Solving a somatic cell count problem

Trying to solve a somatic cell count problem is often like trying to solve a crime. FULL STORY »

Milk quality continues to improve

Each year, test-day data from all herds enrolled in Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) somatic cell count (SCC) testing in the United States are examined to assess milk quality on a national basis. Results highlighted in a new USDA report show an uptick in milk quality due to the downward trend for SCC. FULL STORY »

DCHA tip of the week: Flies and bad habits

"Most of the heifer mastitis I see is related to two things," says contract heifer grower and veterinarian Don Gardner. FULL STORY »

Help prioritize mastitis research

Scientists want to know where they should focus their mastitis research efforts. Offer your input by taking this survey from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Input is requested from farmers, nutritionists, veterinarians and researchers. FULL STORY »

Wet conditions can spawn more mastitis

Spring opens new windows of opportunity for mastitis infections to take hold. Wet, muddy conditions, especially in areas hit by heavy rainfall or flooding caused by snow melting, make it more difficult to keep cows clean. FULL STORY »

Dairy Management: It’s spring cleaning time again

Now is the time to prepare for the long hot summer. FULL STORY »

Use antibiotics appropriately

Different parts of the scientific and medical communities have been at odds with each other for some time over the use of antibiotics in livestock production and linking that to antibiotic resistance in humans. Even though scientific evidence currently supports continued use of antibiotics in livestock, it is important for producers to make sure they are using these products responsibly and judiciously. FULL STORY »

Lowering SCC makes cents

Reducing cost and increasing volume are profit winners for every farm, says Jeff Reneau, University of Minnesota extension dairy management specialist. Since disease is a well-known profit robber, and mastitis is one of the most expensive diseases with which dairies must deal, it makes sense and cents for you to tackle it head-on. “Estimated mastitis losses for the U.S. dairy industry are $1 billion per year,” he says. “Ninety percent of this loss is lost production. FULL STORY »

Producers honored for their commitment to milk quality

Winners of the 2010 National Dairy Quality Awards (NDQA) program were announced during the National Mastitis Council 50th Annual Meeting, Jan. 23 - 26, in Arlington, Va. Now in its 17th year, the goal of the NDQA program is to honor dairy producers from across the U.S. who have successfully placed top priority on producing milk of the highest quality. FULL STORY »

Back to basics: Milking procedures

A key factor for a good milking is the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is responsible for milk let-down, and without oxytocin, cows will not be milked out completely or rapidly. Oxytocin is released into the blood in response to various stimuli, and causes contraction of the udder’s muscle cells. Milk is available for removal from the udder because of these contractions. The process of oxytocin release can start with stimulation of the teats, specifically the teat ends, as this is where most nerve receptors are located. The sound of the vacuum pump in the parlor, or even the act of walking to the parlor, can also be stimuli for oxytocin release. Milking procedures either contribute to or depend upon this release of oxytocin. FULL STORY »

7 steps to better milk quality

Challenged by high somatic cell counts? Use these steps from the experts at the University of Minnesota to help solve the problem: FULL STORY »

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