New initiative smooths the way for better mastitis control

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, and the results made available to farmers after each milk recording.

The reports allow farmers and their vets to identify the pattern of mastitis in their herd and control measures to be focused on where they are most effective.

Derek Armstrong, AHDB Lead Vet said: “Sending pattern information automatically to farmers and their advisors makes 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.”

The project became possible after the University of Nottingham secured funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and worked with AHDB’s Mastitis Control Plan team to update the tool and link it to REMEDY (a data analytics platform developed by a QMMS and University of Nottingham project funded through Innovate UK.) Ongoing support will be provided by QMMS.

In co-operation with CIS, NMR and QMMS the investment enabled the development of an automated data transfer pipeline between these UK’s milk recording organisations and a cloud-based mastitis pattern analysis tool, removing the need to process data manually.

Farmers can register for the new service at https://cloud.remedy.farm/mpat to start receiving herd mastitis reports after their next milk recording .

Jake Thompson from LLM Farm Vets, part of the VetPartners group who were a key part of the project team said: “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.

“Taking action to reduce the risk to dry cows will be more effective than changing routines in the milking parlour on that farm. On other farms the main current problem may be completely different. Mastitis pattern analysis helps us to make mastitis control plans farm specific”.

The Mastitis Pattern Analysis Tool was created through AHDB’s Dairy Research Partnership with the University of Nottingham and developed with them and QMMS . It identifies problem areas and potential risks to udder health, giving farmers and their vets a way of tracking progress in the herd.

The Tool is a key part of AHDB’s Mastitis Control QuarterPRO initiative, which provides tools and resources for farm teams to meet their vet and/or advisors once a quarter and work together to produce an action plan to improve mastitis control.

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