Mastitis control key for dairy herds as cost inflation bites

Dairy farmers might want to deal with changing into extra environment friendly, particularly with the control of mastitis, as feed and fertiliser costs soar, farm subsidies are lower and milk value rises don’t sustain with inflation.

Milking efficiencies can be key for farmers to remain forward of this cost-price squeeze and turn into extra sustainable.

This is as a result of good mastitis control will result in much less milk being discarded and extra offered, says dairy milking professional Ian Ohnstad.

His work with greater than 100 purchasers all over the world, guaranteeing milking methods work extra effectively and so lower mastitis losses, helped him win the 2021 Farmers Weekly Livestock Adviser of the Year award.

“Good milk harvesting is key to enhance effectivity and sustainability, as you might be getting extra from the identical assets,” he says.

See additionally: Farmers Weekly Awards 2021: Livestock Adviser of the Year

Good milking routine

It is essential to exploit effectively by guaranteeing the right equipment facets such as vacuum strain and pulsation charges, as is reaching one of the best milking routine to maintain mastitis ranges low in high-yielding cow herds.

“Every litre of milk must be saleable and never discarded, which can assist with sustainability and changing into as environment friendly as bodily potential,” he says.

Mastitis within the dairy herd prices on common £220 a case, and if particular person cows have a number of mastitis circumstances throughout a lactation, the prices quickly add up.

Mr Ohnstad says the start line to decreasing mastitis is to maintain milking cows clear and dry, with a transparent deal with bedding and a transfer to hygienic and dry sand cubicles.

Increasing the house across the animals when housed can be crucial.

Antibiotics use

Streamlining milking routines with a deal with the pre-milking means of teat sprays and wiping with particular person small towels is key, as properly as not instantly treating early, gentle phases of mastitis with antibiotics.

He factors out it’s typically simpler to realize constant milking routines in rotary milking parlours moderately than in herringbones, as the herdsperson has to maneuver a lot much less and might deal with one explicit operation.

Many of Mr Ohnstad’s purchasers have steadily diminished mastitis to low ranges by following a few of his preliminary steering, however as soon as the “low-hanging fruit” has been picked, it’s simple to modify the eye to different urgent issues.

“Doing an excellent job with mastitis takes time and power, and it’s then the very small particulars that may make the marginal beneficial properties,” he says.

But it’s these marginal achieve that may turn into increasingly essential as general revenue margins come underneath strain.

Culling coverage

Dairy farmers could be reluctant to cull when it entails a high-yielding cow, however Mr Ohnstad argues that extremely contagious cows must be taken out of the herd to cease infecting others.

This could be a very robust choice if the herd is being expanded or if culling for bovine TB and Johne’s illness is already reducing the scale of the herd and minimising the farm’s milk manufacturing.

Mr Ohnstad’s expertise and information comes from 18 years working for The Dairy Group consultancy, the place he’s a director, and earlier than that for 14 years at Adas.

He leads his consultancy group’s group of milking expertise specialists, giving unbiased recommendation on parlour operation, hygienic milk manufacturing and constructing design, as properly as mastitis control.

He has dairy purchasers from Aberdeenshire all the way down to Cornwall and, as an internationally recognised specialist in milking expertise, gives consultancy within the US, Australia, Africa, New Zealand, the Middle East and Japan, as properly as all through Europe.

Farmer Weekly 2022 Awards

Fw awards logo 2022

Join Farmers Weekly in celebrating the farming business and recognising the exhausting work of UK farmers at farming’s greatest night time out – e book your desk right now.

For extra details about the 2022 Farmers Weekly Awards, go to the Farmers Weekly Awards web site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.