Some dairy farmers are turning to automation as a solution to the on-going difficulties in finding and keeping milking staff.
An increasing number of dairy farmers are milking large herds with a single operator, aided by automation such as automatic teat sprays and automatic cluster removers.
In many cases, automation can save a whole labour unit in the dairy as well as removing human error.
CowTime’s David Klindworth explains that automatic teat spraying must be set up to achieve complete teat coverage as it reduces mastitis in the herd by up to 50%.
"Correct application requires time, attention to detail and is often poorly done on many farms," said Darold.
To disinfect a teat properly the entire surface of every teat must be sprayed every milking for at least three seconds per teat per cow.
"Automatic spraying may only do 70% of the job that good hand spraying does, or it may be 50% better than poor hand spraying."
"It depends on how well it is suited to the individual dairy and how well it is set up and maintained.
There are three main types of automated solution, on platform spraying, exit race spraying, and spraying within the teat cup. The best type will depend on your individual situation.
"Regardless of the type of automatic spray system, the key to success is regular maintenance," said Darold.
For more information refer to the CowTime Guidelines (p 70-71, 103 and, 201)