Dairy Pipeline: December 1998
Gerald M. (Jerry) Jones
Extension Dairy Scientist, Milk Quality andMilking Management
$100 per cow, that's the minimum cost for mastitis. In October, 1998, the DHI average for Virginia was 129 cows, producing 19,705 lbs. of milk with an average somatic cell score of 3.2 at $15.97 per cwt. Using an excel spreadsheet to estimate the impact of SCC on milk yield, the average herd lost a total of $12,972 with $4,622 in reduced milk yield from elevated SCC, $5,084 in lost milk quality premium, and $3,266 in higher replacement-culling costs. This $12,972 loss was when the average herd was compared to a herd whose goal was to produce milk with an average somatic cell score of 2.6 or SCC of 200,000 and culling no more than 3% of the herd because of mastitis. OK, so what's a high SCC costing you?