Todd Tuls owns two dairies in eastern Nebraska: Double Dutch Dairy near Shelby in Polk County and Butler County Dairy near Surprise. Double Dutch Dairy broke ground in 2005, expanded in 2006, and currently milk 4,400 cows/day. Butler County dairy began operations in 2008 and currently milks 6,000 cows/day in a state-of-the-art facility. Tuls has always had a keen interest in the business and enjoys the challenge that comes with managing such a sizable operation. When the decision was made to move to Nebraska, it was the consistent access to affordable feed that sold Tuls on the move. With the number of cows milked at both operations, the quality and quantity of feedstuff is important. Tuls partners with area producers to supply him with feed such as corn, corn silage, soybean meal and alfalfa. Nebraska’s extensive irrigation system allows for this consistent feed, and now the growth of the ethanol industry offers greater access to co-products such as distillers grains. “A drought in other states will lower the quality and quantity of feed, but in Nebraska, irrigation allows you to work around such extremes,” Tuls says. In addition, nutrients are distributed to the fields from the on-site lagoons, increasing overall crop productivity in the area.
(Photo courtesy of Nebraska Dept. of Ag)