Sep 16, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions Sign UpLogin

EU Regs Are Pushing U.S. Cell Counts Lower

September 10, 2013
By: Jim Dickrell, Dairy Today Editor

Non-compliant milk dropped 40% in 2012

An analysis of bulk tank somatic cell counts in four Federal Milk Marketing Orders suggests the 400,000 cell/ml European Union (EU) threshold may be having a positive impact on U.S. milk quality.

Dairy Today red dot
Bonus Content
More on the SCC trend

For the first time, the milk volume weighted average of SCCs fell below 200,000 cells/ml in 2012, according to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The average was 206,000 cells/ml in 2011, and it fell to 194,000 cells/ml in 2012.

The EU now requires that any milk or dairy products have an SCC of less than 400,000 cells/ml based on four consecutive rolling three-month geometric means. Failure to meet this standard requires farms to obtain a derogation or other non-export market. Since it is difficult and expensive to segregate milk, milk buyers require non-compliance farms to obtain the derogation.

Four Federal Orders—Central, Mideast, Southwest and Upper Midwest—collect SCC data. According to this data, some 6% to 10% of U.S. milk shipments would have been non-compliant in 2012. But these are typically smaller farms, who struggle most with milk quality. "These shipments represented less than 3% of milk shipped during the monitored months," say APHIS officials.

Shipments of non-compliant milk dropped dramatically from just under 10% in January 2012 to 6% in June, and then upticked slightly during the hot summer months. They dropped to less than 6% by December 2012. The milk volume of non-compliant milk was about 3% in January 2012 and then hovered just above 2% the rest of the year.

There’s other good news, as well. "Since 1997, the milk-weighted bulk tank SCCs in the U.S. have decreased 101,000 cells/ml (32.4%)," say APHIS officials. Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) data also show a similar decline, with DHIA herd SCCs declining from 314,000 cells/ml in 1997 to 200,000 cells/ml in 2012.

See Comments

FEATURED IN: Dairy Today - September 2013

Log In or Sign Up to comment


No comments have been posted



Receive the latest news, information and commentary customized for you. Sign up to receive the AgWeb Daily eNewsletter today!.

Enter Zip Code below to view live local results:
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions