Automatic Dipping and Flushing machine

By: Barbara Gillham


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The award-winning Automatic Dipping and Flushing System was introduced to New Zealand farmers last year.

Automatic Dipping and Flushing machine
Automatic Dipping and Flushing machine

Milking 850 cows on their 487ha Feilding property, Stephen and Mary Barr had been looking for a solution that would improve teat spraying and help eliminate an ongoing problem with mastitis. Stephen believes the Automatic Dipping and Flushing System (ADF) system has achieved this.

"It's excellent, it's simple to use and it works. Since we began using it we have just about eliminated mastitis, something that was a major problem. I would certainly recommend the system to anyone; ADF does what it says it will," he says.

Since that first installation ADF is now on four farms in New Zealand and plans are underway for two more installations shortly, one on a farm in Taranaki and another in the Waikato.

To date, feedback has indicated farmers using the ADF system are impressed and pleased with its performance and the ease with which it is installed.

Earlier this year an ADF system was installed onto the property of Gert and Hermain Van't Klooster's farm near Waimate.

Originally from Holland, the couple have been farming in New Zealand for 22 years and on their current property for 16.

Milking approximately 800 cows in his 70-bale rotary shed, Gert Van't Klooster had been looking for a way to control mastitis, which he said was a "big problem" and the main reason he invested in the ADF system.

Although it is early days and too soon to draw any conclusions from results so far, overall he is pleased with its performance and has already noticed a reduction in mastitis.

"We have had no problems with installation and no problem with its operation since; it's working well."

Based in the UK, ADF Milking has been operating since 2004. The system, designed to disinfect the teat immediately after milking and sanitise the cluster between cows, had already proven itself popular with farmers overseas and was being used on many farms throughout Europe, the US and Canada before its introduction into New Zealand and Australia last year.

The introduction of this new technology led Fonterra to request testing be carried out.

A study, commissioned by ADF, was conducted by Dairy NZ's lead research technician John Williamson to evaluate milk quality entering the bulk milk. Tests were run in two sheds on the Barr's farm, one using the ADF milking system, the other equipped with an automated raceway system.

In giving approval for the installation of the ADF automated dipping and flushing systems, Dave Smith, Fonterra's regulatory programme manager, says both Fonterra and NZFSA were comfortable for the installation of ADF milking systems on Fonterra milk suppliers' farms.

Toby Green, director of ADF Milking New Zealand, says gaining Fonterra's approval for the ADF system was important, and allows New Zealand dairy farmers who supply Fonterra to benefit from this award-winning technology.

"We look forward to working with Fonterra over the coming years to monitor the ADF system's ability to help farmers reduce mastitis and improve the efficiency of the milking routine on farms throughout New Zealand," he says.
At the world Mastitis Conference in Christchurch last year, Ian Ohnstad, a leading international dairy industry consultant with UK Company The Dairy Group, presented a paper on the ADF system to attendees.

Ohnstad explained some of the reasons why dairy farmers would decide to invest in technology such as ADF. These included expected improvements in herd somatic cell count (SCC), reduction in new mastitis infection rates and improved efficiency in the milking routine.

In his introduction he said any improvement in the efficiency of the work routine could lead to a reduction in overall milking time and less stress on the operator or the release of time to concentrate on other essential elements of the routine.

He quantified the potential efficiency gains that can be achieved by fitting ADF from results of a time and motion study that had been carried out in the UK, which showed a marked reduction in milking time after the installation of the ADF system compared with traditional post-milking routines that can be time consuming and often prone to human error.

It saves milking time and improves herd's health by automatically applying dip (emollients and sanitiser) to cow's teats immediately after milking, then automatically rinsing and disinfecting the teat cups in preparation for the next cow.

Ohnstad said thanks to the perfect timing of the ADF System, which immediately protects the open teat canal by sanitising it after milking, the risk of infection is greatly reduced and cross-contamination between cows is controlled, showing a marked reduction in the incidence of mastitis.

The study showed farmers using the ADF System were saving money, and spending less time treating mastitis.

Recognising that all farms are different, the system can be easily installed in any type of milking shed between milkings, minimising disruption to daily farm routines.

To meet growing demand in New Zealand for its award-winning milking system, ADF Milking New Zealand has appointed Craig Kelly as its New Zealand technical sales manager.

There has been a noticeable increase in interest shown by NZ farmers since the system received the "green light" from Fonterra earlier this year. In February, ADF was awarded the Innovation Award at the Australian Dairy Conference, held in Busselton, WA. The judges were unanimous on both criteria for the award - its innovation value, and its potential economic value to dairy farmers.

For more information about the ADF system contact Craig Kelly, ph 0800 ADF MILK (233 645) or email craig@adfmilking.com.

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