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TheDairySite Newsletter - 08 February 2013

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Friday 8th February 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Mastitis Control - Still Vital, Still No Easy Answer

Costing US dairying $1.8 billion annually (10 per cent of milk sales), mastitis remains one of the most pressing health issues in dairying and with efforts to develop treatments being extensive and numerous, there is still no easy answer.

Caused by 52 different bacteria, the mastitis issue is complex. Staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus uberis and Escherichia coli are among the most prevalent pathogens.

Milk quality implications lead to food security issues as milk from mastitic cows is dumped. Mastitic milk is full of clots and puss, making it undesirable and the presence of mastitis antibiotics make it unfit for human consumption.

Average production losses per mammary quarter amount to around 704 litres each lactation, according to J.W. Schroeder, Dairy Specialist at North Dakota State University. Further losses come from increased time and labour, antibiotic purchases, veterinary services and decreased sales of abnormal milk.

There have been advances made in mastitis control in the United Kingdom since the 1960’s. Somatic Cell Counts (SCC), the detection of leukocyte presence that is indicative of mastitis, decreased from an average of 469,000/ml in 1980 to 191,000 in 2000.

Underpinning control improvements was a global acknowledgement of mastitis. The International Dairy Federation pressured governments into improving parlour hygiene, bedding quality, milking procedure, culling chronic cows, dry cow therapy and teat preparation.

DairyCo’s five point mastitis prevention plan stands as a good example of Ministry policy that has helped dairymen in the mastitis struggle for decades. It is a whole-farm approach designed to combat and reduce bacteria.

Recently, farming sustainability and efficiency issues have brought mastitis under increased scrutiny. Rennie Gresham, Veterinary Advisor at Hipra, told TheCattleSite how important mastitis vaccines could be for food production, cattle welfare and farm profit.

“Dairying faces the challenge of producing 50 per cent more milk by 2050 to feed a growing global population.”

“Our tools to combat mastitis are developing. We have licensed vaccinations that can reduce mastitis presence in the herd, decrease cull rate,improve animal welfare and increase milk yield, what’s not to like,” said Mr Gresham.

Vaccines such as Envirocor J5 and Startvac offer alternatives to antibiotic treatment. A vaccination is not a single solution but a great option that can form part of a five part mastitis plan incorporated with good herd management, parlour routine, teat cleanliness and farm record keeping, concluded Mr Gresham.

The International Mastitis Course will visit the UK in Nottingham University on 25 and 26 February. There will be talks delivered by mastitis experts offering the latest insights into diagnostics, SCC management, the economics of the disease and case studies of vaccinations.

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This Weeks Articles and Analysis

Australian Dairy Farming Overview-2012: Milk Production
Although markedly seasonal in the more temperate dairy strongholds of the south east, dairies in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales show more steady annual output, write Dairy Australia in the second feature in a series of installments about dairy farming in Australia.

Automatic Milking Systems- Land and Pasture Considerations
Automatic Milking Systems have been explored at Sydney University where Dr Rafiq Islam and Cameron Clark looked into the implications of pasture management and cow walking distances.

The Effect of Genetic Merit for Fertility Traits on Regulation of the Somatotropic Axis in Hepatic Tissue in Holstein cows
An in depth look into the complex science behind genetic traits for fertility is given in this project outline by researchers at Teagasc.

No-Till Case Study, Richter Farm: Cover Crop Cocktails in a Forage-Based System
Regular hay and silage cutting leads plant residues diminishing at the detriment of soil health but a farming family in North Dakota profess to have a solution, reports the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Construction and Validation of a Decision Tree for Treating Metabolic Acidosis in Calves with Neonatal Diarrhea
A diagnostic framework has been tested to aid in the treatment of metabolic acidosis in calves without the need of laboratory facilities.

Company News

Market Reports

USDA Agricultural Prices - 31 January 2013
Animal Feed Statistics for Great Britain - December 2012
USDA Dairy Products - December 2012 Highlights
USDA National Dairy Products Sales Report - 6 February 2013

Global Dairy Industry News


Trade Appointment Causes Live Export Concerns
Joint Meeting Solution For Milk Price Issues
More Rural Investment Demanded for Western Australia
Flood Advice Issued After Month Of Extremes
Livestock Rescues Still Underway In Bundaberg
Track and Monitor Pestivirus
Proposed Biosecurity Laws Threaten Australian Agriculture

   United Kingdom

Rural Business Training for 90,000 Entrepreneurs Launched
British Cattle Conference Report
Major Industry Conference on Future Design of Farm Buildings
Meadow Foods to Invest Over £3m in Peterborough Site

   New Zealand

Rabobank Gives Support to Red Meat Collaboration Programme
Opportunity to Hear Cow Health and Welfare Expert
Efforts to Reduce Farming Dangers Showing Progress
Farm Confidence Survey Shows Split Industry
Farmers Welcome Rain Reprieve: National Weather Update


Ministers Review Steps to Dairy Reform
'Abusive' Milk Contracts Cause Outrage

   United States

NFU Applauds Tester, Bipartisan Coalition
USDA Saves $4 Billion in Agricultural Exports
SCS Explores LCA to Measure Environmental Impact of Foods
Frank Ravndal New CEO of Keystone Foods
Antibiotics in Agriculture: Need for One Health Approach
NFU Continues to Push Congress for New Farm Bill
CME: Hay Stocks Dwindling
Study: Health Departments Hindered in Addressing Health Concerns from Animal Production Sites
USDA to Issue Final Rule on Class III, IV Price Formula
CME: Herd Expansion Possible If Pastures Improves


Peruvian Production Boom Announced

   European Union

Agricultural Reform: What to Consider When Deciding the Budget
Reform of the EU's Agricultural Policy
NFU Calls for Fairness Ahead of Crunch Meeting
FEFAC Congress to Address Staying Profitable in Volatile Times


OCA: Market Roundup, Monday

   Russian Federation

WTO Accession Could Hit Russian Dairy Production

   South Africa

Minister Announces New Minimum Wage for Farmworkers


Milk Tank Features Among State Funded Donations


Companies Urged to Help Boost Agriculture


FAO Food Price Index Remains Unchanged in January


Branding and Computer Technology Mix in Traceability Scheme


Milk Powder Anti-dumping Tariff Duties Extended on New Zealand and EU


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Biomin - Mycotoxins


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Reducing the risk of milk fever, That’s the beauty of Bovikalc


CID LINES - Innovative Hygiene Solutions

Biomin - The Natural Way


Animax Veterinary Health
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