January 12, 2011

Healthy cows produce quality milk that dairy farmers rely on to build consumer confidence and stabilize their bottom line.

Somatic cells are white blood cells that increase in response to pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, a cause of mastitis.

“All milk buyers are pushing for lower somatic cell counts and, in the near future, milk over 400,000 SCC will be difficult to sell,” said Jeffrey Bewley, extension dairy specialist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Bewley and Michelle Arnold, extension ruminant veterinarian for the UK College of Agriculture, are presenting workshops around the state aimed at helping producers reduce SCC in their cows. All workshops begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. local time. At each meeting, the Dairy Farmers of America will sponsor lunch.

Topics include: 

  • Mastitis treatment options and strategies
  • Using records and farm diagnostics to solve SCC problems
  • Collecting and interpreting cow and bulk tank cultures
  • Control and prevention of environmental mastitis
  • Milking procedures and contagious mastitis
  • Mastitis vaccines

The workshops are scheduled as follows:

Jan. 18 – Shelby County Cooperative Extension office, 502-633-4593

Jan. 20 – Nelson County Cooperative Extension office, 502-348-9204

Jan. 28 – Monroe County Cooperative Extension office, 270-487-5504

Feb. 4 – Hardyville Community Center in Hart County, 270-524-2451

Feb. 23 – Pulaski County Cooperative Extension office, 606-679-6361

Feb. 28 – Logan County Cooperative Extension office, 270-726-6323

To RSVP, contact the numbers listed next to each workshop location.

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