CellCheck_Newsletter_MARCH FINAL

March Edition 2019

CellCheck ANIMAL HEALTH IRELAND NEWSLETTER Contributing to a profitable and sustainable farming and agri-food sector through improved animal health

www.AnimalHealthIreland.ie

PROGRAMME NEWS | 03

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | 04 CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH | 07 RESEARCH UPDATE | 09

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 WN27

AHI gratefully acknowledges the financial and other contributions of our stakeholders.

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41WN27

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie

CELLCHECK PROGRAMME

Programme update

Finola McCoy, Programme Manager

W elcome to the March edition of the CellCheck newsletter. Our guest contributor this month, Matt O’Keeffe shares his thoughts on the gains to be made from milk recording, and argues a case for mandatory milk recording of all cows to future-proof the national dairy industry. Continuing this theme, the Tip of the Month in this issue looks at how you can use the results from milk recording to assess the dry period performance, in terms of udder health. Did infected animals cure? Were new infections prevented? Are there areas that could be improved on in the future? Of course, an early milk recording is essential to be able to answer these questions, so don’t delay, start milk recording today! Our featured research paper looks in greater detail at using clinical mastitis records and milk recording results to assess dry period performance. REMINDER: RECORDING CLINICAL MASTITIS EVENTS ON ICBF BY TEXT! Remember, you can easily record a mastitis event on ICBF by texting the details to (089) 4577663. To register your mobile number for this service, contact (023) 8820452 Note, the 1850 600 900 number is no longer in use.

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

“So as to provide information that can be used by herd owners and managers to improve milk yield, milk solids and milk quality through selective breeding and culling, ultimately improving profitability, there is a cast iron case to be made for milk recording across every herd, and every cow in the national herd.”

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH

Whether you adopted a selective drying off strategy or a blanket dry cow strategy measuring the performance this spring is key if you want to see how successful it was.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Matt O’Keeffe, Dairy Farmer and Editor, Irish Farmers’ Monthly The case for universal milk recording

F ewer than half of Irish dairy cows aremilk recorded. Only thirty-four percent of Irish dairy herds are engaged in milk recording. As of the end of 2017, out of a national herd total of 1.445 million dairy cows, 690,000 cows were being milk recorded. Apart from the proven economic benefits of milk recording there are added arguments for advocating that a system of mandatory milk recording should be introduced in this country. The rationale for the establishment of a universal and mandatory milk recording programme for every lactating dairy cow and dairy herd includes promoting continuing improvement in milk quality, particularly Somatic Cell Count (SCC). Progress through knowledge In order to improve herd and cow health through the identification and remediation of mammary health issues there is no option but to individually milk record cows across their lactation. So as to provide information that can be used by herd owners and managers to improve milk yield, milk solids and milk quality through selective breeding and culling, ultimately improving profitability, there is a cast iron case to be made for milk recording across every herd, and every cow in the national herd.

As of the end of 2017, out of a national herd total of 1.445 million dairy cows, 690,000 cows were being milk recorded. Apart from the proven economic benefits of milk recording there are added arguments for advocating that a system of mandatory milk recording should be introduced in this country.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

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THE CASE FOR UNIVERSAL MILK RECORDING

Herds that are milk recording get access to high EBI young bulls through the Gene Ireland programme. Getting these bulls tested in herds that are milk recording allows ICBF to prove these bulls in a shorter period of time, thereby increasing the speed of genetic gain. It is not possible to acquire the information necessary for selective culling in order to improve the health status and productivity of dairy herds unless the owner/manager has the necessary milk recording figures for all of the cows in a herd. From blanket to selective therapies There is a growing momentum in the international dairy industry to move away from the practice of using blanket antimicrobial therapy in dry cow programmes. Some countries are further ahead than others. With the increasing incidence of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) in humans and animals, the pressure to reduce antibiotic usage generally will only increase. Developing protocols to minimise or even eliminate antibiotic-based dry cow therapy takes time and knowledge – specifically knowledge of an individual cow’s mammary health status. Such knowledge is only available if the milk producer is milk recording on a regular basis. Moving away from the practice of blanket antimicrobial dry cow therapy will eventually be required as part of a strategy to reduce the risk of AMR in both the human and bovine populations. Ultimately, to provide the necessary information to safely implement selective dry cow strategies the Irish dairy sector, as a matter of urgency, should adopt a mandatory milk recording programme. Improving production efficiencies Higher milk solids/litre in milk increase value/litre and herd profitability. The higher the milk solids/ litre, the more efficient the cost of storage, collection

