Tony Marshall

Recycled milk filters have become a daily essential for improved milk hygiene on a South Taranaki dairy farm – but not in the way you might think.
Lower order sharemilker Tony Marshall and his team use the discarded filters to clean all the rails in their 30 aside herringbone after morning milking.

It’s part of a daily scrub down routine that includes the walls as well as other surfaces.

“We like to keep things pretty clean,” Tony says, and that includes washing the cups and jetters by hand every day as well.

In recent seasons, those cups have been fitted with VacPlus Square milking liners from Skellerup. Tony moved away from traditional round milking liners because he wanted to try something new, and found the unusual design of the VacPlus Squares seemed to suit the cows better.

“They seem to milk the cows out differently. The teats fit into them better, and the cows seem to be more comfortable with them.”

Milking 310 Jerseys on 105ha at Normanby, his focus on maintaining high standards of hygiene and milk quality has meant 13 seasons without a single grade, and also a history of relatively low bulk milk somatic cell counts (BMSCC).

“We generally run between 80,000 and 100,000 all the way through the year, and we keep a close eye on it.”

Teat spray is mandatory every milking, and is also applied when cows are treated with dry cow therapy. The alkaline wash is recirculated through the milking plant twice a week, and acid wash is also recirculated after two-thirds of it has been dumped, giving it more time to kill bacteria in the plant.

Rubber ware is changed twice a year, and any components that start to look perished outside this schedule are replaced as soon as possible, “especially when the payout is low.”

Last season the herd produced a total of 98,500kg milksolids off grass, hay and summer turnips.

For more detail and advice on VacPlus Square milking liners from Skellerup ask your local rural retailer today or visit www.dairybestpractice.co.nz

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