Clay View Dairy, LLP in Goodhue, Minnesota and the Minnesota Milk Producers Association hosted a Stray Voltage Workshop this past week. The event was well attended by a large crowd of legislators, dairy farmers, industry leaders, and even a few representatives from electrical co-ops.
The purpose of the demonstration was to show the actual resistance of the modern dairy cow in today’s freestall housing. The utilities have adopted 500 ohms to reflect the resistance of a cow, but through actual testing, it has been discovered the resistance is actually much lower. The results at Clay View Dairy ranged from a low of 169 ohms to a high of 270 ohms with the average of 208 ohms. This is dramatically lower than figure on which utilities rely.
The reason this is so important is because a cow’s resistance directly affects the amount of current to which a dairy cow is exposed. Through the application of Ohm’s law (Voltage = Current x Resistance or V = I x R), we know that when the resistance is lowered, the current affecting the cow is higher. In other words, by overstating the resistance of a dairy cow (by using a resistance of 500 ohms) the utilities are actually understating the amount of current that is affecting the cow. Ultimately, what affects a dairy cow is the amount of current that reaches the cow, and to calculate the actual amount of current you must use a realistic measurement of its resistance.
Attorney Charles Bird and Master Electrician Larry Neubauer (pictured below) spoke about this very issue at the workshop.