Mastitis Evaluation

Mastitis can be one of the most expensive diseases on individual dairy farms. Research has shown that it is still the most costly disease affecting the dairy industry. By reducing existing cases and preventing new cases of mastitis from occurring, dairies can improve milk quality, increase cow life (longevity), and decrease costs to the dairy. Although milk plants and cooperatives are reducing milk quality premiums paid to individual dairy farms, milk buyers require that individual farms surpass quality thresholds for each load of milk sold from the dairy.

Mastitis evaluations of dairy farms by an outside consultant can be valuable to helping farms meet goals or to troubleshoot sources and remedies to herd mastitis. Milk Quality Pays has 25+ years of experience providing mastitis troubleshooting and consulting with one-time evaluations, or as part of longer-term agreements until goals are met, concepts are learned, and habits are formed.

Mastitis and Milking Management Services and Training:

  1. Evaluation of herd management systems, including environment, milking process, quality of associated tasks and work done, and cow level risk factors for mastitis and relative to owner/manager goals
    • record systems of clinical and subclinical mastitis
    • environmental risks by farm and within groups of cows (bedding, water, chemicals, utensils and other fomites)
      • by season or when changes are made (bedding system, pathogen specific vaccine program)
    • milking equipment risk
    • contagious risks via cow to cow, fomite to cow, people to cow, and cow to people
  2. Train individuals or groups that want to learn more about mastitis control
    • this can also be offered as bilingual training by a native Hispanic dairy specialist
  3. Develop protocols and processes and evaluate use of owner/operator protocols by workers
    • set up mastitis record system in on-farm software programs
    • develop systems on-farm for combined use of mastitis detection measures (electrical conductivity, somatic cell count)
    • develop systems to track cost of mastitis control programs
    • develop and monitor systems to reduce use of mastitis antibiotic treatment on-farm while reducing or maintaining a low level of mastitis
      • dry cow selective treatment
      • organic or other antibiotic reduction programs
    • develop systems to monitor and reduce cow culling due to mastitis
  4. Facilitate product evaluations for mastitis control with dealerships, teat dip companies, or animal health companies
  5. Prepare Grants and submit to funding agencies on Mastitis Control topics or products
  6. Conduct Research, Analyze Data, and Prepare Reports to document outcome of alternative Mastitis Control practices on-farm
    • For example, test products on-farm to determine best fit to monitor mastitis