Association SCC early in first lactation and lifetime milk yield

Breeding a sustainable herd with a high average lifetime production requires proper farm Management and a variety of expertise within the farm. As presented at the FMS Symposium in 2012 ‘Cows in the cloud as key to advice’, age and weight at first calving are of great influence. Another factor influencing the sustainability and average lifetime production of the herd is an increased SCC in the first lactation, according to Irish research.

Management, T4C & InHerd, Milking



The research (J. Dairy Sci. 96:2951-2959) investigated 7,537 Irish dairy cows in 812 different herds on an association in increased SCC in heifers within 5 to 30 in their first parity, and the lifetime production and survival rate at the period of 5 years. Within the research the heifers are categorized in 4 groups based on the SCC in the first 30 days. (Figure 1) 
Figure 1


One of the outcomes we can extract from the study is that the lifetime production increased from 18.900 kg at a SCC of >400.000 to 23.800 kg at a SCC of < 55.000. Or in other words the lower the SCC direct after first calving the greater the impact on the lifetime milk yield. Another issue to keep in mind is the economic influence of a too high SCC direct after first calving. Lifetime milk yield will drop and costs will increase. This is confirmed by the simulation model on the economic impact used by the researchers. For detailed info, please check the full research.


This study demonstrated that for cows in Irish dairy herds, a too high SCC between 5 and 30 DIM during parity 1 was negatively associated with lifetime milk yield. A too high SCC direct after the first calving can be seen as an indication that (management) actions are required. Following actions can be considered:
•    Prepare the heifers for calving by means of a well-balanced ration, ensure correct weight at calving.
•    Reduce stress to a minimum prior, during and directly after calving.
•    Ensure maximum hygiene and comfort prior, during and directly after calving.
•    Closely monitor the udder health and weight of the fresh calved heifers via T4C.
•    When there is any (udder health) attention (report 12), act directly.

S. C. Archer , F. Mc Coy , W. Wapenaar and M. J. Green. 2013. Association between somatic cell count early in the first lactation and the lifetime milk yield of cows in Irish dairy herds. J. Dairy Sci. 96 :2951–2959.
S. C. Archer , F. Mc Coy , W. Wapenaar and M. J. Green. 2013. Association between somatic cell count early in the first lactation and the longevity of Irish dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 96 :2939–2950

Other Farming Insights

T4C 3.11 update

T4C & InHerd

T4C 3.11 update

As of June 2019, the roll out of T4C update 3.11 will start. This update contains new KPI’s of cow performance and rumination of lactating cows, new options in the routing settings, new Vector settings, new remark fields, an attention ‘suspect for abortion’ and new features for the grazing reporting. Since the roll out will start soon, it is good to know what the update entails. KPI for energy-corrected milk or milk solids To get a better insight into your cows’ performance, there is now a KPI available that shows milk yields, but with a correction for fat and protein content. There is a choice between three formulas, which are FPCM (fat- and protein-corrected milk), ECM (energy-corrected milk) or milk solids (sum of kg dry matter of fat and protein). These calculations are available as a KPI on the dashboard, but also on an individual-cow basis in the report generator. However, they are not enabled by default. On the ‘Global farm set-up’ page, you can choose which formula you would like to use. Routing: pause a scheduled routing On the ‘Daily entry’ page, a new action has been added called ‘Scheduled routing’. On this page, you see all the cows that currently have an active routing task based on a scheduled routing task. This gives you more insight into which cows are routed or ‘to be routed’ and why they are routed. In addition, you can pause these tasks. This could be useful, for example, when you want to skip hoof trimming for a day due to harvesting. Routing: only route after milking When treating a cow, it is often desirable to have a cow in the separation area with an empty udder. With Lely T4C 3.11 it is now possible to enable a setting that makes sure that routing tasks are only active when a cow is allowed to be milked. This could also prevent cows with full udders being in the separation area for longer periods. This functionality is also available for scheduled routing tasks. Lely Vector: enter ration in dry matter Lely Vector rations can also be entered in kg dry matter. This would be very useful when customers receive their ration in dry matter per cow from their feed advisors. Reproduction remarks In this update, the usage of the reproduction remarks is improved. There are now also remark fields available for the pregnancy check and calving actions. Rumination KPI for lactating cows only Usually the rumination activity KPI is used to analyse the rumination of the part of the herd that is currently in lactation. However, since this KPI also includes dry cows and young stock, there is now also a KPI that shows only the average for the cows that are in lactation.   ‘Suspected miscarriage’ attention If a pregnant animal has shown serious heat signs since the last positive pregnancy test, she is shown on report 34 – Reproduction check with the remark ‘Suspected miscarriage’. Grazing report This new report shows the grazing per cow. The time is calculated from the moment she is routed to a grazing destination until she is recognised again by another device. Related to this same data, there is now also a grazing report for all the lactating cows.