TheDairySite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the dairy industry

News

New Team Approach to Improve Herd Health

06 August 2008

IRELAND - A new herd health programme aimed at preparing Irish dairy farmers for the biosecurity challenges of herd expansion has started at the Teagasc Dairy Production Research Centre, Moorepark.

Two research projects, one focusing on mastitis and milk quality issues, and the other on infectious diseases, have commenced, led by John Mee and colleagues.

Two new veterinarians have been employed to work on these projects. Details of the new projects are contained in an article in TResearch, the Teagasc research magazine.

In Ireland, average bulk tank somatic cell counts (BTSCC) have risen annually by 5,000/ml since the start of this decade.

Farmers are losing financially through penalties imposed due to milk quality issues, such as somatic cell count (SCC), bacterial content and residues and direct costs associated with clinical mastitis cases.

The idea of using a team-based approach to solving milk quality issues is one that the University of Wisconsin has explored with great commercial success.

The Teagasc team-based milk quality/mastitis control plan is presently being designed at Moorepark and is based on some of the key concepts of the US approach, namely team-based, involving realistic targets, identifying strategic management changes, accountability and regular re-assessment.

It will commence with a pilot programme involving 20 farms.

The teams will be made up of Teagasc advisers, manufacturing outlet milk quality advisers, vets, milking machine technicians and the host farmer. Preparation for the pilot will include training workshops for all parties involved aimed at improving the skills required to work through milk quality issues on farm.

Farmers are currently being recruited to participate in the pilot programme, which will run for a period of nine months.

TheCattleSite News Desk



Partners


Seasonal Picks

Managing Pig Health: A Reference for the Farm - 2nd Edition