Manawatu farmer Kevin Buckman was experiencing ongoing cup slip issues before experimenting with lightweight milking liners in his three herringbone sheds.
According to DairyFlo, they take extra care when making purchases for the farm.
Seamus Walshe installed Quthane milking liners from DairyFlo at the start of the 2019 season.
DairyFlo says the product is made from 20% recycled raw materials and at the end of its useful life it can be crushed down and reprocessed.
Industry best practice requires milking liners to be changed every 2500 milking cycles which would amount to over 400 tons of rubber being dumped in New Zealand per annum.
Seamus has used DairyFlo previously at another farm, and after seeing the product again at National Fieldays, with the added benefit of the company offering to recall and re-use all used product at the change of the season, he decided to fully equip his shed.
DairyFlo says all his decisions are made considering these important issues of sustainability and industry responsibilities.
“The product is slightly lighter weight than rubber but not quite as soft, but the staff have adapted to the change and we’ve had no issues,” said Walshe.
“Our milk quality is excellent and we’re maintaining a low cell count. The machinery was tested straight after the first week of installation and everything is perfect.
“I see this as a great step forward for dairy, and it’s great to see NZ manufacturers taking recycling seriously and closing the loop of continuous land fill disposals.”
DairyFlo says its liners are sent back to the manufacturing plant in Napier, returning the product back into the production stream.
“Other products include soft clip-together work mats which are great for use in calf trailers or at the base of the pit. Any small innovation to reduce waste and improve workflow is a benefit to the dairy farmer,” the company said.
“You have to look at the big picture. Too many manufacturers are involved in new technology and changing trends, but do they care enough for what happens to their products when they end their useful life?”
Teat cup liners
The teat cup liner is the only component of the milking machine that comes into contact with the cow’s teat.
It has a large influence on milking performance, udder and teat health.
Benefits of the right selection and maintenance of teat cup liners include:
Improved animal health: ensures teats are not damaged leading to issues with mastitis.
Increased milking efficiency: the right liners will help to ensure clusters stay on and cows are not slow to milk.
Reduced stress on animals: ensure the liners are not causing pain which will lead to cow discomfort and animal handling issues.
A good teat cup liner will:
Provide an airtight seal at both ends of the shell
Provide a mouthpiece and barrel of a size that will fit a range of teat shapes and sizes, minimising liner slips and cluster falls and damage which can lead to mastitis
Milk out as quickly and completely as possible, minimising teat congestion, discomfort, and injury
Be easily cleaned.
• Source: DairyNZ