Reducing the Burden of Somatic Cell Count
You don’t have to be grading for somatic cell count (SCC) to be a problem.
Herd udder health
High Bulk Milk Somatic Cell Count (BMSCC) is an indication of subclinical mastitis in the herd - DairyNZ Smart SAMM Guideline #11
Increase production by 1.5% by decreasing average BMSCC from 250k to 150k - DairyNZ SmartSAMM Gap Calculator
Reproduction of cows is affected by high SCC. “The probability of cows conceiving is reduced when a high SCC (>450,000 cells/ml) occurs in the 10 days before mating and 30 days after mating. Cows with a higher SCC before and after mating had 8% lower conception rates compared with uninfected cows.” Lavon et al. Journal of Dairy Science 2011 94:4538-4545
Identify if your herd has a problem
- Quantify Current State
Use the DairyNZ Smart SAMM gap calculator to identify the value of production increases and health cost savings generated by managing down bulk milk SCC.
- Get current data
Ensure you have recent herd test information on hand to make informed decisions.
Book herd tests around the times you usually experience spikes in SCC levels.
- Make the most of MINDA
Use the ‘Somatic Cell Count Report’ in MINDApro (located under Reports > Herd Test Reports) to identify animals with a high current SCC. This report can also identify repeat offenders. It details the last 10 herd tests and the number of times each animal has exceed the SCC threshold
Use the Best & Worst tab in MINDA Milk (located at minda.co.nz) to identify high SCC animals relative to their Production Worth (PW). Repositioning the ‘cross-hairs’ on the graph can help determine which animal gets treated or culled.
The LIC Customer Experience Centre is available Monday – Friday on 0800 2 MINDA to help you unlock your MINDA toolbox.
Culling & Treatment
The generally recognised approach to managing SCC levels includes culling and treatment.
- Cull ‘millionaires’, or cows with unacceptably high levels of SCC
- Cull cows that have had repeated cases of clinical mastitis
- Cull cows that have not responded to dry cow therapy
- Treat young cows
- Treat High PW cows
- Treat cows with a good SCC history
View more information about Herd Testing with LIC