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Conclusions

Lactalign was independently tested and verified by milking expert Ian Ohnstad. He leads The Dairy Group team of milking technology specialists. His work with more than 100 clients around the world helped him win the 2021 Farmers Weekly Livestock Adviser of the Year award.

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Smoother, more efficient milking

“Lactalign cluster supports produce a measurable reduction in liner slippage, kick-offs and manual re-attachments. All of these factors will lead to smoother, more efficient milking.

 

Although it was not possible to demonstrate any improvement in milk yield or milking speed, the reduction of mastitis cases in the front quarters was considered to be highly significant, bring the numbers in line with rear quarter cases.

 

Running an evaluation on a commercial dairy farm, rather than a controlled study, where external factors can be controlled, can make the identification of real effects more complicated. However, in light of the re-distribution of index mastitis cases during the course of the evaluation, it would be reasonable to use this as a proxy for evenness of miking.

 

The robustness and simplicity of the device is attractive with no reported breakages of failures during the evaluation. On-going maintenance and service costs appear to be minimal.

 

It was quite clear during the evaluation that some care is required when utilising the device to achieve the maximum benefit. Care is required to ensure the long milk and pulse tubes are the correct length, the pipes are not twisted, the tubes are rested in the correct notch with the ACR cord sharing the same notch or the notch below. Some initial input in terms of staff training should be expected.

Although the device was evaluated on a rotary abreast parlour, it could be adapted to operate satisfactorily in most modern milking parlours.”

Ian Ohnstad

Along with being an internationally recognised specialist in milking technology, Ian is the Chairman of the British Mastitis Conference and is on the Board of Directors of the National Mastitis Council in the USA. He is an active member of the Central Mastitis Review Group and sits on the AHDB Dairy Mastitis Control steering group.