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Dairy Herd Mastitis Program in Argentina: Farm Clusters and Effects on Bulk Milk Somatic Cell Counts

Author(s): C Vissio1*, SA Dieser2, CG Raspanti2, JA Giraudo1, CI Bogni2, LM Odierno2 and AJ Larriestra1

Journal: Pakistan Veterinary Journal
ISSN 0253-8318

Volume: 33;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 80;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Cluster analysis | Dry cow therapy | Mastitis control | Mastitis management | Post-dipping

This research has been conducted to characterize dairy farm clusters according to mastitis control program practiced among small and medium dairy producer from Argentina, and also to evaluate the effect of such farm cluster patterns on bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC). Two samples of 51 (cross-sectional) and 38 (longitudinal) herds were selected to identify farm clusters and study the influence of management on monthly BMSCC, respectively. The cross-sectional sample involved the milking routine and facilities assessment of each herd visited. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to find the most discriminating farm attributes in the cross sectional sample. Afterward, the herd cluster typologies were identified in the longitudinal sample. Herd monthly BMSCC average was evaluated during 12 months fitting a linear mixed model. Two clusters were identified, the farms in the Cluster I applied a comprehensive mastitis program in opposite to Cluster II. Post-dipping, dry cow therapy and milking machine test were routinely applied in Cluster I. In the longitudinal study, 14 out of 38 dairy herds were labeled as Cluster I and the rest were assigned to Cluster II. Significant difference in BMSCC was found between cluster I and II (60,000 cells/mL). The present study showed the relevance and potential impact of promoting mastitis control practices among small and medium sized dairy producers in Argentina.

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