What are your aims for the coming year?

Is your  aim  to reach the top 25% of the current milk market for all milk quality measurements.
A low cell count along with low bactoscan and thermoduric counts reduced mastitis incidence and overall improve general health of your herd.

You have to look at the cost of a case of mastitis for your farm, track the cost in your herd.

Many dairy producers do not believe mastitis costs as much as studies suggests. Many producers think of mastitis costs as the price of intramammary antibiotic tubes. Dumped milk is valued at zero because waste milk is fed to calves. The financial losses based on the grade of mastitis, stage of lactation, reduced peaks, lower conception rates and damaged lactation curves do not show up on your financial report so money lost is unseen. But mastitis affects your bottom line every day.

The economic impact of mastitis is typically much larger than many dairy farmers think; much work has been done to estimate losses at the cow level, the herd level, and the industry level. Understanding the economic effects of mastitis, including partial budgeting for mastitis will highlight the cost, it is time dairy farmers budgeted for mastitis costs?

Education is the key looking forward and introducing mastitis control plans and implementing them with your team.
This belief of negative cost can be transmitted to your employees.
If you have 40% of clinical cases as is suggested its 40 cows per 100.
Highlighting the number of cases in the view of your team can be an eye opener and an education many workers are not privy to this information.
Is your challenge to improve herd health ?

E. coli mastitis

Escherichia coli or known as E. coli is a gram-negative, rod-shaped, a common kind bacterium that lives originally in the intestines of animals (such as sheep and cattle, etc.), usually in the lower guts of warm-blooded ruminant animals and can be found in the guts of humans as well. A large group of bacteria called coliform bacteria is where E. coli part of and this group plays a helpful role in the animals’ nutrition, but the waste or feces of these animals are saturated with the high content of bacteria.

Please don’t assume that they don’t spread during milking. Just like with contagious bacteria, infected cows can contaminate the cluster and spread infection to other cows during milking. However, unlike contagious bacteria, preventing cow-to-cow spread during milking will not eliminate environmental mastitis. This is because parlour routine does not tackle spread from the environment to the cow. To control environmental mastitis, you should assess environmental hygiene as well as parlour routine. Parlour routine, alongside dry cow antibiotics, has been effective in reducing contagious mastitis but the  control of environmental mastitis has been much less effective, so that environmental mastitis now accounts for more than 50% of mastitis cases in UK cattle. All farms need to include environmental milking management in their mastitis control plan.

The two most important bacteria in this group are E. coli and Strep uberis. Of the two bacteria, Strep uberis is the one that spreads more rapidly during milking, while E. coli is the one that is most commonly linked with severe toxic mastitis. However, some strains of E. coli can also be spread  during milking and the majority of mastitis caused by E. coli is mild in nature.

A soiled environment! E. coli comes from the gut, so anywhere where cow faeces can come into contact with the udder, will provide a potential source of coliform mastitis. Bedding is the most important source, particularly organic bedding where the bacteria can grow and multiply. However areas around feeding or water troughs are also risk areas as slurry around these can get splashed onto the udder. Outside of the udder, Strep uberis is also found in the intestines but, compared to E. coli; it is much more commonly found elsewhere on the cow, particularly the skin. Strep uberis has a fantastic ability to develop outside of the cow, particularly in straw. Both E. coli and Strep uberis, particularly the latter, can also cause environmental mastitis in cows on pasture as they can survive for months in contaminated wet mud.
Non-organic bedding, such as sand, doesn’t support the growth of either E. coli or Strep uberis, so the use of such beds can reduce the risk of mastitis. However, these beds need to be kept clean as there is more -than enough organic material in a single faecal pat to support exuberant bacterial growth.
The peak time for infection with new environmental mastitis-causing bacteria is the dry period. Infection during the dry period is often unseen until the cow develops mastitis after calving. In order to control environmental mastitis, we have to focus on environmental management throughout the cow’s lactation cycle. Preventing environmental contamination in the dry cow is just as, if not more than, important as it is in the milking cow.
The latest research from the USA has pinpointed a lack of clean water or contaminated water troughs can be a source of e coli

E. coli can leech into your  water where in fact they can increase in numbers  E. coli can often be found in mud ,small ponds even in bore water.

Ensure mastitis records with good bacteriology are essential to tackling an environmental mastitis problem. Always take a milk sample from cows with mastitis before treating them for the first time, freeze it and when you have a problem you have a selection of samples available to test. Without good information, individualised targeted control programmes cannot be developed for your farm.

This past summer has been a big issue of increased infection of dairy cows due to strep uberis

This past summer has been a big issue of increased infection of dairy cows due to strep uberis

How to avoid Strep uberis?

What the experts say about preventing strep uberis mastitis in dairy cows.

Hygiene in Husbandry Conditions
An intramammary infection is initially preceded by contamination of the teats or the udder surface, whereby in indoor housing the risk of contamination during the housed period is determined by the design of the lying surfaces, the space per cow, the bedding material, the regularity of bedding addition, cleaning and disinfecting as well as the cows´ length of stay in the cubicles.
The fact that the rate of infection with environmental bovine mastitis is highest during the summer months accounts for increased bacterial counts in the bedding material. The indicator for the optimization effort in hygiene of the resting area is the cleanliness of the teats.
The objective should be for more than 90% of the animals to have only a few coarse dirt particles on the teats, which can be removed by simply wiping with a disposable towel or something similar. Feeding imbalances as well as fluctuations in the dry matter intake of the animals seem to affect the rate of clinical Strep. Uberis mastitis in dairy cows.

Machine milking can lead to the proliferation of Strep. Uberis into the glands, which can be avoided by carefully cleaning the teats prior to milking. This can, but does not have to, be carried out by means of disinfecting measures before milking.
A crucial point is that about 95% of the teats leave no or only slightly coloured residues on the disinfecting cloth with which they have had contact before the milking clusters are attached.
All the evidence points to cleaning the actual teat end.
If you’re using too much water, look at the housing and bedding.

The most evidential success of reducing strep uberis is to treat at the dry period