Challenging the status quo in milking routine in large herds

Over the past 18 years, SCC have dropped dramatically while milk yield has increased in large herds in the USA as are a result of the implementation and optimization of recommended milking procedures.

Globally, herd size continues to increase due to various factors: the removal of the quota system in Europe, the expansion of Chinese dairy production, primarily through an increase in larger herds, and the expansion of the large herd segment, predominant in new investments in Oceania, South America and Northern Japan. Large herds have been particular to some parts of the USA such as California, Texas, Florida and Idaho. Today a major portion of all cows in the USA is milked in larger herds. Increased herd size is normally associated with increased stocking densities and the potential for increased infection pressure. A review of the practices currently employed on larger farms in the USA to maintain milk quality, low infections rates, and low SCC was presented at the 2016 New Zealand Milk Quality Conference (Lopez Benavides et al)*.

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