Devices used by automated milking systems are similarly accurate in estimating milk yield and in collecting a representative milk sample compared with devices used by farms with conventional milk recording

Claudia Kamphuis, B. Dela Rue, S.A. Turner, S. Petch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Information on accuracy of milk-sampling devices used on farms with automated milking systems (AMS) is essential for development of milk recording protocols. The hypotheses of this study were (1) devices used by AMS units are similarly accurate in estimating milk yield and in collecting representative milk samples compared with devices used by certified milk recording providers on farms with conventional milking systems (CMS) and (2) devices used on both AMS and CMS comply with accuracy criteria described by the New Zealand Standard and by the International Committee of Animal Recording (ICAR). Milk recording data from 5 AMS farms were collected during 13 milk recording test days between December 2011 and February 2013. Milk yield was estimated by ICAR-approved milk meters on AMS units. Milk samples were collected over a 48-h period and submitted to an off-site certified laboratory for milk composition analysis. Data were also collected manually from 5 to 10 cows per AMS unit; a complete milking of a cow was weighed to serve as gold standard for milk yield, and 3 milk samples per cow milking were collected and analyzed in the laboratory to serve as gold standards for milk composition. A similar procedure was used during 6 milk recording occasions with devices used during conventional milk recording at a CMS research farm. Farm type, breed, season, and region did not appear to affect accuracy of devices used on AMS units. Milk meters used by AMS units complied with ICAR limits in 12.5 and 25% of the milk recording test days for test bucket weights between 2 and 10 kg and for test bucket weights >10 kg, respectively. These percentages were 52 and 42%, respectively, for devices used on CMS. Analyzing all samples as one milk recording test day, 1.4% fell outside the 20% difference band for AMS compared with 1.1% of the milk samples for CMS. Devices used by AMS complied with ICAR in 73% of the milk recording test days for fat percentage, compared with 42% of the milk recording test days by devices used at the CMS farm. When analyzing all milk samples as one milk recording test day, 3.5% of the milk samples fell outside the 99% ICAR limit for AMS compared with 17.2% of the milk samples for CMS. Applying the ICAR standards for fat percentage to crude protein percentage and SCC, devices used on AMS were accurate in estimating crude protein percentage but not in estimating SCC. Thus, devices on AMS units did not comply with national nor ICAR standards with regard to milk yield and fat percentage. However, devices used on AMS were similarly or more accurate compared with devices used during conventional milk recording. It is proposed that devices used on AMS units, when calibrated regularly and when set up according to the manufacturer’s instruction, have similar or improved accuracy compared with CMS devices. Because the New Zealand industry accepts data from devices currently used by certified providers for milk recording on CMS farms, results imply that the AMS devices should also be permitted to be used for milk recording.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3541-3557
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume98
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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