May 2017 Newsletter

Milk Price, SDAS Update, Quality Milk Suppliers, Carbery Shares, Correct Cluster Removal, Efficient Milking

18 May 2017

Milk Price

The milk price for April is unchanged at 33.08 cpl (150.22 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including Summer Somatic Cell Count (SCC) bonus of 0.5 cpl, SDAS bonus of 0.15 cpl and VAT at 5.4%.

The average price paid for the month is 34.30 cpl. This is based on the average butterfat of 3.82% and protein of 3.34%, including SCC, SDAS bonuses and VAT.

SDAS Update

Suppliers who have yet to complete their first SDAS audit are reminded that the July 1st deadline is fast approaching. Any supplier that has not completed their first audit and achieved certification by July 1st 2017 will incur a penalty of 5.0 cents per litre on their milk supply each month until SDAS certification is achieved.

For each supplier completing their first audit; the main points are:

  • Remedy usage records up to date for 3 months pervious the date of your first inspection
  • Biosecurity sign at the entrance to the farm / yard
  • Clean dairy & parlour
  • First aid kit
  • Milking machine test report
  • Herd book up to date or access to the department website

Anyone requiring any assistance or who is ready to have their inspection should contact Darren Lynch/ Tim Regan.

Quality Milk Suppliers

The top three milk suppliers nominated for the 2016 Carbery Milk Quality Awards by Drinagh based on Butterfat, Protein, T.B.C., S.C.C. results are as follows:

  • Liam & Dolores O’Donovan, Clohane, Skibbereen
  • Robert Deane, Derrygareen, Skibbereen
  • Noel & Derek Jagoe, Toughmacdermody, Drinagh

We congratulate the three finalists on their remarkable achievement of consistently producing top quality milk.

The overall winner of the competition will be announced next month.

Carbery Shares

The trading window that suppliers can sell Carbery shares closes on the 31st May 2017. Each share is now valued at €3.51.

Correct Cluster Removal

‘Break, wait, twist and drop’………the key steps in taking clusters off cows. It’s crucial that clusters are not pulled off under vacuum, as this creates air impacts. Air impacts contribute to teat-end damage, and can drive potentially bug-laden milk up the teat canal, leading to new cases of mastitis.

Be patient - don’t yank off the clusters!

  1. Break-use the button on the claw bowl, or kink the long milk tube to break the vacuum
  2. Wait! 1-2 seconds
  3. Twist-Gently twist the cluster 30-60? - this helps to make sure that all 4 liners release at the same time
  4. Drop - clusters should then drop freely off the teats

Efficient Milking

Cluster handling is given very little attention considering the important role it has to play in milking efficiency, mastitis prevention and cow comfort.

Clusters that are hard to remove or are not releasing correctly are a sign that the equipment is not working properly. If this is happening, make sure that buttons on the claws are working correctly and check air admission holes regularly.

It is very important to consider your own health too. Too many milkers suffer repetitive strain injuries (RSI) such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, from years of putting on and taking off clusters incorrectly. How you ever stopped to think how many times in your milking career you will put clusters on cows? And how many times you’ll take them off?

When cupping cows, remember to:

  • minimise air admission
  • alternate hands for both sides of a herringbone to avoid RSI and muscle/tendon over-use
  • hold the cluster in one hand and apply all the cups in a “round-the-circle” fashion. This is an efficient and milker-friendly way of cupping cows.

“Round-the-circle”cluster attachment

Use the right hand to put the cups on the right hand side row of cows (facing the exit) because it is easier to reach through the back legs.

  1. Holding the clawbowl in your left hand,
  2. reach over the left arm with your right hand, to put on the left back cup,
  3. then left front,
  4. then right front,
  5. and finally right back