Every dairyperson knows that every disease event is expensive. There are many research studies that have been published estimating the cost of a case of lameness, mastitis, metritis, etc. While those average costs give an idea of what farmers are losing for milk, culls, deaths, and treatment expenses, it doesn’t give the cost for YOUR farm.

Washington State University has been working on a HEALTHSUM report that utilizes treatment data entered into DC305, PCDart, and other record keeping programs. The HEALTHSUM reports slice and dice the information and make it easy to answer questions like:

“What percent of clinical mastitis cases needed to be retreated?”

“What is the conception rate difference between cows treated for mastitis in the first 120 DIM and those who were not treated?”

“What is the difference in peak milk between cows treated for mastitis in the first 90 DIM and those who were not treated?”

This information is specific for your farm and can be used to determine the true cost of disease. As changes are made on the farm to management the disease, the reports can be used to monitor the effect of that change in a timely manner.

An example of real farm data is below:

Difference in Peak Milk between Cows Treated or Not-Treated for Mastitis in the first 90 DIM

# of Cows Average Peak Milk Difference
Lactation One No MAST 368 105 4#
MAST 53 101
Lactation Two No MAST 449 125 9#
MAST 47 116
Lactation Three No MAST 384 132 7#
MAST 82 125

On this farm, there are statistically significant differences of 4-9# of milk between cows treated for mastitis within the first 90 DIM and those who were not. This is a true number that can be used to define the income lost on the farm due to mastitis and what can be spent to correct the situation and improve production and profitability.

We are using these reports with our clients as another tool to define challenges and monitor results of management changes. We look forward to introducing them to you and continuing to help you unlock the potential of your dairy!

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