The dairy industry continues to grapple with logistics when it comes to drying off. The push away from whole-herd dry cow therapy is being made, however, as an industry it is heavily reliant on SCC data to make drying off decisions, because there has been no practical substitute available.

What if there was a better way?

Somatic cell count does not correlate well to whether a cow has an intramammary infection present or not, and specifically whether the infection needs treatments. This results in widespread overtreatment with dry cow therapy at the end of each season. The gold standard approach of culturing a large number of milk samples, while retaining cost-effectiveness, efficiency and practicality has, until now, just been a dream.

DairySmart have combined both science and technology to take the guesswork out of mastitis diagnostics. Whole herd culture-based screening, rapid on-farm mastitis diagnostics and sale/purchase cow screening are available to identify which bacteria each cow has. In combination with expertise in mastitis management, this is leading to significant gains in milk quality for a number of farms in Canterbury already.

Ben Davison, vet and director of Rangiora Vet Centre said “I’ve seen the change the DairySmart system can make on one of my clients’ farms. It’s not only the results he’s achieved with mastitis, but the engagement within his team with everything around mastitis through using DairySmart that is a real shift in the way mastitis is managed onfarm.”

Developed by farmers, for farmers – Chris Brook, founder of DairySmart and with more than 20 years of experience in dairy farming, took it upon himself to solve the practical issues accompanying traditional mastitis diagnostics after a heart-breaking season on the farm a few years ago. Being able to process a large number of samples in a timely manner while retaining cost-effectiveness, and providing accurate results at the time the farmer needs them were hurdles that were not easy to overcome.

“We’ve invented a wand with RFID technology to read a cow’s EID and write it on to a milk sample, so there are no human data entry errors. It’s all cloud-based and our Jupiter device has a machine-learning algorithm that can identify the species on the plate and give that result to you in real time, ” Brook said.

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