Care with milk teat spraying urged
Since concern about milk quality has become a topical subject, every facet of milk harvesting operations is being scrutinised.
Teat spraying is one such area.
Suppliers with Rotary platform sheds that have teat spray systems that spray while the cow is on the platform must have an automated system to eliminate or minimise the risk of cows being sprayed while still being milked.
This is necessary to comply with Fonterra’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) to protect the future of Dairy Food production in New Zealand.
Fonterra’s Food Safety Technical Advisor Paul Dixon said: ‘‘Fonterra’s position is based upon Fonterra’s interpretation of current regulatory and RMP criteria and any obligations for the harvesting of milk for all intended markets.’’
Teat Sprayer Innovator and Developer David Carey has identified two high-risk areas. Firstly, cows that do not finish milking in the first revolution of the platform are sprayed with the teat cups on.
Although there would be a short period for the spray to dry there is still the possibility that the residue may brush on to the teats of the following cow as they are cupped.
Secondly, cows that have kicked off their cups before being milked out and are retained on the platform are re-cupped after having been teat sprayed on the first revolution. Fonterra requires these sprayed cups to be washed in compliant water and sprayed teats washed and dried before being re-cupped.
Freeriding cows can be accidentally recupped after being sprayed by machine or hand.
This will especially pose a greater risk if the freeriders are freshly calved colostrum cows and the milk harvester is inexperienced.
Everybody knows that these cows have swollen udders which look as if they have not been milked out.
Staff at this time of the year are often exhausted from dealing with on-thefarm calving demands which can also contribute to the problem.
Any farmer who is spraying cows on the platform whether by machine or hand is at risk.
Machines spray every cow regardless and the capacity for human error is high in a repetitive job like this.
The only fool-proof solution is to spray cows after they have left the milking platform.
Mr Carey said: ‘‘For farmers who already have their sheds set up for platform teat spraying and don’t want to make a change we have developed a device that interrupts the signal to the teat sprayer, causing it not to spray if the cow is being retained on the platform for any reason. This can be retro-fitted to most existing automatic systems that have a cow retention apparatus.’’
This device has been developed in response to Fonterra’s concerns regarding keeping farmers compliant with Animal Products Regulations 2005, while retaining a high standard of milk quality that is acceptable the world over. All systems need to fit within these regulations, with no compromise in reliability and performance.
‘‘Ultimately teat spraying in the exit race using a system such as the WETiT QD0 is the answer to compliance issues because it sprays cows that have left the milking environment and have no risk of being recupped,’’ Mr Carey said.
As a leader in dairy food production New Zealand has an obligation to its consumers both in New Zealand and in our international markets to pursue the best quality of milk products.
Fonterra is setting a high standard and we as a country need to support them.
Care on milking teats urged
In action: A teat spraying system.