Save time in busy season

16 September 2008

Dairy farmers are coming up to a busy time with mating, harvest and many herds heading for peak milk production. CowTime’s, Darold Klindworth has a simple tip for saving precious time in the dairy without compromising milk production or quality: don’t wait for slow milkers.

"It’s not worth be waiting an extra two minutes for half a cup of milk, worth less than 10 cents, and that milk would be picked up at the next milking anyway," he said

"You just need to know the Maximum Milk Out Time (MMOT) for your herd (see below)."

"What this means is that the cups should be removed from any cows still milking after the MMOTs to prevent them holding up the rest of the herd.

Research conducted by the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria showed clearly that taking the cups off at MMOT saves time without affecting milk production, quality, mastitis or somatic cell count.

"In addition we monitored about 20 case study farms who implemented the MMOT and most saved about 15 minutes a milking with no affect on production or quality," said Mr Klindworth.

CowTime recommends using a basic timer for a few milkings to get a feel for the slow cows.

"If you prefer, you can make an exception for elite performers but in most cases, the high yielding cows have faster flow rates, so can meet the maximum time.

Calculate the MMOT for your herd

Your herd’s MMOT depends on the milk production per cow. CowTime’s MMOT calculator is available on this website.  Alternatively you can use Darold’s rule of thumb, described below.

If cows are producing more than 20 litres a day, the MMOT is half the milk production (in minutes).

For example, cows averaging 26 litres per day have a MMOT of 13 minutes (half of 26).

If cows are producing less than 20 litres per day, the MMOT is two thirds the production (in minutes).

For example, cows producing 15L/day have a MMOT of 10 minutes (two thirds of 15).

For more information contact: CowTime, ph 03-5624-2222

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