Training frequency and the presence of a written milking routine have the biggest influence on the number of cows milked per hour per operator.

Think you can save time and increase parlor throughput by skimping on milking procedures? Think again, says Pamela Ruegg, University of Wisconsin extension milk-quality specialist.

Data from more than 100 Wisconsin herds indicate that frequent milker training and written milking protocols actually improve parlor throughput and reduce clinical mastitis cases. The study shows that when a complete milking routine was combined with frequent training, parlor throughput was 52 cows per milker per hour — much better than the 35 cows per milker per hour achieved by farms with an incomplete routine and no training.