Dairy farmers can now access automated mastitis reports about their herd from their milk recording organisation thanks to a new cross-industry initiative.
Somatic cell count and clinical mastitis treatment records will be analysed through the Mastitis Pattern Analysis Tool.
The results will be made available to farmers and their vets after each milk recording.
The tool identifies problem areas and potential risks to udder health, giving farmers and their vets a way of tracking progress in the herd.
The reports allow them to identify the pattern of mastitis in their herd and control measures to be focused on where they are most effective.
The tool was created through AHDB’s Dairy Research Partnership with the University of Nottingham and developed with them and Quality Milk Management Services.
Derek Armstrong, AHDB lead vet, said that sending pattern information automatically to farmers and their advisors made the process 'a whole lot smoother'.
"As mastitis is still the biggest disease cost on dairy farms, this analysis will help make sure actions to improve mastitis control are targeted to individual farms," he said.
Jake Thompson from LLM Farm Vets, part of the VetPartners group who were a key part of the project team, said that taking action to reduce the risk to dry cows will be more effective than changing routines in the milking parlour on that farm.
"If the mastitis pattern shows there is more of a problem in early lactation from infections picked up from the environment in the dry period, we will then look more closely at how the dry cows are being managed.
"On other farms the main current problem may be completely different. Mastitis pattern analysis helps us to make mastitis control plans farm specific."
The tool is a key part of AHDB’s Mastitis Control QuarterPRO initiative, which provides resources for farmers to meet their vet once a quarter and work together to produce an action plan to improve mastitis control.