Another study has shown that an increased bulk tank somatic cell count (BTSCC) is costing affected dairies potential income (JAVMA 218:1325-1330, Apr 15, 2001). The important losses identified in this study were due mostly to production loss. The calculations used did not include the lost incentives.
Would $10,000 to $30,000 extra income (per 100 cows) have helped your operation this year? A high or even medium BTSCC puts you at a serious to severe competitive disadvantage.
(200,000 to 399,999)
|Value of production difference
(compared to herds <200,000)
Also very interesting to note, this study found the number of cows that died was 14.4% greater for herds with medium btscc and 51.6% greater for herds with a high btscc, compared to herds with btscc under 200,000. this emphasizes the relationship between btscc and cow health.
A comparison was also made between the data in this study and nine other studies done over the past 20 plus years. the results are all similar - elevated btscc (>200,000) reduces production and costs potential income.
I have found in herd evaluations for mastitis that herds with a BTSCC over 400,000 often have a problem with Staph aureus mastitis. When this is a problem, there is no quick fix. The producer can make good progress in six months, but it takes 1-2 years to get it back under control. But, if control measures are not implemented, the situation often becomes disastrous in the next 1-2 years.
I would encourage you to use this information to decide if your dairy has a problem that needs attention. If it does, get help to reduce the BTSCC.©