Aug. 3 2022 03:06 PM

Ground-breaking technology responds to the natural milk flow from the cow, saving time and improving animal welfare

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

DeLaval, a global leader in dairy innovation, introduced Flow-Responsive™ Milking, a new technology that adapts the applied vacuum to the milk flow profile of each cow, reduces milking times by up to 10% and supports good udder health and animal welfare.

DeLaval developed the first successful vacuum-operated milking machine in 1917. With the launch of Flow-Responsive Milking, DeLaval has created a new standard for precise and efficient milking.

“The vacuum level is normally set to compromise between the risk of over-milking when milk flow is lower, and under-milking when the cow has more milk available than the compromised vacuum level can extract,” said Dr. Carl Oskar Paulrud, Dairy Development Director at DeLaval. “With the traditional one vacuum level system, the speed of the milking process is limited by the vacuum and stimulation settings of the system, rather than the cow’s genetics or available milk.”

Improved farm efficiency and udder health

"The ability to adjust vacuum levels means that Flow-Responsive Milking can speed up milking and give clear benefits for udder and teat health," said Steve Shea, Solution Manager, Milk Harvesting at DeLaval. "This can truly improve the efficiency on farms. Over 40 million milkings have been performed with flow-adjusted vacuum and the unit-on time has been reduced by up to 20 seconds per milking."

MVP Dairy, LLC of Celina, Ohio added Flow-Responsive Milking to its DeLaval rotary more than a year ago as a reference farm for the new technology. Brock Peters, General Manager at MVP Dairy, says the flow-adjusted vacuum has increased flow rates in their herd of 3,850 cows by around 5% and decreased forced detaches by a third.

“Flow-Responsive Milking has helped us milk out our cows more effectively and efficiently,” said Peters.

Recent studies also confirm the advantages of the Flow-Responsive Milking approach.

“A milk-flow-controlled vacuum, being an increased vacuum during peak milk flow, results in a higher milk flow and therefore shorter milking duration, thus supporting good udder health,” wrote Dr. Doug Reinemann, University of Madison-Wisconsin, in a 2021 study published by the Journal of Dairy Science.

DeLaval Flow-Responsive Milking with flow-adjusted vacuum is available for rotaries and parlors with DeLaval Delpro™. New sensors and regulator valves, plus special software, allow them to respond to the actual milk flow of each cow and adjust the level of the vacuum accordingly. The vacuum monitoring and notifications are presented in the new DeLaval Alerts application, allowing milking systems equipped with Flow-Responsive Milking to be monitored remotely.

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