and processing of that milk. We do not get paid for producing water, as acknowledged in the A+B-C milk payment system. To maximise milk payments, milk recording is a necessity. Of course the records are only useful if analysed and used. Advice and direction is available to make the best use of the information contained in milk recording data to improve efficiency and profitability on dairy farms. Improving processing efficiencies Procuring milk with higher milk solids and lower somatic cell counts delivers efficiencies and higher margins at milk processing level. That is why it makes sense to me for Irish processors to introduce a fully funded, mandatory system of milk recording on their supplier farms. Universal milk recording will be self- financing over time with gains from higher value raw material, higher quality milk and increased processing efficiencies. Unless the system is mandatory, there will still be limited participation, despite the financial support. A comprehensive milk recording programme has the potential to revolutionise the Irish dairy sector by hugely improving the productivity profile of the Irish dairy herd and milk processing sector over the next decade. Recording disease levels As Animal Health Ireland initiates Phase Two of its Johne’s disease control programme, it is worth noting that the ELISA milk test can be an integral aspect of Johne’s detection. While not one hundred percent accurate, (no current Johne’s test is fully reliable), the option of milk testing all cows across all herds could be another step forward in any Johnes disease control programme. A universal milk recording and testing programme would have benefits in terms of disease detection across a range of diseases.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

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THE CASE FOR UNIVERSAL MILK RECORDING

Customer assurance There are added benefits, including the ability to show customers that the milk from every cow in every Irish dairy herd is being monitored, recorded and tested at the point of extraction. In addition, the milk recording programme should, quite quickly, allow the adoption on an increasing number of Irish dairy farms, of a strategy to reduce general antibiotic usage based on the health status of each cow’s mammary system. Within a decade this will be a regulatory necessity, not an option. To implement such a regulation takes time and now is the time to start. Some future CAP payments, particularly Greening payments, may be contingent on milk producers engaging in milk recording. In that event it may be possible to spread the financial commitment required to support a full programme across all of Ireland’s dairy herds.

Sustainability Programme The Irish dairy industry is placing much emphasis on its long term sustainability. Minimising antibiotic usage, improving milk quality and profitability are core tenets of a sustainability programme. A comprehensive milk recording system encompassing every lactating cow in the country can do much to enhance sustainability. Without such a programme, it is not possible to maximise the potential of the Irish dairy sector. Neither is it possible to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing the sector in reducing GHG’s and overall carbon related emissions. The time has come to adopt a revolutionary approach to the development of the Irish dairy sector. Universal milk recording can provide vital information to drive genetic improvements and increase productivity, cow health status and profitability on Irish dairy farms.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH

How was the dry period performance in your herd this winter?

[Click here] for previously published tips

W hether you adopted a selective drying off strategy (where selected cows were given an internal teat sealant only at drying off) or a blanket dry cow strategy (where all cows were given an antibiotic treatment), measuring the performance this spring is key if you want to see how successful it was. Without having good information, how can you decide what worked, what didn’t, and if there are areas that could be improved on next time?

WHAT TO LOOK AT?

TIP

1. CLINICAL MASTITIS: Howmany cases did you have during the dry period, and within the 1st month of calving? It is well proven that most cases of clinical mastitis that appear in early lactation originate from bacteria that entered the udder at drying off, or in the early dry period. The target within the 1st month of calving is to have less than 5 cases of clinical mastitis for every 100 cows calved. If the rate in your herd is higher than this or any cows died as a result, then intervention is required.

