Back to latest-news Help your farmers reap the benefit of record high milk price

Help your farmers reap the benefit of record high milk price

03 March 2022

How many of your dairy farmers are planning to milk a bit longer this season to capture the record high forecast farmgate milk price?

If history is any guide, quite a few of them will at least be thinking about it, if they haven’t already decided to.

“High bulk milk somatic cell counts (BTSCC) late in the season can be a herd management challenge, no matter what the milk price is!” AgriHealth’s Technical Manager Laura Young says.

Equally, how can your dairy farmers sustain top quality milk in line with processor assurance programmes such as Fonterra’s Co-operative Difference and achieve a further of 3c per kg MS by keeping their BTSCC under 150,000 cells/mL for 30 days?

One such tool to help lower BTSCC is the Mastatest HiSCC test cartridge from AgriHealth, launched last year. This identifies the mastitis pathogen infecting cows and causing their high somatic cell counts, within 24 hours.

The test will let the vet and farmer know if the high cell count is due to Staph. aureus, CNS, other Gram-positive bacteria, or coliforms. It is ideal for cows that are Rapid Mastitis Test (RMT) positive or have high somatic cell counts identified by herd test results.

Prompt, correct identification of what is causing high SCC in individual cows, combined with a review of each animal’s mastitis history, gives vets and farmers the information they need to respond quickly and appropriately. They can then decide on the right treatment, if required, or plan to dry off or cull infected animals.

The flow-on benefits in terms of improved milk quality assume better financial rewards in the context of the Fonterra Co-Operative Difference and other milk quality incentive programmes, Young says.

“Vets are perfectly placed to have these discussions with their farmers now, to help them realise the full potential of a milestone pay out and maintain a healthy herd in what is likely to be a longer lactation for many.”

The HiSCC test cartridge is quick and easy to use to identify the bug causing sub-clinical mastitis.

AgriHealth is a New Zealand owned veterinary medicines company helping vets to help farmers reduce the impact of mastitis on their farming business. For more details on how vets can help, including solutions and farmer resources please contact your AgriHealth Area Sales Manager.

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