29 September 2000

Hygiene paragon

AN ability to consistently achieve good hygienic milk quality has earned Norfolk herdsman Keith Hands the Promar Mastitis Manager of the Year award.

The companys director of milk hygiene Rob Holliday said that producers achieving top class hygienic quality would maximise their milk price and benefit further through reducing the number of clinical mastitis cases in their herds.

Mr Hands has maintained Martin and Richard Websters 90-cow herds geometric cell count below 100,000/ml and kept the Bactoscan to below 30,000/ml for 24 consecutive months. The herd, at Bolwick Hall Farm, Marsham, Aylsham, Norwich, also suffers few clinical mastitis cases.

Mr Hands uses individual cell count results to help him pin-point problem cows. He is also careful to wash and dry each cows udder before milking and sprays teats afterwards.

Loose yards are bedded once daily, with another big bale spread at night.