Dairy producers will soon have an on-farm tool that can count the number of somatic cells in a sample of milk.

Producers who receive quality premiums for their milk can use it to identify cows with high somatic cell counts.   And, producers everywhere — regardless of whether they receive quality premiums or not — can use it to get an early jump on mastitis cases that require treatment.  

The counter, which was developed by DeLaval, has been undergoing field-testing in the U.S. and Europe. It will soon become commercially available.

One of the people who has field-tested it — David Bray, extension dairy specialist at the University of Florida — says the accuracy of the DeLaval Cell Counter is “very good.” He says it compares favorably to the more conventional forms of somatic cell testing used by reference labs.   Bray says it can be a good tool for identifying cows that have high somatic cell counts, even though they may not be showing clinical signs of mastitis.

The cell counter can be used to test bulk tank samples, individual cow samples and quarter samples.  

Winston Ingalls, udder health/milk quality specialist at DeLaval, says the cell counter takes about 45 seconds to count all of the somatic cells and provide a digital readout.


Contact DeLaval at: (816) 891-7700.