With strain on dairy farmers mounting to chop the carbon footprint of their operations and enhance efficiencies amid a backdrop of labour challenges, know-how has the potential to assist all three areas.
The Dairy Group lately carried out unbiased area evaluations of latest know-how on business dairy farms, primarily based round enhancing three key areas of the milking routine:
- Cluster presentation
- Utility of teat disinfectant post-milking
- Bettering cow consolation throughout milking and growing milking effectivity
See additionally: 6 methods to enhance udder well being in automated milking methods
Ian Ohnstad, milking know-how specialist at The Dairy Group, explains: “The aim of those evaluations was to search out out do they [the technologies] work and do they do what they are saying on the tin.”
1. Cluster presentation
Cluster presentation is concerning the clusters hanging squarely beneath the cow, with even weight distribution on all 4 quarters.
Unsatisfactory cluster presentation can result in quite a few milking points together with uneven and/or incomplete milking.
Tech on trial
- Lactalign cluster assist machine
The machine was put in on a 72-point rotary parlour and assessed over eight weeks, with an preliminary analysis undertaken previous to the set up.
Evaluation standards targeted on eight factors: milk yield (measure of completeness of milking), milking velocity, milking period, variety of slips, variety of kick-offs, variety of reattachments, mastitis incidence per quarter and cow behaviour.
Mr Ohnstad says there have been no measurable variations to take advantage of yield, velocity or circulate charges and milking period additionally remained unchanged with the cluster assist machine.
Nevertheless, there was a 59.6% discount in liner slips when the machine was used. In addition to this, the machine noticed 47% fewer kick-offs.
In addition to, and aside from, assist units, there are additionally a number of small issues farmers can do to enhance cluster presentation.
These embrace guaranteeing the lengthy milk and pulsation tubes are an acceptable size and that clusters will not be twisted throughout attachment, says Mr Ohnstad.
2. Put up-milking teat disinfectant
Guaranteeing efficient disinfectant is utilized to the teats after milking is integral in serving to minimise the chance of mastitis, in addition to being helpful in conditioning the teat pores and skin.
In apply, this includes both dipping or spraying teats, nonetheless, analysis has proven that teat protection averages simply 50% when sprayed, in contrast with 95% when dipping teats.
Tech on trial
- Ambic’s Find’n’Spray platform-mounted teat spray system
- Peacock Expertise Clever Dairy Answer (IDS) teat spray robotic
The platform-mounted spray system was used to disinfect teats as soon as the milking cluster was eliminated and teat protection (as a proportion) was assessed, in addition to how a lot product was wanted to allow good protection.
With a stability wanted to be discovered between good protection and the quantity of disinfectant product used, the trial appeared particularly on the relationship between spray period and chemical consumption.
It discovered the optimum interval is 2 sprays lasting 0.5sec every.
At this spray period and frequency, teat finish protection averaged 100% and teat barrel protection averaged 89%. Chemical consumption totalled about 36.8ml.
The teat spray robotic was analysed to additional have a look at the connection between teat protection and product consumption.
With a product consumption of 30ml a cow, teat finish protection averaged 89%, whereas teat barrel protection averaged 73%.
When the consumption was doubled to 60ml a cow, teat finish protection elevated to 96% and teat barrel to 86%.
Researchers then appeared on the influence tail trimming may have on efficiency of the robotic, because of the unit counting on a digital camera to detect the teats and repair the spray location.
They discovered that on cows with trimmed tails, a 30ml a cow consumption charge resulted in 95% teat finish protection and 81% barrel protection – a major enchancment.
At a consumption charge of 60ml a cow, teat finish protection was elevated to 100%, whereas 94% of the teat barrel was coated.
“The very clear guideline in my thoughts is that if you happen to’re contemplating this type of robotic, trim the tails,” advises Mr Ohnstad.
3. Cow consolation and milking effectivity
A cow that’s snug will milk out faster and utterly, enhancing total milking effectivity.
The largest driver for growing milking velocity at cow stage is to extend vacuum stage. Nevertheless, this will additionally result in a rise in teat congestion, discomfort, teat ringing and incomplete milking.
Tech on trial
- ADF Milking InVent system – a system that employs variable air admission into the liner mouthpiece chamber when the vacuum will increase above 20kilopascals (kPa). A vacuum above this charge could cause injury to teats.
- DeLaval Circulation Responsive milking system – a system that adjusts vacuum stage relying on milk circulate charge on a per cow foundation.
The InVent system was trialled on three business farms to evaluate post-milking teat situation. The teats have been scored after milking for teat base ringing, congestion and color.
The rating was primarily based on a scale of 1 to a few, with a rating of 1 which means no proof of change in teat tissue and a 3 which means vital change.
In contrast with non-vented methods, whole cows receiving a rating three for ringing, congestion and color have been all lowered considerably with the InVent system.
The Circulation Responsive milking system was put in on a 72-point rotary parlour and monitored for 12 months.
The system works by growing and reducing vacuum relying on circulate velocity all through the milking, enabling quicker milking at peak circulate intervals, with out inflicting injury to teat situation.
The info revealed a median milk circulate improve of 8.1% and a discount in milking time of 41sec a cow the place the Circulation Responsive system was used. In addition to this, it didn’t trigger teat congestion.
“All of those examined applied sciences provide the potential to enhance milking efficiency with out compromising cow consolation and teat situation.
“If teat congestion could be managed at a better working vacuum stage, then milking velocity will improve,” believes Mr Ohnstad.
Whereas the know-how on trial isn’t an exhaustive reflection of what’s out there, it does spotlight a number of the potential innovation and the way helpful this might be for dairy farmers, says Mr Ohnstad.
He provides: “We have to recognise that the surroundings we’re working in is altering and embrace a few of these new applied sciences. However, on the similar time, they have to be uncovered to rigorous evaluations.”