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Learn about the Countdown project by reading these resources.

Countdown resources

Countdown has developed resources and tools to assist dairy farmers and their advisers with clear, consistent, industry-agreed messages for mastitis control.

  • Copy Link Countdown Farm Guidelines

    Countdown Farm Guidelines - 2014

    Practical advice on mastitis control

    The Countdown Farm Guidelines are an essential resource for everyone who milks cows, providing advice on all aspects of mastitis control and milk quality. The guidelines cover best practices at each stage of the cow's lactation.

    The Farm Guidelines have recently undergone a major revision to include new information, integrate with the new Countdown Mastitis Toolkit App and support the revised 'œCups On Cups Off' course offered by the NCDE.

    Order your Countdown Farm Guidelines here. 

    Dairy farmers can order a free copy if you supply your postcode and your Dairy Australia dairy enterprise number. This number can be found on recent correspondence from Dairy Australia or by contacting Dairy Australia'™s member information line on 1800 004 377.

    For all others the cost is $25 per copy including postage within Australia.

    Farm guidelines 2014 cover Countdown Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control (PDF, 3MB)

    The Guidelines are underpinned by the Countdown Technotes - a comprehensive manual for farm advisers that provide the the rationale behind each Farm Guideline recommendation, scientific context, practical tips and key references for further reading.

  • Copy Link Countdown mastitis toolkit app

    Countdown mastitis toolkit app

    Dairy Australia has developed a tailored app to help manage mastitis control for our herds. Whether you want to know a liner change date, the health of cows teats or information on teat disinfectant, this app is comprehensive, up-to-date and easy to use.

    Download the app:


    Google Play

    Designed in consultation with dairy farmers, advisors and vets, this is the one must-have app for udder health and milk quality.

    Stay in premium with the Countdown Mastitis Toolkit.


    Countdown Farm Guidelines for mastitis control
    Topics include: new staff, mastitis at calving, drying-off cows etc
    Library: mastitis control articles, tips & traps
    Clinical cost calculator
    Lower BMCC benefits calculator
    Liner life calculator
    Antibiotics withhold calculator
    Antibiotics reference guide
    Teat gallery
    Teat condition calculator
    Save favourites and email selected guidelines, topics and library resources.

  • Copy Link Countdown news

    Countdown news

    Mycoplasma alert

    Mycoplasma is an emerging cause of untreatable mastitis that has been causing significant problems in Australian dairy herds since 2006. While only a small number of farms have been affected so far, the disease caused by Mycoplasma bovis can have a significant financial impact on a business due to lost production, culling and the death of cows and calves.

    A fact sheet on preventing and controlling Mycoplasma infections is available here as a downloadable PDF file.

    Mycoplasma in dairy herds fact sheet (PDF, 677kb)

    October Countdown Symposium

    ORDER PROCEEDINGS HERE ($25 per copy to cover postage and handling)

    The fifth Countdown symposium was held on Tuesday October 6th 2015 in Melbourne.

    The program included international and Australian experts providing updates on mastitis and milk quality science and innovations, including the breeding for mastitis resistance, management of Mycoplasma infections, mastitis treatment protocols and new research on milk harvesting technology.

    In case you missed this event we have recorded short interviews with three speakers at the Symposium that highlight their key messages. You can listen to these interviews here:

    As for the last Countdown Symposium, this event was held in conjunction with the InCalf Reproduction Symposium (on Monday October 5th).

    Countdown Shed Guides and aprons

    Countdown Shed GuideThe Shed Guides are designed to be used by milkers and farm managers as visual guides for prevention, monitoring and treatment of mastitis.These practical step-by-step Shed Guides are water resistant and can be hung up in the dairy shed for easy reference.

    Farmers ordering the Shed Guides will also receive a bonus high quality Dairy Australia milking apron.

    Order your free copy online.

    Countdown videos

    To complement the new Shed Guides, we have produced four short videos that will be useful for training new staff in hands-on practices and refreshing knowledge of existing staff. The videos cover treating clinical mastitis, dry cow therapy, pre-milking teat preparation and using a rapid mastitis test.

    Take a look at our new videos here.

    Countdown Webinars

    Over the past eight months we have held a series of webinars that many of you attended live. All these events are available to view on demand for your own reference or for your clients via the following links:

    For Farmers:

    Pre-milking teat preparation“ research and application
    Protecting your farm from serious disease Biosecurity and Mycoplasma
    Keys to lower BMCC process of managing BMCC on farms

    Become a Countdown Adviser

    The Countdown Adviser Short Course gives milking machine technicians, vets, and other dairy advisers a wealth of up-to-date technical information and a framework for working with farmer clients on mastitis and milk quality issues.

    The next course will be run in early 2017. Please subscribe to the Countdown program e-subscriber list to receive notification of future courses. 

    More information.

  • Copy Link Cups on cups off training program

    Cups on cups off

    Cups on Cups off

    The Countdown 'œCups On Cups Off' training program covers the milking process, emphasising mastitis prevention and control. The three-session course includes a practical training session to achieve best practice in milk harvesting and detection and treatment of clinical mastitis.

