The sampling method is now SMART, which gives a full insight into cow performance at a low cost. Having frequent results allows an SCC profile for each animal to be made. This creates awareness about the SCC pattern, which supports the farmer in management decisions.
With SMART sampling, every third milking per cow will be sampled. When a cow becomes suspicious her sampling frequency will automatically increase to every milking for as long as necessary.
By showing the trend in SCC values the farmer can decide how to treat the specific cow. In addition, the structured monitoring makes the attention list more accurate and precise. Information is shown clearly in the Lely T4C management program, which gives valuable information on an individual cow level and at herd level.
Therefore SMART sampling is a tool for building up a history in order to make the right decision on the following issues:
1. Treatment: in the event that the cell count rises, a farmer can decide what to do directly. In this case, immediate treatment is required.
2. Is preventive dry-off with antibiotics needed?
In figure 2 the cell count stays at a permanently low level, so no preventive dry-off is needed.
Figure 3 shows various cell count peaks in the last month; therefore preventive dry-off is chosen.
3. Keeping track of the cows that contribute the most to the herd: in figure 4 we can see that the last column shows the percentage contribution to the herd.
Reports working with cell count are:
• Report 12 – Milking/udder health working list*
• Report 16 – Milking/herd overview
• Report 23 – Milking/udder health analysis
• Report 42 – Milking/cow daily production
By using SMART sampling a farmer is able to act directly based on actual and real-time information.
Lely Farm Management Support
*SCC attention only in combination with daily production deviation in report 12.
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Why treatment plans?
Ensuring that animal health issues are dealt with effectively and that the labour involved in the treatment is efficient is very important, particularly as herd sizes become larger. Farms with an automatic milking system have an extra tool they can use to increase the effectiveness of the treatment, thereby decrease the effort of the farmer has to make to achieve the best results.