October 2015 Newsletter

11 November 2015

Milk Price & Supply

The milk price for the month of September is the same as last month – 29.00 cents per litre (131.84 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including a bonus of 0.5 cents per litre for a Summer Somatic Cell Count of less than 200,000, an SDAS bonus of 0.15 cents per litre, milk price support of 0.14 cents per litre and including VAT at 5.2%.

The average price paid for the month based on the average butterfat of 4.23% and protein of 3.76%, including SCC, SDAS bonuses and VAT is 33.96 cents per litre.

The milk supply for the month of September was 15,608,426 litres (3,433,366 gallons). This represents an increase of approx 13.4% on supply compared to September 2014.

Cow Udder Health

High SCC levels and Low Lactose Levels:

One of the major problems with High SCC milk is the low lactose levels that result. Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk which gives milk its sweet taste. Milk Lactose content is largely an indicator of cow milk yield; as yields decrease so does milk lactose content. Late lactation milk will be lower in lactose and this is exacerbated by low nutrition and high cell count.

Guidelines to maintain Lactose >4.2%

  1. Dry off any low yielding cows.
  2. Dry off all high SCC cows - the long dry cow period will help cows overcome high SCC during the dry period for next season.
  3. Maintain a good quality diet; feeding 2 to 4 kgs of ration with good quality autumn grass will help maintain lactose levels. Minimise the amount of silage fed in the diet, ground conditions allowing. Assess your situation carefully.

First Aid Kit Promotion

Special First Aid Kit promotion in Skibereen and Dunmanway Pharmacies.

Under the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme, each farm is required to have a first aid kit on the farm. All first aid kits on promotion are fully compliant with Department of Agriculture and Health and Safety Authorities (HSA) first aid kit recommendations. Also compliant for HSA workplace requirements with 2-10 employees.

Wall bracket included.

Sensitivity Testing

It is not possible to tell which bacteria are responsible for infections by looking at milk, udders or somatic cell counts – you actually have to grow the bacteria present in the milk to know for sure. This procedure is called sensitivity analysis.

For fresh samples, it is important that the sample is received by the lab within 24 hours of the sample being taken. Sterile sample collection is the most important step for successful culturing of milk. Poor technique may give misleading results. Only a small amount of milk is required for analysis – trying to get a large sample increases the chance of contamination. For further information contact AHL in Shinagh @ 023 8854100

Best Practice in Milking Course

This course is purposely designed to help dairy farmers/operators with the implementation of the “Best Skills” possible for their dairy enterprises.

The course itself is delivered by the Farm Relief Services in conjunction with Teagasc and Animal Health Ireland and is a FETAC/QQI Certified Level 6 course.

Its duration is for two days and is roughly 50% theory and practical based. A practical assessment inclusive of an evening milking will follow up the two days training and this will take place roughly four to six weeks after the commencement of the course. This assessment can be altered for New Entrants to Dairy and they can be allocated more time to perfect the practical skills shown on the course.

The Department of Agriculture are part funding the course by 50% for the first 400 participants which ensures a reduction in the price to €250.

Course will be run on November 12th and 13th in Darrara Agricultural Clonakility. If you are interested in attending please contact Mary Duggan FRS Training @ 086 1304435

Trichloromethane (TCM)

Earlier this month all suppliers received a letter from the Society concerning TCM levels in their milk. Any supplier that was over the 0.0015mg/kg level was given their result so that they could start working on reducing their individual TCM levels. Any supplier that was under the 0.0015mg/kg level did not get their individual result but are complying with the standard.

TCMs are formed when milk and chlorine come in to contact. Adequate rinsing of the plant and tank after milking or milk collection is vital to ensure that all milk residues are removed before washing. Likewise it is equally important to remove all detergent residues with adequate rinsing after your wash cycle to ensure that there is no detergent residue left in the plant or tank before the next milking.

The most common cleaning faults are listed below:

  1. Inadequate rinse water used to remove milk residue from machine or tank.
  2. Inadequate rinse water used to remove detergent from machine or tank.
  3. Water trough size inadequate for required rinse water volume.
  4. Chlorine based detergents such as Avalksan, Multisan etc must be rinsed from the plant immediately after the wash cycle, leaving the detergent in the plant between milking is likely to increase TCMs as well as been hard on rubberware.
  5. Using unnecessarily high volumes of detergent.
  6. Using detergent with a chlorine content greater. than 3.5%
  7. Re-using rinse water.