Making Decisions Regarding the Balance between Milk Quality, Udder Health, and Parlor Throughput
Milking Parlor Efficiency
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AbstractAs today's dairy industry consolidates, cows are being milked more rapidly through larger milking parlors on larger dairies than ever before. Because milk is the primary commodity and source of income for producers, the harvesting of milk is the single most important job on any dairy. Producing high-quality milk to maximize yields and economic value requires effective parlor management, an enormous challenge for producers. Managing large parlors includes managing labor, milking equipment, as well as monitoring and evaluating parlor performance. Decisions concerning the milking center are some of the most complicated decisions a dairy producer has to make. Milking procedures, herd size, milking interval, the milk market, and the equity position of a producer influence these decisions. Producers will have to make the following decisions before they can select or develop management protocols for a milking parlor: 1. How many cows will be milked through the parlor? 2. What milking procedure will be used (minimal or full)? 3. If a full milking routine; how much contact time do you want (strips per teat)? 4. Which milking routine will be used (sequential, grouping, or territorial)? 5. Are you willing to train teams of milkers to operate large parlors?
Series/Report no.University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Publication AZ1340
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