Milk quality seminar
Over 160 farmers attended the milk quality seminar held in Nenagh last month. Our three speakers David Gleeson, Pamela Ruegg and John Penry are leading researchers in the fields of milk quality, mastitis and milking machines.
David Gleeson gave a thorough presentation on wash routines and minimising residues in milk. Detergents should have less than 3.5% chlorine in order to minimise the risk of chlorine residues in milk. The most common wash failure on farms identified by Gleeson was the shortage of water used for the rinse cycle. 15L of water per unit should be used per unit for the rinse cycle. The use of peracetic acid was also advocated as an alternative steriliser to chloras.
John Penry discussed the intricacies of liner performance and design. Milking liner performance is a compromise between milking speed, gentleness (on the teat tissue) and completeness of milking. Highlighted on the night were some of the important physical characteristics of liners and their impact on teat health including mouthpiece opening diameter, depth of mouthpiece chamber, bore diameter
Global markets demand the supply of high quality milk and dictate what must happen at farm level. Pamela Ruegg, Dairy professor at the university of Wisconsin highlighted that SCC on farms in the US has reduced significantly from >300 to less than 200 between 1995 and 2015 as a consequence of global market demands for milk with low SCC. In contrast annual SCC in Ireland has remained between 250 and 300 for the same period. No longer restricted by quota, Irish suppliers will have to strive to supply milk with lower SCC in order to complete on a global scale.
Milk quality awards were also presented on the night to 21 suppliers. Each supplier has successfully managed to keep their SCC below 150 all year round. Congratulations to all the suppliers that received milk quality awards on the night.