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South Australian farmer recognised for outstanding milk quality

South Australian farmer recognised for outstanding milk quality

Rodney Herrmann has been receiving milk quality awards for years, but his high production standards have been decades in the making.
Farmers and cows

Dairy Australia's Cups On Cups Off courses have helped Rodney and his staff keep up with the latest techniques to maintain high milk quality.

In the 2018 Australian Milk Quality Awards, Rodney was in the top five per cent of producers. The awards recognise the farms with the highest milk quality in Australia.

'It's a nice surprise, but we do tend to do the right thing', said Rodney.

Doing the 'right thing' means a strict dry cow regime that keeps udder health at a high level. For Rodney, a vet's visit back in the 1970s to the family's Mt Torrens farm acted as a wake-up call for stricter protocols on farm.

'I remember the vet came out and tested every cow and said that we have a problem with resistance to certain antibiotics', he said.

'After that, we changed the dry cow paddock, eliminated mud around the dairy, got cement raceways, tried to calve in clean paddocks ' all those sort of things.'

Maintaining high milk quality has been assisted by participation in Cups On Cups Off workshops, which help dairy farmers achieve best practice in milk harvesting.

The Cups on Cups Off courses are two-day training workshops delivered by Dairy Australia's Regional Development Programs and trained experts in mastitis and milk quality.

They help dairy farmers achieve best practice in milk harvesting, with emphasis on the detection, treatment and prevention of clinical mastitis.

'My staff have done the course and I did some of it a few years ago', Rodney said.

'It sharpens all of us up a bit so we don't get slack with things.'

Rodney said the course has improved the way he runs the milking routine, with a greater emphasis on finding the sweet spot between under milking and over milking.

'The other thing I've learnt is to have a good rest phase in your pulsation', he said.

'We've changed pulsators so we are getting a better rest phase. We've gone to cup removers now which helps with that.'

To register for the next round of Cups On Cups Off courses, contact your local Regional Development Program.

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