“It is very rare to see mastitis infection or sick cows in our herd”
Dairy farmer Paul Cocksedge from the Vagg’s Farm in Gippsland has seen fantastic progress in his cows’ health since installing the ADF Milking system in 2015. There has been a huge improvement in teat condition, bulk milk cell count and clinical cases of mastitis.
“The biggest benefit is the stability of our bulk milk cell count. We don’t see the sudden spikes that we once did”, says Paul. “From individual monthly herd test results, the improvement in BMCC has been very noticeable. There is also a much lower number of new sub clinical mastitis cases”. In the past Paul would discover new cases almost every month and he found it a constant struggle to manage the BMCC in his premium quality band. “The highest cell count cows were being culled regularly to maintain quality. Now these cows can be managed due to the reduced risk of spreading the infection.”
Paul says that a completely unexpected benefit of the ADF System was that it eliminated a bacto scan problem that they always encountered during the wet weather in Gippsland towards the end of lactation. “Being a wet farm, and combined with the lower milk flow at the end of the cows’ lactation, the mud on the cows teats would often accumulate inside the cups during milking. Not only was this detrimental in the spread of mastitis, but the build-up would often have a negative impact on our bacto scan results. The flushing and sanitation of the cups virtually eliminated this problem overnight. Now that we have the ADF system installed, it is very rare to see mastitis infection or sick cows in our herd, and we hardly see any teat cracking during the wet seasons”.
This improvement in health has resulted in a huge reduction in antibiotic use on the farm. “We had a 70% reduction in antibiotic use in the first season – a saving of around $10,000. Also, much less use of antibiotic dry cow therapy. We’re at a level now of only around 10% of the herd requiring antibiotic dry cow treatment,” says Paul.
With ADF Paul has reduced his labour costs, lowered his antibiotics costs and has no more failed milk quality penalties. Paul also believes that the time savings with the ADF are substantial. “With no need to teat spray anymore, not only is that a time saving in itself, cow flow through the dairy has improved substantially due to less staff movement in the dairy.”
Paul couldn’t recommend the ADF System to farmers enough. “Overall, the ADF System has been a remarkable success for us and has already paid for itself through lower antibiotic costs, increased milk income, saved wages, and increased cow numbers.”