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Tactical use of once-a-day milking to reduce daily workload in early lactation

Dairy specialist, James Dunne, joins Emma-Louise Coffey on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast to discuss the key learnings from the recent Once-a-Day milking conference.

He discussed Dr Emer Kennedy’s report on the OAD experiment at Teagasc where cows were compared on fulltime OAD, fulltime TAD and short-term OAD. For cows on OAD for the first 4 weeks of lactation, daily milk solids were 20% lower while full lactation milk solids were 10 kg lower compared to TAD cows. On average, OAD milking reduces total daily milking time by 30%.

Meanwhile, Don Crowley explained that 60% of incidence of high SCC or mastitis originate during the dry period. Don encourages farmers to take action now to minimise risks, that cows are in correct BCS, cows are fed adequate dry cow minerals, cubicles are clean and dry and the milking parlour is serviced before the start of lactation.

James also explained the concept of ‘10 in 7’ (10 in 14 milkings), a new milking frequency farmers are using on farm to reduce labour input. In practice, cows are milked TAD on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with milking times of 7 am and 4 pm and OAD on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday with milking time of 10 am.

For more episodes go to the Dairy Edge podcast show page.

The Dairy Edge is a co-production with LastCastMedia.com