Jerry Volenec and his wife, Jennifer, farm 1,000 owned and rented acres and milk 350 Holstein cows in a limited liability company with his parents, Charles and Marilyn Volenec, near Montfort in Grant County, Wis. Jerry is the fifth generation of his family to farm at Hardscrabble Farms.
In 2000, the Volenecs were milking 130 cows in a double- eight milking parlor. By 2010, they had increased their herd to 199 cows. In 2013, they expanded their parlor to a double-12 and their herd to 350 cows. Jerry Volenec was looking for a better way to detect when his cows were in heat. He also wanted to determine when a cow was sick with mastitis, ketosis or other ailments, and to know if a cow was eating or not.
After meeting with representatives from SCR, Volenec chose to purchase the SCR Heatime HR-LD System, which monitors cows’ rumination and activity. Each cow wears a collar that transmits activity and rumination data from anywhere on the farm a few times every hour. The system provides real-time health monitoring and up-to-date heat detection reports. “We needed a computer management system,” Volenec says. “The only thing we had at the time was AgSource DHIA. Almost all of our cows were being bred through timed AI, and we wanted to get away from that.” Their herd was averaging 25,515 pounds of milk per cow in 2013. “We were looking to boost our milk production and take our herd to the next level,” Volenec says. Four years later, their herd average has increased to 32,597 pounds of milk per cow