Twice a day


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Implementing shorter intervals Managing a long morning milking

Changing to shorter twice-a-day (TAD) milking intervals allows you to redesign your day and achieve a better work-life balance. The traditional TAD milking intervals in New Zealand have been 10-14 hours, leading to long workdays. The page explains that research shows no significant difference in milk production with different intervals. By implementing shorter intervals, you can plan with your team for better rest time and fewer mistakes. Techniques like using automatic cluster removers and applying MaxT at the morning milking can increase efficiency without impacting production or quality, resulting in a more manageable work schedule.

Changing to shorter TAD milking intervals allows a redesign of the day, and better work-life balance.

Approximately 90 percent of farmers utilise twice-a-day (TAD) milking strategies at some point during the season.

In New Zealand, the traditional TAD milking interval has been 10-14 hours, milking at 5am and 3pm. However, this leads to long days, particularly if your herd and dairy size result in milkings of longer than two hours.

Research has demonstrated that milk accumulation in the udder is almost linear for up to 16 hours post-milking, so there is no significant difference in milksolids production between the different intervals.

Implementing shorter intervals

Work with your team on a plan that works for everyone, whether that be a sleep-in, earlier finishes, or a bit of both.

It’s important to make sure other non-milking jobs important for the farm are not affected.

Reducing the length of the day will likely result in improved rest time and fewer mistakes.

Managing a long morning milking

With an 8-16 hour milking interval, about two-thirds of the milk will be harvested in the morning, which can result in a long milking.

If you have ACRs (automatic cluster removers), increasing the pulsation ratio may be a simple solution to increase the rate of milk harvest without impacting udder health. Check with your local plant service provider if this may be suitable for your farm.

Another approach, whether you have ACRs or not, is to use a maximum milking time (MaxT herringboneMaxT rotary), which will help optimise  efficiency without impacting production or quality.

Applying MaxT at the morning milking gives the greatest efficiency gain due to the greater volume of milk to harvest. The overall aim is to shorten the slowest 20% of the herd at the morning milking.

Last updated: Sep 2023

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