About CowTime

CowTime is a national dairy industry project aimed at making milking easier. It encompasses milk harvesting research and extension from when the cows leave the paddock for milking right through to cleaning up the milking shed. CowTime examines each step of the milking process to ensure the facilities, cows and milking practices are working well together. In many cases a simple change in milk harvesting practices can make a big difference to milking productivity and lifestyle.

Who is CowTime for?

CowTime is for anyone who wants to take an objective and professional look at their milk harvesting processes and investigate ways to make it better. In any given year, we believe about 1000 dairy farmers plan to upgrade their milking systems and face the complex task of assessing the options. CowTime can guide them through this process and assist them with the decisions involved.Other farmers may want to make the most of their existing facilities without major investment by looking at ways of doing things differently. CowTime helps them assess their current milk harvesting practices and identify opportunities for improvement.

  What we do

CowTimes goal is to make milking easier and more productive for Australian dairy farmers. We provide the skills, information and support farmers need to make and implement decisions to improve their milk harvesting processes.

  • CowTime is designed so that farmers can tailor their involvement according to their own needs. We offer assistance at several levels.

  • CowTime 'Milking Monitor' - a remote (fax or web-based) assessment service based on your own farm data.

  • CowTime Shed Shake-up - a field day with a difference, combining: ideas from technical experts, a farm visit and the opportunity to talk to dairy equipment suppliers.

  • Dairy Decisions - an interactive CD ROM based on the original CowTime three day course. This CD will help you to reach a decision about which options to choose for your future milk harvesting needs, working in your own home at your own pace.


  • Save Time - reducing milking time by 20 minutes will save about 5 hours a week or 20 hours per month. Milk more cows or have more time to do other things.

  • Save Hassle - simplifying milking can make it safer, less stressful and make finding extra labour easier too.

  • Save Money - milk harvesting costs on Australian farms vary widely from 3.8 to 8 cents/litre of milk. A saving of just 1 cent/litre will significantly improve farm profitability, saving farmers $108 million annually.

  CowTime Program

CowTime initially takes farmers through an exercise to assess the performance of their existing milk harvesting system and compare it with industry standards. This benchmarking exercise is the first step to identifying your options for improving your current system. Farmers choosing to go into more depth can then develop a plan to improve their own milk harvesting process using the CowTime decision-making framework. We'll take you through the process of planning changes for financial, lifestyle and infrastructure benefits. CowTime helps you work out achievable performance targets and the facilities and labour resources needed for your chosen system. Farmers have access to reliable information and the opportunity to get answers to their technical questions.

CowTime has produced a range of information packages that can be used as a reference during the decision-making process. These include:

  • CowTime Milking Monitor benchmarking service

  • CowTime Guidelines (for farmers)

  • CowTime Quick Notes (fact sheets on specific topics)

  • CowTime Dairy Decisions CD ROM

For more information about CowTime, download the PDF here

CowTime Project
Department of Primary Industries, Victoria
1301 Hazeldean Road
Phone (03) 5624 2222

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