CONTROLLING MASTITIS using Dairy Australia’s Cups On Cups Off principles has paid dividends for
Gippsland dairy farmers Matt and Rosalie Coleman are ensuring the next generation has the techniques to produce the quality milk they have become renowned for.
Matt and Rosalie, who farm with their children Maya, Billy and Lilia at Maffra in Gippsland, have been recognised for producing milk with cell counts in the lowest five per cent of Australian dairies.
The Colemans milk 200 cows on 56 hectares in the Macalister Irrigation District.Their cows average 520 kilograms of milk solids each, with the herd producing more than 100 000 kg/MS each year.
The Australian Milk Quality Awards recognise farms that have consistently achieved the best milk quality based on annual average bulk milk cell count across Australia’s milk processing companies.
The Colemans show a commitment to good habits — both in the dairy and on the farm — that help reduce incidences of clinical mastitis.
While Mr Coleman leads the way in ensuring milk quality remains high, fifteen-year-old Maya recently attended a Cups On Cups Off workshop to help her better understand the steps involved in producing low cell count milk.
“It was fantastic for Maya,” Mr Coleman said. “It really fast-tracked her knowledge of what happens in the dairy and what happens with the cows.”
For Mr Coleman, who accompanied Maya to the workshop, it was a refresher in best practice helping to reinforce good habits and opening his eyes to a few new procedures.
“It reinforces what you need to do. Things like teat washing the cows and using paper towels. You can never say you know it all, you can always, improve and change,” he said.
His meticulous approach to herd health can be shown in his long list of ‘dos and don’ts’ that contribute to keeping his cows healthy.
“It’s just doing the best you can, whether that’s dry cow therapy, hygiene in the dairy or making sure you are changing your rubber-wear at the right time,” he said.
“Around calving time, I always make sure there is somewhere clean for them to sit down at night time. I also tend to be pretty ruthless on culling cows that have three clinical cases of mastitis.
“We use green filter socks as one of our tools — it just means you can see any prevalence of mastitis that little bit more easily.
“All the little recommendations you will see in the COCO course, we try and tick all those boxes to the best of our ability.”