Dairy Focus Blog
- Published: 16 January 2018
During the milking process in any dairy, there are a substantial number of factors which can influence the risk of mastitis infections.
The Countdown Farm Guidelines and the supporting Countdown Technotes describe these factors very well, and also how to measure and assess them.
It takes a reasonable amount of time to conduct all the necessary assessments during milking, and it may not always be possible to complete all the tasks in one milking – especially if it is a relatively short milking or there is only one adviser conducting the assessment.
- Published: 12 December 2017
Split calving and long lactations have become the norm in much of our industry now, so it was a bit of a surprise when we were contacted recently by a farm in Gippsland that is strictly seasonal, meaning the whole herd is dried-off and milking ceases completely over the dry period until calving starts.
As part of our normal process, a history of Bulk Milk Cell Counts (BMCC) for the last two years was obtained for this herd and then charted with a trend line included.
- Published: 06 November 2017
Recent milking time visits to a number of different dairy sheds have reminded me that “normal” means different things to different people.
Cup removal is always an interesting part of the milking routine to observe – in both manual and automatic systems.
- Published: 05 October 2017
“I culled the 10 highest cell count cows and the cell count didn’t change – not at all!”
Leon* was frustrated – very frustrated!
He milks about 300 cows in Northern Victoria with a spring/autumn split calving system, and I could hear the frustration in his voice.
Leon supplies a processor where the premium payment threshold for Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) is 250,000 cells/ml. The farm has been constantly in and out of premium band for a couple of years now, and nothing he has done has solved the problem.
- Published: 05 September 2017
It is only a tiny part of your milking plant, and it can sometimes be very unobtrusively placed, but it is critical to the ability of your milking plant to function correctly.
Naturally this tiny part of your plant is the claw air admission hole.
- Published: 26 July 2017
It really shouldn’t have been this dry - after all, it was the last week in June and it was Gippsland!
In fact, the only problem we had as we walked across the designated calving paddock on that day was the icy wind which was intent on going through anything in its path rather than around it!
The paddock was a great choice for calving - it was close to the house as well as to the dairy yards and facilities, plus it was well drained, with a clean pick of pasture.
- Published: 11 July 2017
Most of the spring calving cows have now been dried-off and will be enjoying their “annual holiday”.
This is an ideal time to pause briefly, reflect on the dry-off and consider whether any adjustment to the calving management strategy might be beneficial.
Given the difficulties of this season, all costs have been closely scrutinised and treatment cost at drying-off has been no exception.
As a result, some farms have needed to compromise at dry-off in terms of cost.
- Published: 13 June 2017
I never really liked 2036.
She was the wild one as a calf. Then as a heifer she had a “spooky” look in her eye and she was always the one who went the wrong way when trying to get a mob through a gate.
After having calved she caused our sharemilker some grief trying to break her in, so it was no surprise that when it was my turn to milk at the weekend, he warned me to “be a bit careful” with her.
Both Saturday milkings had been uneventful, so maybe my guard was down, but on a cold frosty Sunday morning, she got me with a well-timed and savage kick, flush on my frozen fingers.
As tears welled up in my eyes, I muttered “That’s it, you’re gone!”, but probably using a lot more colourful language and at high volume!