International experts to tackle mastitis during DairyCo roadshow

Published 25 June 14

Two internationally-renowned experts will be bringing British dairy farmers their inside knowledge of controlling mastitis during a special DairyCo roadshow, which will run nine meetings across the country throughout August this year.

Professor Joe Hogan from Ohio State University in the US will deliver four meetings between 4 and 7 August in the South and South West of England, focusing on practical tips to manage the cow’s environment to reduce and control the spread of mastitis. Professor Hogan has extensive experience of researching mastitis and translating his research into practical tips and best practice guidance for dairy producers.

From 11 to 13 August, Professor Herman Barkema from the University of Calgary, Canada, will deliver five meetings in the Midlands and North of England, with a focus on areas of management that dairy producers should evaluate on their farms – even if their herd typically runs a low somatic cell count. Professor Barkema and his team are dedicated to working with the dairy industry to provide new tools and knowledge to improve udder health and milk quality as well as reduce the significant economic losses due to mastitis.

The meetings will also be an opportunity for you to find out about the DairyCo Mastitis Control Plan, which was developed from several years of research by experts, here in the UK and is now being used in over 2,000 herds to control and prevent mastitis. 

Mastitis continues to be one of the most costly diseases facing dairy producers and two main approaches have been developed to help tackle mastitis on farm. The first approach is to increase the cow’s resistance through improved breeding by selecting high £PLI bulls with an emphasis on SCC. While breeding strategies will improve resistance in the long term, a more rapid response to the prevention and control of mastitis can be achieved  by improving hygiene in the cow’s environment.

The risk of mastitis is highest just after calving and even higher in first lactation heifers. There are several strategies to avoiding the incidence and spread of this udder infection, and some key management decisions to make prior to treatment of the disease.

Find a ‘Tackling Mastitis On-Farm’ meeting near you