Farmer/owner: Klass & Brigitte de Ridder
Farm location: Dronten, The Netherlands
Farm name: de Ridder
Herd: 100 Holstein Friesians
Milking system: Fullwood Merlin
Date of installation: February 2008
The de Ridder family were forced to move from their existing farm due to the construction of an artificial outdoor ice skating circuit – not a common problem in the UK but not so rare in The Netherlands!
On their old farm they had a 2×3 tandem parlour but the move meant a discussion was necessary about which type of milking system they would install on the new farm and which supplier they would choose.
Their decision to choose two Fullwood Merlins was based on several factors; the relationship with the dealer – Landbouwmechanisatie van der Weerd, the reliability and look of the product and the many benefits of the Crystal software that is used in conjunction with the Merlin robot.
In order to house the 100 herd, the de Ridders constructed a purpose-built shed with the two Merlin robots in the middle.