Mastitis: every year dairy producers lose on average per each animal $300 in Canada, $200 in United States, € 200 in Netherlands.
The main challenges for cattle farmers are related to treatments of different possible cattle health diseases and the management of the reproduction program.
Facilitated global trade of animals, increase milk and meat demand, increased population per farm may lead to poor hygiene in the farms and contribute to a faster transmission of pathogens, vectors and infected hosts, causing many different types of diseases.
Typical diseases of cattle farming are mastitis, lameness and Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD or Calf Pneumonia). Let’s focus on mastitis for now.
Mastitis: always you!
Mastitis is an infection affecting the cow’s udder which has been under close attention of researchers and practitioners for many years but continues to be a great challenge due to a wide range of factors and pathogens accounting for its development.
Challenge: every year dairy producers are taking on large economic losses coming from reduced milk production, increased veterinary costs and labor costs. Mastitis is also causing economic losses in the processing industry (due to decreased production of lactose and casein, less stability of cheese texture and taste, reduction of shelf-life of the products). A number of mastitis-causing agents are responsible also for human cases of infection (Listeria, E. coli) and food poisoning. Although it is caused most often by the consumption of ground beef, cases of contamination through raw milk have been reported too.
Solution: nowadays Automated Milking Systems (AMS) and robots are enriched with electronic solutions / sensors, such as milk flowmeters, conductometers, infrared spectrometry, laser assisted video cameras, udder sensors and sophisticated cleaning solutions aimed at maximizing udder’s comfort and hygiene prior to milking. Other sensors, such as ear tags or collar tags, are able to detect early symptoms of mastitis and warn the farmers to do a thorough inspection of the animals.
Now your turn: are you using any kind of PLF solution at your farm?