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Newsletter of Penn Dutch Cow Care October 2007

Hi Folks,

Last month I provided some information from a study that was completed earlier this year by me and the Lancaster Extension agent, Ken Griswold, regarding DHIA information. I showed tables that compared organic and conventional farms in Lancaster County. I did not provide comment as I think DHIA numbers speak for themselves and I know you are smart enough to understand what the standard DHIA numbers indicate.

This month, I will present some more information from the same study but focus in on the survey that was filled out. The information will be from the questionnaire's page on Milk Quality. We then attached the farm's DHIA numbers for milk quality with the respondent's answers to our questions. To re-fresh your memories, some of the questions asked whether or not you wore gloves during milking, whether or not you fore-stripped to check milk, pre-dipped, post-dipped and abruptly dried off cows or gradually dried them off and also what was the active ingredient of your dips (if used). A maximum of 38 responses were possible. The n = number, indicates how many people responded to that question. I will try to explain what the charts are showing, but not interpret them. I'll let you do that.

Ben Zook, 1550 River Rd, Drumore 17518 has 4 certified organic springing Jersey crosses for sale. They are due late October to early November. His phone number is 717-548-3344

This box shows that by wearing gloves the amount of cows with higher somatic cell counts are less. Specifically, there were twice as many cows with SCC 7-9 in herds not wearing gloves. The flip side is that there were no 1st lactation cows with SCC 7-9 and more cows with SCC of 200,000 in herds that do wear gloves.


What this box shows is that with  pre-dipping,all measures of SCC were better than if not pre-dipping.

This graph shows the actual SCC (on vertical line) associated with the years of being organic. It starts at 2 years prior to becoming organic through 16 years of being certified organic. What can be seen is that there is a slow and slight decrease of SCC with time for the farms responding in the study. Each square is a farm at its point in time of being or transitioning to organic.

 This graph shows the seasonality of SCC within the organic herds. We wondered how the purebred organic Holsteins compared with mixed breed herds. It shows that the cross breed herds have consistently higher SCC (the boxes) versus the Holsteins (the diamonds). However, it should be noted that the general trends of increased SCC in July through September and lower SCC in March through June were the same for both the Holstein herds and the crossbred herds. Note that at no time did the trend of herd averages reach SCC 4 (200,000) 

For Bovinity Health, information on functional alternatives to antibiotics see:

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