Editor's update: During the very final planning stages of the Mlsna East Town Dairy project in Cashton, Wis., the Mlsna family decided it was best for their operation to significantly increase cow numbers at their new facility. As a result, reassessment of the automation that GEA Farm Technologies recommended was in order. 
The increased cow numbers put the total cows per hour needing to be milked over the 400-cows-per-hour threshold that the robotic rotary technology can support at this time.
Therefore, to best meet the new goals of the operation, while incorporating automation features to help reduce labor and increase efficiency, GEA Farm Technologies will install an 80-stall AutoRotor PerFormer CX360 rotary parlor equipped with a FutureCow™ teat prepping device and Apollo™MilkSystem automated post-dipping and backflush system. 
The DairyProQ fully automated robotic rotary parlor will officially be launched in the first part of 2015 in selected key markets.
In late August, GEA Farm Technologies broke ground on the installation of DairyProQ, a milking system allowing farms to install individual, fully automatic robotic milking stall modules on a rotary parlor. The installation of the 72-stall DairyProQ rotary parlor is occurring at Mlsna East Town Dairy, Cashton, Wis.

While DairyProQ prototypes and pilot farms have been seen before in Europe, none is of this scope or size, and the Mlsna installation will be the first in North America. Expected completion date is March 2015.

The overall project includes the new rotary, a new 1,300-cow cross-ventilated freestall barn, and the addition of a new calf barn with automated feeders. The current double-12 parlor will remain for fresh and special needs cows.

Each stall unit on the DairyProQ rotary has its own robotic arm, and is designed to completely automate the entire milking process. Teat cup attachment, teat prep (including pre-dipping), fore-stripping, stimulation, the milk harvest process, and post-dipping are done in-line, in one single attachment. The unit is automatically removed and backflushed between milkings to sanitize the clusters between cows. Special needs cows can be milked on a semi-automatic, manual basis if required.

Mlsna East Town Dairy is owned by Nick Mlsna, his wife, LeAnne, and parents, Dennis and Barbara Mlsna. For the Mlsna family, the technology will bring a labor solution to the herd, which plans to expand from 900 cows to 2,000 cows with the rotary installation.

“We’re glad that we’ll have the consistency factor down with cows being milked and handled the same way every time,” said Nick.

Visit www.gea-farmtechnologies.us for more information.