    Participants will gain a certificate of completion and achieve a Level 2“ Milk Livestock (AHCDRY201A) unit of competency.

    For further information phone the National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE) 1300 062 332

  • Copy Link Mastitis control in wet conditions

    Mastitis control in wet conditions

    High cell counts and clinical mastitis won'™t fix themselves! 

    Feed pads, stand-off areas and bare paddocks increases exposure of teats to bacteria. Wet conditions further increase mastitis risk. Many old treatment routines may no longer work in the face of these increased risks.

    In wet or muddy periods there are 4 key steps:

    1. Wash all teats on wet or muddy days. Dry every teat with one paper towel per cow before cups go on.

    2. Strip cows every day to detect, treat and isolate clinical cases

    3. When cups come off, cover all teat skin with disinfectant

    4. Keep teats clean for an hour after the cows leave the shed using feeding and other routines to prevent cows lying down.

    If elevated BMCCs or clinical cases persist

    Look for problems with teat condition, machine function, or opportunities for bacteria to spread between cows. Seek professional advice. Milk cultures can determine the type of bacteria involved. 

    At the end of lactation

    Follow all the steps outlined above. Dry cow antibiotic treatment is recommended to remove infections and reduce mastitis risk at calving. Talk to your vet about blanket or selective Dry Cow Treatment and teat sealant.

  • Copy Link New Countdown resources

    New Countdown fact sheets

    Mycoplasma prevention in dairy herds FAQs (PDF, 118KB)

    Mycoplasma in dairy herds fact sheet (PDF, 682KB)

    High cell counts and clinical mastitis won't fix themselves! (PDF, 375KB) - Details the 4 key steps for reducing mastitis risk in wet and muddy periods

    Countdown Resource Pack (PDF, 797KB) - Mastitis Control in and after wet conditions - Resource pack introduction/contents

    Clinical cases -“ reducing the headache (PDF, 825KB)

    Cow parking and mastitis risk (PDF, 310KB)

    Drying off: the key to a better run next lactation (PDF, 443KB)

    Using teat sealant in your herd (PDF, 493KB)

    High cell count cows -“ what are the options (PDF, 310KB)

    Milking machines (PDF, 495KB) - wet, muddy conditions can create significant challenges for milking machine operation

  • Copy Link Technotes and Mastitis Investigation Pack

    Technotes and Mastitis Investigation Pack

    The Countdown Technotes for Mastitis Control

    The Countdown Technotes for Mastitis Control are an essential reference for advisers in mastitis and milk quality.

    The Technotes are a companion publication to the Countdown Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control. They form both a technical reference and a tool of trade, providing the scientific rationale behind each Farm Guideline recommendation, with practical tips and key references.

    Technotes updates

    Sample Technote 
    Calving section - Technotes- Reduce exposure to environmental mastitis bacteria 

    June 2011: FAQ Sheet
    What are the keys to controlling Strep uberis mastitis in dairy herds?

    November 2010 Technote 5 update
    Use good milking technique and a consistent routine

    November 2010 Technote 6 update
    Monitor and maintain milking machine function

    Previous technotes updates

    June 2011: FAQ sheet
    What are the keys to controlling Strep uberis mastitis in dairy herds?

    November 2010: Technote 5 update
    Use good milking technique and a consistent routine

    November 2010: Technote 6 update
    Monitor and maintain milking machine function

    19 September 2002:
    Teat images to score

    The 2003 Technote Update Pack

    The 2003 Update Pack comprised eight new and revised Technotes (Electronic versions below). Electronic versions are available below.

    Intro pages - 2003 Feb Index Feb 2003
    Technote 4 - Calving - 2000 Jan Technote 9 - teat sores - 2003 Feb 
    Technote 7 - teat disinfection - 2003 Feb Technote 25 - milking machines - 2003 Feb  
    Technote 13 - seek professional advice - 2003 Feb   FAQ - strep ag - 2003 Feb   
    FAQ - liners - 2003 Feb   FAQ – withholding periods – 2015 January 


    Countdown Adviser Talking points

    The Countdown Mastitis Investigation Pack

    The Countdown Mastitis Investigation Pack consists of:

    • The Investigation Master Sheet (Sheet A) for coordinating the investigation and formulating a plan of action; and
    • 12 recording sheets (Sheets B to M) for gathering and interpreting relevant information.

    Use a new copy of the pack for each investigation.

    Technote 13 contains a brief description of each element of the pack and how to use it. Investigators need to be familiar with how to use the pack before starting a farm investigation. Read Technote 13 pages 5-15 for a guide to using these sheets and tips for efficient data collection.

Major Initiatives

Focus Farms

Dairy Australia has established a network of Focus Farms to support farmer decision making.


DairyBase is a web-based tool that enables dairy farmers to measure and compare their farm business performance over time.

More Initiatives