Farmer/owner: Anthony Grills
Farm location: Bude, Cornwall
Farm name: Trelay
Farm Herd: 300 Friesians
Milking system: Fullwood 50pt Rotary Abreast
Date of installation: April 2015
Three years after his Cornish dairy herd was decimated by bovine TB, Anthony Grills has rebuilt his business and is reaping the cost and time saving efficiencies afforded by a new rotary milking parlour.
In 2011, Anthony started to build a new dairy housing complex to accommodate the farm’s growing herd. The 330 milking cows moved into the new cubicle sheds in October 2012, only for the herd to have its first positive TB test the following week.
“We lost almost the entire milking herd to TB,” Anthony describes. “Culling almost two thirds of the herd was devastating for the business’s cashflow and meant we had to shelve phase two of our planned expansion project”.
Since those first TB reactors, the herd has remained clear of the disease. With the herd getting back to its pre-TB size, the milking parlour – a 20-point tri-bone system dating from 1987 – once again became the farm’s limiting factor.
Anthony set a target of at least 200 cows per hour going through the parlour and eventually settled on a 50-point Fullwood rotary parlour, “largely because of the aftersales and servicing support offered by the team at Fullwood South West.”
The parlour was commissioned in April 2015, almost two years after Anthony had originally hoped. “We were fortunate that despite the huge delay caused by TB, Fullwood were willing to honour their original quote. As soon as I told them we were back in a position to install the parlour, they prioritised our job and helped us to get up and running as soon as possible.”
“The new parlour has released a lot of man-hours which are now spent more productively on other areas of cow management. We’ve got more time available as a team to work with the cows rather than being stuck in the parlour. That bodes well for when we finally get the herd up to my target of 500 cows.”