Environment

Dirt and mud on feed pad
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.

Clinical case of mastitis
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?

Cow in a hot, dry paddock
Cow in a hot, dry paddock

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.

Drying teats
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.

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?

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!

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