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DHIA Service Center, Orchard Road, University Park, PA 16802
Question: For a long time
our bulk tank somatic cell count
has stayed between 300,000 and
400,000. We have tried every
thing we know, but cannot make
progress at lowering it. What
can you suggest?
Answer: You are not alone
with this type of frustration. Re
cently I came across data show
ing that there is a national
upward trend in SCC. In 1996,
average SCC among DHI herds
across the country was 307,100
climbing to 313,500 in 1997 and
318,000 during 1998. The fol-
Daily Milk Ave. SCC
Md. 49.7 66.9 347,000 33.7%
NJ 55.4 64.7 377.000 36.1% 8.7%
Ohio 48.2 66.2 350,000 34.0% 6.4%
40.8 65.8 331,000 29.3%
WVa 59.8 59.5 387,000 41.6% 6.4%
Apply compost and
organic mulch to anv row crop
Millcreek Row Mulchers
also let you drop spread
in the center of rows.
lowing is taken from a table of
data and we will look at some
local surrounding states.
This data suggests that what
you are seeing in your herd is
not out of the ordinary. This is
not to say that your desire to im
prove is anything short of admi
rable, but realize that getting
and staying better requires com
mitment and management for
what may seem at times to be
This best advice that I can
give in this situation is to use in-
From tree fruit to vegetable beds, from bramble crops
to vineyards, organic mulch and compost can reduce
chemical input for weed suppression, retain soil moisture,
and improve soil fertility by adding organic matter to sandy
and clay soils.
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material, and even lets you adjust the depth and width of the
mulch rows from 12" to .120" wide, from 1 /2" to 6" deep.
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Bird-m-Hand, PA 17505
formation frotai both the pay
ment samples collected from
your bulk tank and the DHIA
test day information. The DHIA
SCC information can be valu
able as a guide to suggest where
SCC problems are likely to start
in your herd.
The last four months of test
day information will be looked
at in the following way. All of
the cows each month with over a
400,000 SCC will be considered
problem cows. Every month
from December through March
we will look at the cows that
reach this level for the first time.
This will eliminate repeat of
fenders month to month.
What we see here are a couple
of trends that might lead to the
proper direction in SCC im
provement. First lactation ani
mals and mature as well,
approach near 50% infection
level at the start of the lactation
(6 of 14 and 9 of 20). This simi
larity might suggest we rule out
dry-off management since there
is no dry-off for the first lacta
tion animals. The mere fact that
we see a large percentage of in
fections at the start of lactation
might also point in the direction
of the time period prior to early
lactation (prefresh). It would
appear that a look at the envi
ronment for these cows is in
The other two columns reflect
that the total number of tests
that these cows went through
during their lactation so far.
They also give the number of
times that the 400,000 SCC was
surpassed during those tests.
First lactation reaches an infec-
Cunent latest day Total# Tests Total#
Average Farm Feed
Costs for Handy
To help fanners across the state to
have handy reference of commodity
input costs in their feeding operations
for DHIA record sheets or to develop
livestock feed cost data, here’s last
week’s average costs of various ingred
ients as compiled from regional reports
across the state of Pennsylvania.
Remember, these are averages, so you
From Tools to
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Lancaster Farming, Saturday, April 29, 2000-A35
tion frequency of 34% (31 di
vided by 92). Older cows stay
infected 52% of the time. It
would appear that once cows are
infected, they have a higer risk
of being infected again. The im
portance of stopping the new in
fections is apparent.
Now that we have some idea
of where infection risk is high
est, we can make plans to reach
our goals. We also have in place
a way to measure progress in at
taining that goal.
SCC>4OO,OOO SCC>4OO,OOO in Lactation Infections
will need to adjust your figures up or
down according to your location and the
quality of your crop.
Com, No.2y 2.48 bu., 4.44 cwt.
Wheat, N 0.2 2.31 bu., 3.86 cwt.
Barley, N 0.3 —1.75 bu., 3.75 cwt.
Oats, N 0.2 —1.59 bu., 4.95 cwt.
Soybeans, No.l 4.94 bu., 8.24 cwt.
Ear Cora 76.87 ton, 3.84 cwt.
Alfalfa Hay —129.25 ton, 6.46 cwt.
Mixed Hay —126.75 ton, 6.34 cwt.
Timothy Hay —128.00 ton, 6.4 cwt.
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