We've summarised some of the information in this section, for more information check out the herd test information booklet below.
Download the herd test information booklet
Separation of clean and used equipment
We are introducing a new operating mode where all setups will be completed before any pickups to ensure there is no risk of milk samples contaminating clean flasks. As a result, samples might be picked up a bit later than last season. It is important that samples are stored in a clean, cool, shaded area away from potential contaminants, and heat sources like machinery and direct sunlight until they are collected.
We will be disinfecting all herd testing equipment that comes into contact with milk. We will be using MPI approved food grade 0.2% citric acid which is a natural substance commonly used as a preservative in the food industry. Herd testing equipment may have trace residue of citric acid due to the disinfection procedure. Please ensure you still run a plant wash and rinse cycle prior to milking.
Later this season all flasks will arrive on-farm with caps on. This ensures no contaminants (which could potentially compromise test results) enter the flask. North Island customers can expect to see flasks arriving on-farm capped from early November, for South Island customers it will be next year – a more exact time frame will be confirmed in early 2019.
Improved customer training
We will be progressively training all self-sample customers to ensure that their herd testing experience is as streamlined as possible. This involves one of our Herd Test Team Leaders coming out during a herd test to observe your process and making any recommendations where possible. You will receive communication closer to the time if we plan to visit your farm this season.
Changes to date allocation
We introduced a new planning method this year for date allocation. Instead of herd test dates being confirmed at the time the order is placed, they are confirmed via email once the test is confirmed in our system. This allows our planning team to optimise our delivery routes to ensure we can effectively deliver the service over the season.
Changes to routes have allowed us to have one truck per sub-region. This means that you will likely deal with the same staff, who will have more time on-farm and therefore become more familiar with your property.
EZ Link® 3
Last season we gradually rolled out the new EZ Link device to the North Island and the Upper South Island. This new device replaces the old CN3 device which is no longer manufactured and will be released into the Lower South Island in November-December.
If you would like further information about using the EZ Link device at your herd test, please contact your LIC representative or local herd test depot.
LIC staff protocols
All LIC staff have been issued with heightened hygiene protocols for all farm visits and will comply with any additional biosecurity requirements for your farm.