Lely’s robotic milkers take dairy farmers high-tech – VIDEO
SOUTH HAVEN, Minn. — A lot has changed in the 70 years Janski Farms has been operational. Everything but one building has been expanded, converted, newly constructed or upgraded to keep up with the times. And that includes the milking process, the SC Times reports.
Rich and Marlys Janski, third-generation farmers, were able to create a sustainable milking operation of 220 cows with the assistance of hired help. But when their long-term employees decided to retire in 2013, Rich Janski said he having a difficult time recruiting milkers.
“My vote was to quit dairying,” he said.
Janski said dairying for him came second, following his 4,000 acres of crop farming – corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, oats, alfalfa and grass hay. Without hired help, it would be virtually impossible for him or his family to keep up the operation.
But giving up the cows did not sit well with his sons Thomas, now 24, and Daniel, now 22.
After much discussion, the Janskis decided in August 2013 to invest $1.5 million to convert their barn into a parlor capable of housing four Lely Astronaut A4 robotic milkers. Rich Janski said the family also invested $10,000 in technology prior to debuting their new milking process on Jan. 6, 2014.
The family has not looked back.
Video and photo courtesy of Lely.