Kiwi milking parlours come to Canada

Look for more Canadian milk to be passing though Kiwi-made milking parlours in the years ahead.

That’s according to New Zealand-based Waikato Milking Systems’ CEO Dean Bell, who brought his company to Stratford, ON, this month to exhibit for the first time at the Canadian Dairy XPO.

The New Zealand dairy industry currently supplies one-third of dairy products traded internationally, with about 95 percent of the country’s production heading to export markets. “About half of that milk goes through a Waikato milking machine,” says Bell who notes that the company celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

Canada is an attractive market for the expansion-minded Waikato. Currently, the world is awash with milk and producers are struggling in major producing countries such as the U.S. where many farms are fighting to survive through tough times as fluid milk production outpaces consumption. “By contrast, in Canada, it has a better optimism around it,” says Bell. “There are smaller dairies that are growing. The dairying environment is still difficult but there’s enthusiasm here and its an open, welcoming market.”

In this video interview with RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin, Bell explains that he sees similarities between the two countries and believes Waikato technology, especially its parlour systems, are an excellent fit for expanding Canadian dairy farms.

“The New Zealand market has gone through rapid expansion – the average herd size is now about 450 cows,” says Bell. “What we see across North America and all the developed dairy nations is the increasing size herds and that’s opening up opportunities for good rotary systems and that’s a real claim to fame for us. We’re specialists at it.”

The company prominently displayed its Centrus G3 rotary parlour at CDX. It features a composite deck that’s 75 percent lighter and eight times stronger than concrete, explains Bell. “We are the only company in the world who has been able to perfect it, we’re the only company that does it. We believe it will be the next evolution of rotaries.” He adds that new technology delivers longevity and low maintenance – two features Bell and his team will be using to establish the Waikato brand in Canada.

Click here for more Canadian Dairy XPO coverage.

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