New milk test finds cow data

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FIRE FEATURE -

A NEW method of mea­sur­ing milk could of­fer dairy farm­ers a whole range of in­for­ma­tion on their cows.

Mid-in­frared, or MIR tech­nol­ogy, uses a beam of light to pass through a milk sam­ple which could po­ten­tially give in­for­ma­tion on a cow’s fer­til­ity, health, en­ergy bal­ance, meth­ane emis­sions and feed ef­fi­ciency – all from a sin­gle test re­sult.

Dairy farm­ers could use the in­for­ma­tion to man­age their herds, in­clud­ing culling and se­lec­tion de­ci­sions.

MIR anal­y­sis has been re­searched over the past three years in Aus­tralia after pre­lim­i­nary work in Europe. The MIR for Profit project, backed by the Ru­ral Re­search and De­vel­op­ment for Profit pro­gram, looked at how MIR tech­nol­ogy could be used by dairy farm­ers to im­prove the man­age­ment.

Jen­nie Pryce, prin­ci­pal re­search sci­en­tist with LaTrobe Univer­sity said the three-year project could turn herd test­ing “on its head”.

“Herd test­ing gives in­for­ma­tion on fat, pro­tein and cell counts.”

RE­SEARCH: Dairy cow per­for­mance and health can be de­ter­mined through a new milk test us­ing MIR tech­nol­ogy.

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