How often do you, as a manager, evaluate what’s happening in the parlor?

“Many successful producers would argue that spending at least a few minutes every day in the parlor communicating with employees is among the most profitable and productive time spent managing the dairy farm,” says Roberta Osborne with Michigan State University Extension.

This is one of several key factors that you can use to assess your farm’s milk-prep process. Here are eight more questions to consider:

1. Are all milkers trained in the prep procedure established for your farm?
2. Are cows stimulated for at least 20 seconds?
3. Is teat dip left on the teat for at least 20-30 seconds before wiping the teat end dry?
4. Is an effort made to clean and dry the teat end specifically?
5. Is machine attachment occurring within 60-90 seconds after teat stimulation begins?
6. How often are employees retrained?
7. Is there a written standard operating procedure for milking preparation posted in the parlor?
8. Do you focus on fore-milk stripping, which is the practice of removing two to three squirts of milk from each quarter during the milk-prep process?