Dairy Focus Blog
- 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!
- Published: 19 May 2017
Drying-off for the spring calving cows is now fast approaching.
Not only is drying-off a significant investment in both dollars and effort, it is usually the single biggest opportunity to make a difference to an individual cow’s infection status as well as the overall herd’s mastitis status, and it is also vitally important in helping to prevent new mastitis infections at calving.
- Published: 26 April 2017
I should have been expecting the phone to drop out, but it still came as a surprise when it did!
It drops out every time we approach Cape Clear, a small community midway between Ballarat and Lismore in the Western District.
Unfortunately, I was mid-sentence on the phone to Paul when it happened.
You may remember Paul from a couple of months ago – his was the large farm where Staph aureus (Staph) had been causing cell count and mastitis issues.