8 June 2001

SCCs UP BY 5% IN O0, SAYS NMR

ROLLING average somatic cell counts (SCC) increased by 5% last year, according to NMR results.

This is the first time cell counts have risen since milk bonus payments for low cell counts were introduced, says Schering-Plough vet Paul Niven.

NMR figures for 2000 show the average herd SCC figure stands at 175,000 cells/ml – an increase of 8000 cells/ml over 1999 and 1998.

"Producers must curb this trend or risk losing valuable income. With a 0.3p/litre bonus for keeping SCC below 150,000 cells/ml, a 6500-litre yielding 100-cow herd with a SCC of 175,000 is already foregoing a low cell count bonus worth about £2000 a year," he calculates.

Where an increasing proportion of older cows are not to blame for increases, identify bacteria involved, treat offending cows and use an effective dry cow therapy regime, advises Mr Niven. &#42