July 2020 Dairy Newsletter

Milk Price; Thermodurics & TCMs; Score Drinagh Feeds Mill Video; CellCheck Video Series; Carbery Shares; Mid-Season SCC Management

25 July 2020

Milk Price

The milk price for June has increased by 0.5 cent per litre to 32.54 cents per litre (147.93 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including Summer Somatic Cell Count (SCC) bonus of 0.5 cpl and VAT at 5.4%. Milk price support from the stability fund has also been reduced from 1.5 cent per litre to 1.0 cent per litre.

The average price paid for the month is 35.01 cents per litre. This is based on the average butterfat of 4.01% and protein of 3.44%, including SCC bonus and VAT.

Thermodurics & TCMs

Thermodurics and tricloromethanes (TCMs) are two very important quality tests and results will now be texted out to each supplier monthly from July onwards.

Please see information below regarding the sources and acceptable limits for thermoduric bacteria and tricloromathanes residues in milk.

Thermoduric Bacteria: Thermodurics are bacteria that can survive pasteurisation and grow through cheesemaking and subsequently through the ingredient manufacturing process, ultimately ending up in final product. They affect product quality and can hinder the production of ingredients for sensitive applications such as infant nutrition. Because of their ability to withstand pasteurisation temperatures the initial numbers in milk must be low. A thermoduric level of 500 cfu/ml or less is necessary in milk to ensure that it is fully suitable for processing.

Trichloromethanes (TCMs): are formed when milk and chlorine from the detergent come into contact. Using chlorine-free detergent will remove chlorine re. sidues from the washine routine and limit TCM issues.

Target limits for TCM levels in milk are 0.0012mg/kg and under.

Please note: TCM text results will only be sent out as whole numbers. For example:

0.0012mg/kg = 12 ; 0.0020mg/kg = 20
0.0006mg/kg = 6 ; 0.0035mg/kg = 35

Therefore, each supplier should be targeting a TCM result by text of 12 and under.

Score Drinagh Feeds Mill Video

If you would like to get a better understanding of the milling process and how animal feed is made please watch the video:

CellCheck Video Series

Animal Health Ireland through their CellCheck programme have produced a series of short videos on mastitis control. These videos will focus on some of the most important practices that farmers can adopt, which are proven to help manage and prevent mastitis. A new video will become available each week for the next 7 weeks; watch the week 2 video here.

Carbery Shares

The Board of Carbery has announced a trading window for shareholders who wish to trade their shares in August 2020. This trading window normally runs in May annually but was postponed due to Covid-19 this year.

Any supplier that holds and intends to sell surplus shares can do so during this trading window.

Mid-Season SCC Management

cluster dipping

When cluster dipping follow the dilution rates on the peracetic acid product you purchase. For best results dip the cluster several times and shake off any excess solution before attaching to the next cow. Make up fresh solution after every 8 cows.

Collecting Sensitivity Samples

Once a new clinical case of mastitis has been detected, a sample should be collected from the affected quarter.

The sampling process needs to be as sterile and clean as possible as we are trying to find the infection inside in the udder. The first couple of squirts are discarded on to the ground and then then sample is collected. Only a small sample is required as filling the bottle full will increase the risk of contamination and give misleading results.

Samples should be labelled and dated, these samples can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 or 5 months. Doing this can provide you with excellent samples for sensitivity analysis later in the year which will tell you:

  1. The type of mastitis you have in the herd
  2. The correct antibiotics to use

Samples can be tested in Animal Health Laboratories in Shinagh.

If your bulk tank somatic cell count is starting to creep up slightly - don’t ignore it. It is likely to be because the number of infected quarters in your herd is starting to increase, which in turn can lead to more and more infected quarters. High herd SCC in late lactation is generally because of spread of infection during the summer, not ‘just getting later into the lactation’.

Do not assume that small bulk tank SCC increases during the summer will ‘settle down’- act now, and set your herd up for late lactation, with minimal mastitis infections and maximum milk production.

Mastitis cure rates vary from 20-80% depending on various factors, for example, duration of infection, type of bacteria involved and age of cow so all emphasis is placed on stopping the spread and trying to ensure that a low SCC cow isn’t infected by a problem cow.

What To Do?

1. High cows must be identified and marked. These cows
are often sub-clinical (high SCC but no clots or change in the milk). Use milk recording or send individual samples to Carbery or the Californian milk test (CMT) to identify them.

2. Stop the spread. Infected cows can pass the infection on to the next 8 cows that the cluster will go on to. To avoid this the high cows must be either milked last or dip the cluster in peracetic acid after milking any high cow. Dipping the cluster in peracetic acid will kill the mastitis bugs on the cluster so that they cannot be passed on to the next cow

3. Discuss a treatment plan with your vet.

4. Remove the source of infection, consider shutting down the problem quarter by stopping milking it, this can take 2-3weeks for sub-clinical cases, do NOT use a dry cow tube. If a cow has re-occurring cases of clinical mastitis shutting the quarter is more difficult and requires more care.


  1. Thermoduric and TCM results will be sent out by text
  2. See how the Score Drinagh feeds mill operates https://youtu.be/GeFaSeTG1dQ