Increased take-off level in automatic milking systems - effects on milk flow, milk yield and milking efficiency at the quarter level

J Dairy Res. 2019 Feb;86(1):85-87. doi: 10.1017/S002202991800078X.


This research communication describes how different detachment levels (0.48, 0.3 and 0.06 kg milk/min) at the quarter-level affect milk flow profiles and overall milking efficiency in automatic milking systems. We hypothesized a higher detachment level would result in greater mean flow rates without affecting the volume of harvested milk per cow during 24 h compared to lower detachment levels. The data suggest milk flow decreased to a rate below the overmilking limit within the 6-s delay time required for termination in all treatments, but the duration of overmilking was shorter for the greatest detachment level compared to the other treatments. We conclude that setting a detachment level at a greater milk flow rate reduces the duration of overmilking without affecting the amount of milk harvested when applied to cows in mid-lactation during quarter-level milking. We also suggest that the steepness of the decline phase of the milk flow curve might have a larger effect than the actual detachment level on the duration of overmilking.

Keywords: Dairy cow; detachment level; quarter level milk flow curve; quarter level milking.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Dairying / instrumentation*
  • Dairying / methods
  • Female
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Mammary Glands, Animal
  • Time Factors