Livestock 2013: Somatic cell count reader may cut sampling costs

Farmers can now test somatic cell counts accurately on farm within minutes and from as little as 3p, thanks to a new portable analyser.

Ekomilk Scan from Southwest Scientific can test bulk milk samples and individual cow samples to give an accurate reading .

The system means farmers can monitor a herd or individual cow somatic cell counts and make management decisions on the same day based on test results. This enables detection of subclinical mastitis early.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly at the Livestock Event, Southwest Scientific’s Shaun Fetzer said: “The ability to identify cows or quarters with elevated cell counts early can allow treatment before more significant action, such as aggressive treatment or culling, is required. Early treatment can also get cows back into production much more quickly than if the condition is left to develop unnoticed. Daily testing of cows can also give a good indication of response to antibiotic treatment for mastitis.”

EKomilk works by analysing a 15ml sample comprising a mixture of 10ml of fresh milk and 5ml of reagent. The machine costs £695 to buy and comes with 2,000 samples worth of reagent.

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