Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Calibrating the Milk Tank...

Here's a look at our "Blizzard of March, 2013"...

Schools were cancelled in anticipation of a 3-6" accumulation of snow, but so far we've just got cold, rain and wind.  Lots of wind.  I'm sure glad I didn't have to make the decision...but it's too bad that we now lost a day of Easter break.  Bummer.

So, what did we do today?

We got a phone call from the Co-op this morning, telling us that they were planning to calibrate our milk tank today.  This happens every 8-10 years. Over time the ground settles, which can change the calibration of the  bulk milk tank...which in turn could result in incorrect measurements of milk...which in turn could give us more...or less...on our milk check.

In the above picture...besides showing you the "blizzard"...the calibration truck is waiting alongside the road for our milk truck to come and empty our milk tank.  The timing was great...he only had to wait a few minutes for the milk truck to pull in.  After our tank was emptied of milk, the calibration truck pulled in and got started.

Here's what's inside that truck...

There's a big water tank way in the can hardly see it here...

A pre-measured amount of water is pumped into our empty bulk tank...

...and they check to see if our current measurements are accurate.  The "stick" rests in a holder on the top of the milk tank...

...and measures the milk from the bottom...

...and then the calibration chart converts the measurements on the stick into pounds of milk...

After calibrating the tank, they only had to make a very minor adjustment, and printed us off a new calibration chart...

...and they were on their way.

That's how we spent our snow rain day.  How about you?


  1. Neat post, Alica. You know what I like best about it? The first picture, showing your countryside. I love geography and especially love farm country. Spending most of my life in the great Northwest, I saw so much of the mountains, deserts and all that now I just want to see farm country. You live in a beautiful place!

    1. Thanks Ray! If you would like to see more scenery, you can type in "bird's eye view" in the search bar, and there are several photos that Jim took from a helicopter a few years ago. It's a whole different perspective.

    2. Those are great! You really do live in a beautiful area. Are you in Lancaster County?

    3. Yes Ray, we are. In the thick of the tourist area!

  2. Awesome post ! I did not know this as we dealt with beef cattle ! The kids here will be on their March break I think it is next week our kids are grown lol . It is mild and sunny here today snow is melting and spring is in the air all the birds are singing their spring songs and critters are out and about ! Thanks for sharing with us I learn't something new today ! Have a good day !

  3. I love this bit of information on farm life! Glad you didn't get a blizzard, but I know how hard it is to have to make up those snow days. We're dangerously close to being in school until after my goats are due.

  4. Hi Alica I have never seen this before I always learn something here.
    Too bad about your snow storm it sure looks like spring there:) B

  5. How neat, I had no idea who came out to do the calibration. I assumed it was someone with the USDA. Learn something new every day!

    1. I'm not actually certain who owns the portable calibration unit, and who requires it to be done...but our Co-op scheduled the calibration. The guy who did the calibrating worked for Land-O-Lakes, and he said they do this for lots of Co-ops.

  6. We have some people who offers this calibration service to farmers in our province too.

    I always enjoy how you explain how things are done on the farm. Great job...
    How lucky that you have no snow or blizzard or rain storms. We still have a lot of snow.

    Have a great week,

  7. We had a snow day too but it did snow here. I spent the morning taking pics of the snow. Some of them are posted on my blog. I m surprise they don't check it once a year. Very interesting story.

  8. Alica that was so interesting. I always learn so much from you.
    We were supposed to have wind and rain and cold today too. We didn't.
    Bummer on the Easter vacation.
    I hope you are having a nice week.

  9. At least something productive got done! Neat info! :)

  10. Another great thing I learned from reading your blog! So glad you did not get the heavy snow, but the wind... how tired of it, I am.

  11. This is a really nice post! I never really knew how milk was processed.


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