A device that records milk letdown rates can be a powerful teaching tool. 

The LactoCorder meter measures milk flow every 0.7 seconds and graphs the progress. “I like to see milk flows well above 7 pounds per minute with peak flow,” says Mark Thomas, veterinarian in Lowville, N.Y.

The graphs can be used to show milkers the value of forestripping and other techniques, Thomas says. With forestripping, you often get rectangular-shaped graphs, depicting a steady rise to peak milk, a plateau, and then a dropoff as the cow completes her milking. Bi-modal graphs, on the other hand, suggest less-efficient milking and longer unit on-times. (See graphs at right.)

Ask your milk-quality consultant if he uses LactoCorder. The device costs approximately $3,400. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Quality Milk Production Services at (607) 255-8202.

The rectangular graph (upper right) shows efficient milking. A bi-modal graph does not.