Short communication: Increasing the teatcup removal settings of the last milking quarter did not reduce box time in a pasture-based automatic milking system
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CitationP.Silva Boloña, D.J. Reinemann, J. Upton, Short communication: Increasing the teatcup removal settings of the last milking quarter did not reduce box time in a pasture-based automatic milking system, Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 104, Issue 1, 2021, Pages 532-538, ISSN 0022-0302, https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2020-18464.
AbstractThis research followed our previous experimental and simulation work on the effect of different teatcup removal settings based on the rolling average milk flowrate and on milking duration at the quarter and udder levels. The aims of this experiment were to (1) quantify the differences in quarter milking duration in a pasture-based automatic milking system and (2) test the effect of increasing the milk flowrate at which teatcups are removed on the last milking quarter on udder milking duration, box time, milk production rate, and somatic cell count (SCC). Milking duration is an important component of efficiency and profitability in conventional and automatic milking systems. Additionally, quarters within an udder have significantly different milk yields and milking durations. This study used data from April to May 2018 of a pasture-based automatic milking system to evaluate quarter milking duration differences between quarters of an udder. Subsequently, we experimentally evaluated the use of 2 percentage-based teatcup removal settings applied to the last milking quarter (i.e., the last quarter with a teatcup still attached) on milking duration, box time, milk production rate, and SCC. The teatcup removal settings were at 30 or 50% of the last quarter's rolling average milk flowrate, while the other quarters remained at the 30% level. The selection of the quarter that would receive the more aggressive teatcup removal setting was determined by identifying the last quarter with a teatcup attached in every milking. Sixty-nine cows were divided into 2 groups that each received 1 of the 2 treatments for a 1-wk period and then switched to the other treatment for a second week. For the months of April and May 2018, quarter milking duration was significantly different between the quarter with the longest and the second longest milking duration within an udder. The quarter with the longest milking duration was milked on average 49 s longer than the quarter with second longest milking duration. However, in 36% of the milkings, the quarter with the longest milking duration was different from that of the previous milking. In the experimental part of this study, we saw no differences in milking duration, box time, milk production rate, or SCC between the 30 and 50% teatcup removal setting applied to the last milking quarter. Further research on using a variation of this percentage-based setting to target the quarter with the average longest milking duration or using an absolute milk flowrate switch-point or a maximum milking duration setting on the last quarter for reducing cow milking duration and box time is warranted.
FunderTeagasc; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship
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