DIXON’S CORNERS—Within a couple of weeks, a new business called DairEquip in South Dundas Township will feature DairyMaster milking equipment, and several other farm-related services.
In addition to providing new DairyMaster equipment through its Manitoba-based Canadian distributor Moo Corp, (Dairymaster’s head office is in Co. Kerry, Ireland), the business will service all makes of milking equipment.
"The equipment is geared to parlours, but we have tie barn equipment as well," said Bill Hoftyzer, one of three partners who bought property on 10933 Cook Road, hoping to transform an old dairy barn into offices, a driving shed into a warehouse, and to create a thriving business with their considerable skills.
With a combined total of 89 years experience, the three owners have considerable knowledge when it comes to dairy equipment and serving farmers.
Hoftyzer is a sanitation specialist who has been involved in the dairy industry for 20 years; John Verhoeven has 45 years expertise in dairy equipment, water treatment, refrigeration and parlour installation, and Ron Leeman, has 24 years in dairy equipment installation and service. He also has experience in water softening.
With these varied skills, the partners will be offering these other services according to their speciality.
When they acquired the 10-acre property in October, they looked for an alternate source of heating its buildings and decided on wood stoves. In the process, they also became dealers for Heatmor outdoor wood furnaces.
Leeman described the advantages of Dairymaster systems, as offering "complete milk-out, reduced milking time, elimination of slippage and improved teat ends. These are the milking principles of our equipment, both low and high end. These are the main differences with other systems."
One problem in other milking systems is ‘high teat end vacuum’, which is reduced by this system, said Leeman. "If you’re milking down, during the rest phase, teat end vacuum actually does damage to the teat end. With Dairymaster, the teat end vacuum drops during the rest phase, enough to hold the unit on. As a result you don’t do nearly the damage to the teat end you would on a normal system."
Hoftyzer said farmers can buy a simple parlour system with no weighing devices or automatic detachers or a complex system with computerization.
"You can go for any type of automation for the parlour if you want. It’s up to the farmer, what his budget allows."
According to Hoftyzer, the equipment is ‘fairly economically priced. It’s a little different style of milking cows. A lot of farmers are expanding, but the economics don’t always allow. And there’s quite a different philosophy as far as milking goes. The prep routine is becoming a major issue, particularly in places where they have hired help. The owners may not necessarily milk the same as the hired help and vice versa. The cow is a creature of habit. If they’re not prepped the same, they’re not going to milk as well over a period of time and the somatic cell count goes up. With Dairymaster, prep routine is still important, but not as important."
Modern Dairymaster features include swing over arms, which save on labour by using less units to milk the same number of cows. Another device is automatic identification, in which a passive ear tag is attached to a cow, which sends a signal to a reader which passes the message to a computer.
"It’s one way of measuring the amount of milk a particular cow gives in that particular milking," said Hoftyzer.
"Automatic identification is not new to this area, but fool-proof automatic identification is new. The other thing is, the ID tags are only a few dollars each as opposed to $75 or $100 a piece."
In addition to selling new Dairymaster equipment, the business will offer sanitation supplies for milking equipment, udder hygiene, and other farm-related products such as baler twine.
While they are still working on renovating the buildings, in a couple of weeks, the partners will be bringing in equipment and chemicals and at that time, will be fully ready for business. In the meantime, they can be reached for emergency service to existing milking systems, at 613-652-1211.