How Much money is lost from high SCC cows?
Dairy producers endeavour to maintain high-quality milk, which contributes to a safe, sustainable food supply. Mastitis also impacts cow health and wellbeing and ultimately the economic success of the dairy. Many buyers offer incentives related to quality milk standards. Thus, a bonus is added to the milk cheque which is a payment for good practices .however this should not be the prime financial reward for reducing mastitis.
Mastitis decreases the capacity of epithelial cells to produce milk, or destroys epithelial cells. Infections, even those that seemingly cause minor (subclinical) increases in somatic cell counts (SCC), will result in lost milk production in an infected cow during her lactation. This loss is a lost opportunity to put real money in a producer’s milk cheque. However, a cow with subclinical mastitis has the same feed, housing, labour, and husbandry expenses whether she is achieving optimal production or losing milk to mastitis. Thus, subclinical mastitis is a “silent” drain on your money.
Mastitis causes damaging inflammation in the udder, even when the inflammation is mild. Beyond the lost payment for quality milk, treatment costs of clinical cases, lower reproductive fertility and reduced longevity and well-being of affected cows, mastitis also causes a negative day to day milk yield loss.
Milk yield loss for a cow commences at any SCC over 100,000 cells/mL The earlier a cow becomes infected in a lactation the greater the milk yield loss. Decreasing new infection rates during the dry and transition period is critical. Yield losses are relative to the cow’s potential. Cows that milk more lose the same percent of milk from mastitis as those that don’t, thus higher-producing cows lose more milk.