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Technology can test more than milk fat from the same sample

A researcher says the ways farmers can analyze milk on the farm are changing.  Brownfield’s Larry Lee has the story.

Dr. David Barbano

Food science professor Dr. Dave Barbano with Cornell University told a group of dairy farmers and nutritionists that farmers need information, not just data to make herd management decisions.  His vision is to develop new tools for milk analysis in individual cows, and not just herd averages from bulk tank readings, so farmers can make better decisions.

Barbano says some tools already exist for measuring fatty acid composition in milk, and he says the hardware already exists to get much more information.  “This machine will run 50-70 samples per hour for all of the main components… fat, protein, lactose, MUN (Milk Urea Nitrogen), and all of the fatty acid parameters in the same length of time that it could give you the fat test.  It’s all in the software.”

By knowing the breakdown of what is in each cow’s milk, he says it will be easier to determine if there are issues with mammary production versus rumen digestion.

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