Ensuring a lag time of 60-90sec between initial stimulation and putting the milking unit on has brought significant benefits to Tiverton farmer Stephen Radford.

Speaking at one of the event’s seminars, vet Andrew Biggs of the Vale Vet Group explained how failure to get this lag time correct could result in “start-stop” milk flow.

Although a cow may start milking, this would often be followed by a period of “dry milking” where cows would commonly shuffle in the parlour.

Lag time was one of several areas addressed in Mr Radford’s herd of 160 Holstein Friesians when mastitis and new infection rates were identified as a problem.

“We were seeing big variation in time between initial stimulation and cluster attachment from 20sec to 3.45min and similar variation between cluster removal and post-spray,” said Mr Biggs.

Mr Radford of Buttermoor Farm explained: “We are now splitting the parlour into two lots of five, so we are spraying five and wiping five.”

First touch to unit attachment is now 45sec to two minutes and mastitis rates have dropped considerably following several improvements on farm. This has resulted in cost savings of more than £7,000 a year.

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