Managing Milk Quality (Countdown 2020)

Meet Kathryn Davis, our Countdown 2020 project manager. Find out how Countdown works, what's new, and how it benefits dairy farmers and the industry...

What's new in Countdown 

 Dry cow treatment  
 Teat sealants  
 Countdown mastitis toolkit app  


Udder health and milk quality is important to farm productivity and profitability. It impacts: 

  • Cow production; 
  • Payments for milk; 
  • Animal welfare; 
  • Labour requirements; 
  • Genetic gain and replacement rates/herd expansion; and
  • Base farm costs.

Dairy Australia’s Countdown project is an investment in mastitis and milk quality control. After years of reducing Bulk Milk Cell Counts, the industry is now experiencing a creeping increase. Climate change and its impacts on farming systems and weather conditions may be contributing factors.

Project objectives:

To protect and improve profitability for dairy farmers and the industry through managing milk quality.

Targets are:

  • 97% of annual average herd bulk milk cell counts (BMCC) below 400,000 cells/ml, (the 400,000 cells/ml threshold relates directly to the EU directive EEC 92/45 on milk quality);
  • 70% of herd BMCC below 250,000 cells/ml;
  • 90% of farmers can access resource to effectively manage raw milk microflora, and;
    Chemical residue risks are lessened and result in no loss of market access.

Project scope:

Countdown promotes better udder health, milk quality and dairy farm profitability through: 

  • Mastitis management guidelines;
  • Technotes 
  • Web-based and smartphone resources, and 
  • Customised training.

Countdown is introducing strategies to better manage on-farm raw-milk microflora and residual chemicals. The project is investigating control measures for Mycoplasma infections, an emerging problem in large dairy herds that can be harmful to udder health, milk production and animal welfare.

More information: 

For more information, contact: