There have been lots of articles and discussions around the country around the benefits of OAD milking, and the Dairy Exporter recently did a focus piece on it.
Whilst many argue that the production levels reduce too far, others say that by the time you account for the reduced expenses (for example reduced labour costs, reduced animal health issues/costs), the better mating results, and the fact that it can offer a much better work/life/family balance, the bottom line looks the same if not better.
In fact, due to its growing popularity, LIC are now introducing a OAD index for people looking to improve their OAD herd.
Some interesting figures were highlighted in the Dairy Exporter, which showed that after being OAD for 3-4 years, the production was extremely close to what it had been when running a TAD system, and combined with a lower cost structure meant farm businesses could make a greater profit.
So what do you think? Is it something that "all" farms should consider? Or only "some" farms/situations? Would going OAD negatively affect the value of the land, or the herd?
Hmmm ok so is 16 hours the way to go? I can't help but wonder about the effects on the people (it's kind of like long-term shift work isn't it, it can play havoc with your body clock) but I know some people who did it all last season and it worked well - they felt they had a bit more free time.
Interestingly, DairyNZ research says that "Milking cows three times every two days (~16 hour milking interval) will not reduce milk production unless dry matter intake is also reduced"
I presume that's in comparison to a 2AD milk production level? I would have expected a small drop in production (as theoretically, the more frequently a cow is milked, the more milk they produce).
Does anyone else do 16hr milkings? Either all season or at the end of the season?
I've also noticed heaps of farms doing 16hr milkings all year round as they reckon they get similar benefits of OAD but with better production.
Lots of farms that I know are looking at OAD, but they are all owner/operators on difficult farms. I don't know of many well set up farms that would do it when they are just as profitable with a TAD system.