On-farm culture for mastitis pathogens

As dairy producers work to improve their mastitis control, some have added a valuable tool to their effort: on-farm culture of milk from cows with mastitis. On-farm culture of milk from individual quarters can be used to identify basic organisms that cause mastitis in the herd and thus provide information for treatment decisions and prevention strategies.

Mastitis control is a whole program of preventing new infections through actions in the barn, as well as during milking, from good nutrition to good handling. The focus should always be on improved prevention, yet when mastitis occurs producers need information to guide their decisions and to add to their knowledge for prevention.

On-farm culture is fairly simple, the investment cost to get started is low and anyone who is willing to learn and be disciplined in their methods can do it with success. It can be done for an individual herd, or within a community for several herds. As you read this, think about how on-farm culture could strengthen your