New ideas and ways of doing things better allows the cow barn to be a very efficient farming option, by contributing to the bottom line through savings and increasing income.

The wintering shed/cow barn was firstly seen as a positive means of wintering the dairy herd while eliminating the on-going challenges and costs of wintering their dairy herd. Using a cow barn means the dairyman can eliminate many costs and risks associated with traditional dairy herd wintering practices.

With the dairy herd at home of the pasture the dairyman can better manage the dairy herds health and condition, and eliminate the inherent risks and costs of off farm grazing and the associated  transport costs, while extracting more value by further utilising their own plant and equipment. Preserves the pasture and soil structures from pugging and removes the costs of pasture remediation and risk of surface water run off for environmental compliance by collecting the valuable effluent. And with the dairy herd being fed on permanent surface in a dry environment, winter feed waste is almost halved. But things are changing.

Now farmers are looking at the cow barn as means of directly producing milk. Because the dairy cows are staying on the farm the dairyman can milk into the shoulders of the milking season therefore optimising their farming opportunity as producers of milk.

As New Zealand dairymen learn how to better manage their cow barns they are further utilising there investment, with this is a shift in performance expectations from the cow barns and the cows inside them. Typically the dairy herd is housed upto 3 months, this is increasing to 4-6 months, which equates to an increase in use of 30% -100%; and even longer in some cases as the cow barn provides a means to increase milk production.

So now the cow barn is being seen as part of the milk production system, verses a highly functional stand-off pad, and this creates a different set of farming expectations in terms of performance from the cow and barns performance. And if the cow barn is not set up correctly for the cows benefit, this extra use can have dire consequences on your dairy herd and the up and coming season’s production. The cow barn is an opportunity to recharge the dairy herd for the best production results possible in the following season.

If you are considering a cow barn for your farming business, it pays to look at the opportunity from all farming angles. With your new insight now consider the best building options that can best support your unique farming situation. With the right barn design and building you are increasing the maximum value from your long term investment.


Call AGRIPRO to discuss barn planning and building options today on 0800 48 36 36.