Actions and outcomes of Wisconsin dairy farms completing milk quality teams

J Dairy Sci. 2005 Jul;88(7):2672-80. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(05)72944-1.


Actions and outcomes of Wisconsin dairy farms (n = 113) that completed a team-based milk quality improvement program were assessed. Selection of milk quality goals and adoption of management actions were evaluated. Management and financial data related to milk quality were compared between the beginning and end of the milk quality program. Milk quality premiums were reported to be the largest financial opportunity related to milk quality and reduction of bulk milk somatic cell count (SCC) was the most commonly listed goal. Recommended management practices were highly adopted upon completion of the program. Operators of herds housed in freestalls that were not using a recommended management practice at the beginning of the program were more likely to adopt it during the program than were operators of herds housed in stallbarns. Use of written protocols for treatment of clinical mastitis, microbiological analysis of milk obtained from cows having clinical mastitis, frequent training of milking personnel, and scheduled milking system analysis occurred more often in herds housed in freestalls. In general, herds completing the milk quality program reported significant reductions in measures of clinical and subclinical mastitis, reduced bacterial counts in bulk milk, and reduced culling of cows because of mastitis. At the end of the program, increased milk quality premiums and decreased losses attributable to mastitis resulted in improved estimates of financial performance. Herds beginning the program having high bulk milk SCC had greater improvements in milk quality during the program, including a greater reduction in bulk milk SCC and fewer losses attributable to mastitis. The majority of the herds considered themselves successful in achieving their goals for milk quality and intended to continue meeting with their teams.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dairying / economics
  • Dairying / methods*
  • Dairying / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Housing, Animal
  • Lactation
  • Mastitis, Bovine / economics
  • Mastitis, Bovine / epidemiology
  • Mastitis, Bovine / microbiology
  • Milk* / cytology
  • Milk* / economics
  • Milk* / microbiology
  • Quality Control*
  • Wisconsin