Repossi has always recommended using comb rakes to MINIMIZE the soil and Clostridia contamination of cheese (why is it important to limit CLOSTRIDIA?).
A study by a researcher from the University of Milan (Italy) shows that a Repossi comb rake leads to a 75% LOWER CONTAMINATION FROM SOIL AND CLOSTRIDIA than other types of rake cause.
The increase in dust caused by raking with a comb rake measured during the study was 1.80%, which was very close to the 0.80% caused by hand raking that was taken as the natural reference value. In comparison, the increase measured after raking with other types of rakes was 7.5%.
A 1.80% increase may therefore be considered NATURAL.
What is the reason for this result?
Comb rakes have the peculiarity of lifting the fodder up from the ground when they turn it and of not dragging it on the ground .
The combs follow a circular path, enter the fodder vertically and rake it horizontally above the ground surface. They then pull out of the fodder cleanly. The unique feature of this system is that the combs gently skim over the ground at only one point (just before and just after touching it, the tines are off the ground), thus ensuring absolute forage cleanliness since it is not contaminated by soil or stones.
This characteristic lifting of the fodder increases aeration and therefore favours drying (the increase in DRY SUBSTANCE is MORE THAN DOUBLE that achieved with other types of rake: +19.5%).
Comb rakes were also found to be unbeatable in raking very delicate fodder such as alfalfa, lentils, etc. The delicate movement of the comb leaves the small leaves and stems – made brittle by drying – intact.
What can we do in cattle sheds to limit Clostridia in milk?
Clostridia contamination in milk occurs primarily via faeces and dirty udders. Shrinking labour forces and the inevitable increase in management problems contribute towards worsening the situation, since the rest pens, equipment in contact with the animals and feeding troughs (full of leftover feed) are not cleaned enough. Industrial use of disinfectants does not solve the problem. If anything it makes it worse because it reduces the “good” microbial flora able to contend with Clostridia. Clostridia, on the other hand, resist. (From “More and more clostridia in milk” by Michele Corti)
There are machines in the Repossi product range that are specifically designed to optimize fodder-trough cleaning (hydrostatic sweeper) and stall cleaning (Spandy).