Eye on Mastitis Control

April 5, 2009 07:00 PM

*Extended comments highlighted in blue.

Kevin Phillips
Waynesboro, Va.
Mastitis control starts with cleanliness. Since our milk cows are totally confined, stalls are cleaned every milking (3X).

Once a day, dehydrated lime is sprinkled on the back of the stall. Once a week, fresh bedding is put in the stalls. We prefer dry sawdust, but due to the availability and price, we are using some sand, which did not show an improvement in SCC. We receive a quality premium if the monthly average SCC is under 300,000; North Point's average is 220,000 to 250,000.

We are on a schedule with our milk equipment dealer, who regularly checks our equipment to make sure it is operating correctly and at the highest standard for vacuum level, pulsation rate, etc.

Cows are predipped, stripped and dried with a cloth towel and made sure they are clean before attaching milking units, approximately 60 seconds after predipping. Cows are postdipped before leaving the parlor. Milkers wear gloves and strive for consistency. If a cow comes in with mastitis, she is immediately treated and removed to our sick pen, where she will receive extra attention.

Cows are dry-cow treated when they are turned dry and are moved to another farm. Three weeks before calving, they are put in a dry-packed barn, where they receive extra attention.

Phillips' February Prices  
Milk (3.5% bf, 3.0% prt): $12.49cwt.
Cull cows: $40/cwt.
Springing heifers: $1,350/head
Alfalfa hay (if you can find it): $200/ton
Cottonseed: $220/ton
Ground corn:  $175/ton
Soybean meal (48%): $340/ton

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