The USDA monitors milk quality in the U.S. using bulk tank milk somatic cell count (BTSCC) data provided by four of the nation’s 10 Federal Milk Marketing Orders, which account for nearly half of the nation’s milk supply. In 2009, four FMOs were monitored: Central, Mideast, Southwest and Upper Midwest. These FMOs monitored milk from 32,854 producers located in 34 states

The results show the percent of milk and the percent of producers in the federal orders monitored that met the current U.S. federal regulatory somatic cell count (SCC) limit of 750,000; and the percentages that would have met a 400,000 limit (current regulatory limit in the European Union).

More than 99 percent of the milk and 98 percent of the shipments monitored in these FMOs during 2009 met the current Pasteurized Milk Ordinance SCC federal regulatory limit of 750,000. Of the 32,854 producers, 90.5 percent shipped milk with a BTSCC below 750,000 during all of the months monitored.

In 2009, during all months monitored, 89 percent of the milk would have met a goal of less than 400,000 BTSCC, which is the current European Union SCC limit; but only 50 percent of the producers shipped milk with BTSCCs less than 400,000 during all monitored months.

Source: NMC (Formerly the National Mastitis Council)