Further data analysis identifies additional ongoing challenges for the industry, such as the low uptake of milk recording in Irish dairy herds (Fig. 4). This is likely to be a potential obstacle to continued progress in udder health, as many herds with an annual SCC between 200 and 400,000 cells/mL will have limited ability to make further udder health improvements without the individual cow information required to take appropriate action and make effective management changes.
Figure 4. Annual number of dairy herds in Ireland participating in milk recording (2010-2016)
The national SCC database is also what enables us to run the very successful annual CellCheck Milking for Quality Awards programme. This year’s award ceremony, which is reported on elsewhere in the newsletter, is based on the 2016 SCC results. The award plaque, which is sponsored by FBD, is given to the 500 milk suppliers nationally with the lowest, weighted annual average SCC. Suppliers must have at least 9 months of SCC results to be considered eligible. We continue to see increasing levels of excellence even among the top suppliers in the country, with all 500 winners of the 2016 awards having an SCC of 78,000 cells/mL or less, compared to the winners of the 2013 awards who all had an SCC of 103,000 cells/mL or less- a phenomenal achievement!
CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER • DECEMBER EDITION 2017
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