Much trouble and annoyance have been experienced by both buttermakers and creamery patrons on account of the variation of different individual tests of milk for butter fat, and the variation of milk from the same herd at different times, the test going up and down, sometimes with no apparent cause. These variations have sometimes caused the patrons of a creamery to suspect that the buttermaker was engaged in manipulating the test in a discriminating way to further his own ends, while on the other hand the buttermaker may have had strong suspicions that the patron whose test varied greatly might be guilty of adding water or cream, or both, to his milk at one time, and at another taking cream from the milk and retaining it at home. All of these surmises may and creamy not have been true, as the following result will show. The fact that the same herd of dairy cows will show a variation in richness of milk, both as to butter fat and other solids, under varying conditions, has been often demonstrated by scientific, as well as some practical dairymen, but is as yet very imperfectly understood by the average dairy farmer, and by many buttermakers is looked upon as a condition easily avoided. For the purpose of aiding all who are seeking knowledge along these lines, this department has undertaken the task of ascertaining as nearly as possible the actual conditions and results as they appear daily and weekly at some of our nearby creameries, and presenting them in the tables of this bulletin.
milk, dairy, dairy department, cream, creamery, butter, skim milk
South Dakota Agricultural College, Experiment Station
Wheaton, A.H., "Variations in Cream and Milk Tests" (1902). Research Bulletins of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (1887-2011). 73.