Environment

  • Coping with a big wet!

    Many of our dairy areas have had another big wet.

    A big rain event in Nth Vic    A big rain event in Nth Vic

    Rain events such as these substantially increase the risk of mastitis, and the challenge is to cope with water and mud everywhere, feeding the cows, as well as the extra risk of mastitis.

    There are many reasons why the risk of mastitis increases, but probably the key issues are -

  • Could your joining program influence the risk of mastitis?

    Over the last few years, we have seen a number of occasions where a mating synchrony program has been accompanied by an outbreak of clinical mastitis.

    dirty teatsIt seems that large groups of cows milling around when on heat increases the risk of environmental mastitis, especially Strep uberis.

    And it's not hard to understand why!

  • Dairy Focus Rain & Mud Mastitis Rescue Pack

    Countdown has shown us that on average, every four clinical cases of mastitis cost a farm over $1000.

    And every payment period out of premium costs the farm even more.

    Rain and mud often create mastitis and higher cell counts for many farms – a number of those farms will be left with ongoing mastitis or cell count issues.

    How can we help those farms retrieve the situation and also prevent the mastitis from spreading further throughout the herd?

    Dairy Focus has put together a special “Mastitis Rescue Pack” to help these farms know what their individual mastitis risks and issues are, and to give them a plan that targets their specific needs.

  • Heat increases mastitis risk

    Hot & dry

    Once again, this could be a long, hot summer.

    Farms expecting these conditions will now be making plans to help the cows cope with the heat, especially in those regions where temperatures and/or humidity can be extreme.

    For those farms wanting more information, or to check their current strategy, Dairy Australia's Cool Cows website (www.coolcows.com.au) is a fabulous resource with a large amount of information to assist herds in managing heat stress.

  • Minimising mastitis during rain events & floods

    There have been several recent major rain events and floods across much of the dairy regions of Australia, and more are forecast for the coming weeks.

    Mastitis outbreaks and high cell counts have been and still are a major issue associated not only with flooded areas but also areas that have just been very wet.

    flood_feb11

    Flood water surrounds a dairy

     

  • More trouble - but is it new, or old trouble?

    Dirt and mud on feed pad

    I should have been expecting the phone to drop out, but it still came as a surprise when it did!

    It drops out every time we approach Cape Clear, a small community midway between Ballarat and Lismore in the Western District.

    Unfortunately, I was mid-sentence on the phone to Paul when it happened.

    You may remember Paul from a couple of months ago – his was the large farm where Staph aureus (Staph) had been causing cell count and mastitis issues.

  • Must we accept more mastitis in wet weather?

    Clinical case of mastitis

    Some of our dairy regions have experienced a wet winter for the first time in a number of years, and many farms have found it a test of their patience as well as a test of their infrastructure and systems.

    One of the issues associated with the wet weather has been an increase in milk quality problems in terms of both mastitis and Bactoscan results on some farms.

    As the spring calving winds down, it is an ideal opportunity for each farm to consider that calving period in terms of milk quality outcomes.

    How many cases of mastitis occurred during that calving period? How many is too many?

  • Rain & Mud Mastitis Rescue Pack

    The recent wet weather and mud has seen many farms experience severe environmental issues and often significantly higher levels of mastitis and cell counts.

    At Dairy Focus we have put together a 3-step package to help these farms retrieve their situation - the Dairy Focus Rain & Mud Mastitis Rescue Pack.

  • Rain, mud & mastitis!

    mud
     
    5_areas
    Five key areas of mastitis risk

    The arrival of rain and mud has created mastitis and cell count issues for some farms, whilst others are worried about the increased risk of mastitis, and how to reduce that risk.

    However, this is NOT just about the mud and the environment - there are always several factors that contribute to the increased risk of mastitis in these environmental conditions.

  • Teat skin condition suffers from weather

    Several of our dairy regions are now very wet, and this cold, wet, & often windy weather can quickly cause teat skin to become dry, cracked and chapped.

    Dirty TeatsDry, cracked teat skin significantly increases the risk of mastitis due to the cracks in the skin harbouring more bacteria, and it also causes significant changes in milking machine performance.

    Once teats are coated with dried mud, the teat spray cannot get through to kill the bugs in the cracked skin underneath, and neither does the emollient get through to lubricate and moisturise the skin properly. Thus the skin just dries out more and more, and a self-worsening cycle has begun!

  • Teat skin condition suffers from weather

    Dirty teats

    Several of our dairy regions are now very wet, and this cold, wet, & often windy weather can quickly cause teat skin to become dry, cracked and chapped.

    Dry, cracked teat skin significantly increases the risk of mastitis due to the cracks in the skin harbouring more bacteria, and it also causes significant changes in milking machine performance.

    Once teats are coated with dried mud, the teat spray cannot get through to kill the bugs in the cracked skin underneath, and neither does the emollient get through to lubricate and moisturise the skin properly. Thus the skin just dries out more and more, and a self-worsening cycle has begun!

  • Wash & dry!

    Two core principles behind mastitis control are to minimise the number of bacteria on teat skin and to maximise & maintain teat end health.

    Whilst pre-milking teat preparation is not routinely used in most Australian herds, there is good evidence that targeted use can be of significant benefit.

    In situations where there is excessive exposure of teats to mud and/or faecal material, the introduction of a pre-milking wash & dry routine can significantly reduce the number of bacteria on the teat surface and hence the risk of mastitis.

    Removal of this contamination also allows the teat disinfectant to get to the skin, maximising the chances of both killing bacteria and getting emollient to the skin surface to improve teat skin health.

    Remember that "gold" standard is to have cups going onto clean, dry teats after the cow has had a milk let-down.

  • Will "it" happen to you this mating season?

    Drying teats

    “It” happened last year.

    Actually, “it” has happened each year for a number of years.

    So “it” will probably happen again this year!

    What is “it”? Will you be affected by “it” this year?

    Each year we see a number of farms where a mating synchrony program has been accompanied by an outbreak of clinical mastitis – either during the mating program, or immediately after.

  • Will a heatwave affect your risk of mastitis?

    Summer has arrived and temperatures are soaring, especially in Northern Victoria, and farms expecting these conditions will be making plans to help the cows cope with the heat.

    Echuca forecast for a heat wave

    Source: www.eldersweather.com.au - 13/1/2014

    Dairy Australia's Cool Cows website (www.coolcows.com.au) has a large amount of information to assist herds in managing heat stress.

    However, there is commonly an increase in the risk of mastitis under these conditions – is it possible to reduce or at least manage that risk?

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