High SCC Levels Could Hit Farmer Incomes

UK - Latest GB Somatic Cell Count (SCC) figures averaged 203,000/ ml in August 2012. This was 8,000/ml (4.1 per cent) more than July and was the highest figure since September 2009. What is also interesting is the swing in SCC values during 2012, writes DairyCo.
calendar icon 18 October 2012
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While SCC levels do increase seasonally, 2012 saw SCC values increase by 26,000/ml (14.7 per cent) between February and August 2012. The last swing of this nature was seen in 2009.

Poor weather this summer will have had an effect as cows are more likely to have been exposed to risk factors, increasing the instances of Mastitis. As well as the cost in terms of treatment and loss of milk, the milk price is also likely to come under pressure for some farmers on SCC payment boundaries. Over the last 12 months, several processors have tightened the banding on SCC levels with bonuses linked to lower rates than in previous years.

Weather conditions this summer have been severe and have indeed been a key driver in SCC values increasing.

However, it now more important than ever that farmers look to reduce the risk where possible, so that increases in SCC values are kept to a minimum and farmers do not lose out on bonuses or get penalised.

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