Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Milk Quality Awards!
The dairy industry is celebrating the success of top performing dairy farmers producing high quality milk while boosting their on-farm profitability.
The Australian Milk Quality Awards recognise farms that have achieved the best milk quality in Australia based on annual average bulk milk cell count (BMCC) across Australia’s milk processing companies.
Dairy Australia’s Kathryn Davis said the on-farm management of milk quality is key to ensuring the competitiveness of Australian dairy in the marketplace.
“Every year the Australian Milk Quality Awards celebrates the great job being done by dairy farmers up and down the country to keep milk quality at a consistently high standard,” Ms Davis said.
“A low cell count is an indicator that mastitis is well controlled in the herd, improving milk production, cow health and welfare. Farmers achieving a low cell count are also financially rewarded with a premium for their milk and significant cost savings on mastitis treatments and labour.
“For example, analysis shows that a farmer milking 300 cows who lowers their BMCC from 300,000 to 200,000 stands to save $35,700 per year.” Ms Davis said the awards were a unique collaboration across the industry to recognise high-achieving farmers.
Data for the Australian Milk Quality Awards is supplied to Dairy Australia by dairy companies across the country and to be eligible, dairy farms must have data for a minimum of nine months in a calendar year. Monthly averages are then used to calculate the annual average BMCC for each farm and the winners are those 5% of farms with the lowest BMCC.
Ms Davis said one way for farmers to improve their milk quality results was to get involved in Dairy Australia’s Countdown program.
“Countdown is the dairy industry’s flagship program to help farmers and their advisors achieve profitable mastitis control and improve their bottom line by reducing new mastitis infections and lowering bulk milk cell counts in their herds.
“Countdown has lots of information and strategies to reduce mastitis which improves cow comfort and welfare and saves farmers time at milking and considerable money in terms of lost milk production and animal treatments,” Ms Davis said.Ms Davis said the program had recently produced a world-leading mobile app and new Countdown Shed Guides which levy-paying farmers can access for free.
The Silver Plaque winners of 2017: