The milking parlor is the heart of the dairy operation, says David Bray, University of Florida extension dairy specialist.

“What happens there determines the profits or losses of the dairy. In order to have an efficient milking operation every shift or every day, everyone involved must perform their job to the standard set by the dairy, hopefully with input from the employees,” he says.

To help milkers monitor their progress, Bray suggests the following:

  • Post milk quality reports from milk plants where every shift can see them.
  • Post consistency of milking times and cows milked per hour where all employees can view the results. The same goes for milk yield, milk per shift and milk per hour data. This enables people in every shift to see how they perform compared to their goals and to the other shifts.
  • Check teat pre- and post-dippers for sand, dried manure and bedding. If pre-dippers fill up with sand or manure and bedding, it indicates that stall management is not as it should be. If post-dip cups are dirty, it shows that pre-dip milking prep is inadequate.
  • Check inside of the top of milking unit liners. If they are full of sand or manure, then the pre-milking process is not being done. More towels and effort are needed to get cows clean, says Bray.
  • Save milk filters when they are changed. Filters should be observed by both management and milkers — display them on a pipe or kept for a day in a clear, sealed plastic bag. If full of gargot, dirt, bedding and so on, everyone can see and improvements can be made. Filters should be changed after each herd in large herds and in hot weather, every couple of hours to prevent bacteria from growing on the filters, recommends Bray.

For more on milk quality in the parlor, click here and go to page 3.

Source: University of Florida