One of the leading indicators of a good milking procedure is meeting the industry standard for two-minute flow rate. This metric indicates the amount of milk letdown within the first two minutes of milking. During the November 17 Hoard’s Dairyman DairyLivestream, Michigan State’s Roger Thomson shared the benchmark they recommend for their producers.
“The goal has always been at least 50% of the entire milking event harvested in the first two minutes,” he said during the webcast sponsored by Diamond V. “Some of the impacts on that percent in the first two minutes can come about by how the prep is being done, not just if it’s a bimodal milkout or not. The longer the letdown delay, the greater the amount of milk not harvested.”
Cornell’s Paul Virkler uses a very similar two-minute flow rate goal. His team typically suggests cows produce 15 pounds (3x milking) or 18 pounds (2x milking) within the first two minutes of milking.
This benchmark isn’t only important for farmers counting on a milk check to support their businesses, but it also matters to cow health. Thomson shared a recent research study that detailed the importance of extended stimulation time during preparation to two-minute milk flow rates.
“We did a randomized crossover controlled trial,” shared Thomson. “What we did was look at two different groups. One group had both forestripping and wiping; the other group just had wiping. We kept the lag time constant at 90 seconds. The difference is forestripping plus wiping, which took a total of 16 seconds of manual stimulation versus the other group that just had wiping for seven seconds.”
Cows that had the extended stimulation time saw greater two-minute milk flow rates, healthier teats, and shorter unit-on time.
To watch the recording of the November 17 DairyLivestream, go to the link above. The program recording is now also available as an audio-only podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and downloadable from the Hoard’s Dairyman website.
An ongoing series of events
The next broadcast of DairyLivestream will be on Wednesday, December 8 at 11 a.m. CST. Each episode is designed for panelists to answer over 30 minutes of audience questions. If you haven’t joined a DairyLivestream broadcast yet, register here for free. Registering once registers you for all future events.