Less than half of Australian dairy farmers undertake production recording that normally requires the collection of milk samples for the measurements of fat, protein and lactose percentages and somatic cell count. Usually the milk samples are collected from individual animals on a `one-day-per-month¿ basis by temporary milk-metering or sampling devices. Farmers who do not participate in production recording programs may be encouraged to do so if they could use a simple, robust, inexpensive, convenient and precise sampler. A sampler has been developed to meet these criteria. In this paper we report on the precision and bias of the new sampler with respect to milk composition and somatic cell count by comparison with samples collected by test buckets. For milk fat, the precision was only 3.1% and bias was +0.002% coefficient of variation. Precision for fat yield over a lactation period increases by only 0.02% when compared with results based on samplers that are approved by the International Committee for Animal Recording. We consider that the combination of low sampler cost and low sampler errors makes the new sampler aptly suited for production recording and monitoring somatic cell count.
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