Star rating summary: There is a star rating for each of the key areas of mastitis control. It is based on a combination of achieving targets (positive) and hitting intervention or trigger levels (negative). The aim should always be to have at least 4 stars in each area. Having 2-3 stars in a particular area means that there is room for improvement, while 1 star in any area means that you are substantially below target and you should seek advice from a CellCheck Advisor immediately on the best way to tackle the area identified. Leaving these areas unaddressed will result in significant problems in the long-term and will already be resulting in major financial losses. Stars What does this mean? 5 All measures on target for ≥ last 2 recordings; you’re achieving sustained mastitis control – excellent! 4 All measures on target, good mastitis control 3 ≤ half of measures on target but none breaking intervention levels, room for improvement 2 None on target but none breaking intervention levels, substantial room for improvement 1 Any of the measures breaking intervention levels, contact a CellCheck advisor today! Somatic Cell Count: summary of the results from this milk recording. 1 This displays your current and previous herd SCC (based on milk recording results). It also gives the most recently available bulk milk SCC data (if this is submitted to ICBF by your processor).The lower the SCC level, the better the control of mastitis in your herd. 2 Cows with SCCs > 200,000 are very likely to have mastitis.A high % of your herd with SCCs > 200,000 indicates a problem with mastitis.These can potentially act as a source of infection to other cows or impact severely on your herd SCC. 3 This calculation is based on the most recent milk recording test. It is a total of the estimated losses in production from the high SCC cows (>200) in your herd. 1 Mastitis Control during Lactation: This section assesses changes in the individual cow SCC during lactation. It will only include cows that have been recorded in this milk recording, and the previous one. 4 This is the percentage of cows which had a low SCC (<200) at the last recording, but now have a high SCC (>200).A lower infection rate indicates a lower spread of infection and better mastitis control. In some cases an increase in recent infection rate may be due to cows persistently infected whose SCC fluctuates up and down. 5 This is the number of infected cows (>200) on this and the last recording, as a % of all cows recorded. High levels of persistent infection means that infected cows are not curing. Having many cows with persistent infections will act as a source of infection on your farm. 5

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH

TIP

2. MILK RECORDING RESULTS: Howmany infectedcows curedover thedryperiod, andhowmanycowsorheiferspickedupnewinfections? Not all of these new infectionswill present as clinical i.e. visible cases ofmastitis. This iswhy analysis of individual cow somatic cell counts (SCC) frommilk recording results is necessary to answer these questions. The CellCheck Farm Summary Report helps you track these results easily; the analyses aremost effective when using monthly milk recording data as the closer to calving that cows are recorded, the more accurate the information will be. • ‘New infectionover thedry period’- shows thepercentageof cows thatwereuninfectedat the last recording before dry-off (SCC<200K), that are now infected at their first recording post-calving (SCC>200K). • ‘Cure rate over the dry period’- investigates the percentage of cows cured over the dry period i.e. cows that were infected (SCC>200K) on the last recording before drying off, and are now uninfected, or cured (SCC<200K). Problems here may indicate poor response to dry cow therapy. An alternative cause of poor performance may be that even though the dry cow therapy has cured the previous infection the cow may then have acquired a new infection over the dry period or around calving. Issues here should be explored in consultation with your vet.

For more information, see the CellCheck Farm Summary Report information page click here.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

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RESEARCH UPDATE Irish Veterinary Journal Volume 63 Number 8

Managing dry cows to optimise udder health Part II : Monitoring and measuring dry period performance

A J Bradley 1,2 and M J Green 2

1 Quality Milk Management Services Ltd, Unit 1, Lodge Hill Industrial Park, Station Road, Westbury-sub- Mendip, Nr Wells, Somerset, BA5 1EY. UK. 2 University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Sutton Bonington Campus, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD. UK.

INTRODUCTION The dry period has long been recognised as a critical period formastitis control and an understanding of its importance is vital when formulating mastitis control strategies. This is the second of three articles considering the management of dry cows to optimise udder health and will build upon the background infomation covered in the first of this series, which outlined our current understanding of the importance of the dry period in mastitis epidemiology. This article will consider possible approaches to monitoring and measuring dry period performance, enabling the practitioner to track dry period performance. This will facilitate an evidence based approach to the control of intramammary infection (IMI) during the dry period, a topic that will be addressed in the final article of this series.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

CELLCHECK REGIONAL COORDINATORS

A Resource and Point of Contact for CellCheck Activities in your Area

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Tom Starr 087 6697010

Mícheal Guinan 086 3511852 micheal.guinan@aurivo.ie Mayo/Sligo Aurivo

tstarr@arrabawn.ie Tipperary/Limerick National Co-op

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John Fitzpatrick 086 0426567

John Murphy 066 7163200 john.murphy@kerry.ie Kerry/Clare Kerry Agribusiness

fitzpatrickj@glanbia.ie Kilkenny/Laois/Carlow/ Kildare/Dublin Glanbia

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Sinead Treanor streanor@carbery.com 023 8822369 West Cork Carbery Group

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Andrew O’Neill 086 1836505 aoneill@tipperary-coop.ie Tipperary Tipperary Co-Op

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Tom Downes 087 2564669

Denis Guiry 086 8098639 dguiry@dairygold.ie Cork/Tipperary/Limerick Dairygold

downest@lakeland.ie Longford/Monaghan Lakeland Dairies

Brendan Dillon 087 2626851 BrDillon@glanbia.ie

Cork/Waterford/ Wexford/Wicklow Glanbia

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | March Edition 2019

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