MILKING PRACTICES adopted in large US herds are ensuring lower bulk cell counts and mastitis rates says University of Wisconsin milk quality specialist Pamela Ruegg.

Large herds are foremilking, predipping and wearing gloves when milking, says Dr Ruegg following a survey of 101 cubicle-housed large herds. They also use a single towel to dry each udder. The herds had an average of 377 cows in-milk, with bulk cell counts of 335,762 cells/ml. However, 78 herds in cowsheds, milking an average 87 cows, had a bulk count of 430,221 cells/ml.