One farmer’s battle to get ‘ground current’ out of his barn

‘It’s worse than a barn fire,’ says dairy farmer Allan Erb. ‘With a barn fire, you get to start over. This, you can’t start over. It’s 24/7. It never quits.’


Waterloo Region dairy farmer Allan Erb has gone to extraordinary lengths to get what local electrical consultant Lorne Lantz calls “ground current” out of his barn.

With somatic cell count (SCC) averages exceeding 500,000 in milk from Erb’s 36 cows, Dairy Farmers of Ontario threatened to cut off his milk pickups. There were bleeding sores on cows’ legs, blood samples with cortisol that indicated stress, and no explanation from a veterinarian that the cause was water or feed. Erb held the marketing board at bay by prematurely culling the highest SCC cows.

Better Farming - October 2010