What is your target SCC goal? Your goal should be 200,000 cells/mL or less according to a recent article inHoard’s Dairyman. SCC goal-setting was also one of the featured presentations at the recent 2013 meeting of the National Mastitis Council. 200,000 cells/mL is very attainable as evidenced by the USDA milk quality summary for herds that use Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) testing. The same report mentions that average SCC among herds that test with DHIA reached an all-time low. A good management program needs to be followed because of the importance of milk quality. Each dairy needs to have a commitment and determination to lower SCC’s. This process starts with ownership and trickles down to the last employee.
A good program for you may look like this:
- Use a team approach, everyone gets involved
- Develop an udder health plan, which starts with your veterinarian
- Do a farm mastitis risk assessment
- Develop a plan to reduce infection risk
- Participate in a DHIA cell count program
- Identify what pathogens are on the farm
- Analyze cell count data
- Have your fresh cow’s milk analyzed
It is obvious that a majority of farmers are very successful at producing high quality milk and are able to minimize the risk of udder infection. If you are interested in higher quality milk, talk to your veterinarian and call us. We have many tools at Arizona DHIA to help you achieve your goals.