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New in-line milk analyser monitors real-time milk quality and provides early detection of metabolic disorders


Leading UK milking equipment manufacturer, Fullwood Limited, has today announced the official launch of a new in-line milk analyser which not only monitors real-time milk quality, but can also provide users with an early warning of metabolic disorders and mastitis within cows in the herd.

The new Crysta Lab milk analyser is now available for use with the Merlin 225, Fullwoods automated milking system.  Crysta Lab will also be made available for Fullwoods range of conventional milking parlours towards the end of 2011.

Crysta Lab offers dairy farmers and herd managers an on-line, real time analysis of the milk quality of each individual cow at every milking.  The unit uses optical free-flow technology to provide accurate readings for butterfat, protein and lactose and also to detect the presence of blood.

The information gathered can then be viewed using Fullwoods Crystal herd management software and used to make informed herd management decisions in order to maintain or improve the compositional quality of milk from each individual cow.

Analysis of levels of fat and protein and the ratio of fat to protein can also be used to provide Merlin users with an early warning of metabolic disorders which affect the cows ability to conceive and to sustain milk production.  These disorders include Ketosis, which occurs when a cow is excessively using its own body-fat reserves and is an indication of negative energy balance, and Sub-Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA), which affects rumen function as a result of incorrect dietary intake.

Monitoring the level of lactose through the Crystal software also provides users with an early indication of mastitis infection.

The Crysta Lab unit uses zero maintenance technology and is cleaned in-line during the normal milking machine sanitisation routine.  The unit operates without the need for any additional reagents making the system easy, clean and cost-effective to operate with no need to dispose of reagents or milk after analysis.

Access to up-to-the-minute information is crucial to the effective management of any herd, John Baines, Technical Director for Fullwood explains.  Crysta Lab enables herd managers to gain a faster and better understanding of how each cow is performing and to react quickly to any potential health problems.

Traditionally this type of data has only been available through monthly milk recording.  Whilst that process can provide a very high definition view of milk quality and cow health on one specific day, Crysta Lab provides a continuous live-stream view of milk quality seven days a week.  That allows more accurate and cost-effective feed management as well as improved animal health resulting in better performance and reduced veterinary bills.

  • Fullwood Limited is a privately owned British company with a global presence.  The company is at the forefront of designing, manufacturing and supplying milking systems across the globe.

  • Fullwood offers a range of milking systems including herringbone, rapid exit, rotary and robotic systems as well as milk cooling and storage and herd management software solutions.

  • Fullwood Limited is based at Grange Road, Ellesmere, Shropshire.

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