SmartSAMM – a fresh approach to extension in New Zealand

M2-magazine-SmartSAMM-new-zeelandSmartSAMM is the New Zealand dairy industry’s new mastitis extension (advisory) programme, which helps farmers capture the benefits of improved udder health on the farm. SmartSAMM builds on the success of the SAMM Plan (the Seasonal Approach to Managing Mastitis Plan), first released in the early 1990s. The SAMM plan relied on a “one-size-fits-all”, technical approach to mastitis extension. SmartSAMM aims to help farmers develop customised solutions for their herd. The first innovation, “Healthy Udder” was released to farmers in October 2011, followed by the SmartSAMM website in June 2012. Coupled with the launch of proactive management initiatives by Fonterra, the major milk processor, in December 2011, and favourable weather, the average milk SCC for Fonterra dropped by 12%, from 212,000 cells per ml in the 2010/11 season to 187,000 cells per ml for the 2011/12 season.