and that’s what we can deliver with the Centrus.”

Automation paired with the Centrus can make all the difference to increased productivity and optimization of a farm’s daily operation.

It’s especially important now that dairy farms are expanding but finding labor to match the increased activity remains a major challenge.

“A rotary can ease that problem around labor but when you add automation to the equation, that’s when you really get to see the benefits.

“Adding automation like SmartD-TECT has a big impact on reducing labour, you’d be removing one or two people from the process at milking time.”

SmartD-TECT, also uniquely designed by Waikato Milking systems, eliminates the need for fore-stripping, offers pre-milking stimulation and udder health detection in one unit.

“Automatic cup removers have been used in rotaries for a long time but we’ve seen that farmers have come to recognise the durability of the cup removers designed by Waikato Milking Systems.

“They are very robust and last much longer than others on the market.”

David said the company’s pulsation systems had also proved to be a popular automation choice in North America, when coupled with the Centrus.

“It’s not often talked about but if you give a dairyman a choice of pulsators, they will always choose the Waikato Milking Systems pulsators.

“They are easy to service, reliable, experience no loss in vacuum or power and are just really well designed and engineered.”

David said the major automation drawcard yet to be played is the Waikato Milking Systems Electronic Milk Meters, which provide a total milking profile of each animal.

“People are talking about the Waikato Electronic Milk Meter, in anticipation in North America, they’re all waiting for the meters to be ICAR approved.

“Once that happens I think you’re going to see some strong interest in that part of our milking automation offering.”

Automatic teat spray systems also help cut back on labor and David said the company’s on-platform spray arm, powered by TeatWand and the WalkoverSPRAYER were the options of choice in North America.

“The WalkoverSPRAYER was launched recently and it is already proving very popular with strong sales recorded.”

David said automation was a big part of the Centrus story and there is a great deal of interest in seeing the technology operating on working farms around North America.

“People know our brand and they are watching us with interest. We are building a great portfolio of customers, many of them now milking using our Centrus systems.

“We have a lot of new technology but we’re also mindful that people like the simplicity of a milking system.

“We’re not trying to make something that is difficult for people to use, we like to bring it back to basics but with good quality equipment that anyone can use to get the best results for their business.”