Sep 03 2023

Mastitis Agreement

Mastitis Agreement: What You Need to Know

Mastitis, a painful and potentially serious inflammation of the mammary gland in lactating animals, is a common problem in the dairy industry. To address this issue, many dairy farmers use a Mastitis Agreement with their milk processor.

What is a Mastitis Agreement?

A Mastitis Agreement is a contract between a dairy farmer and their milk processor that outlines the steps the farmer will take to prevent and treat mastitis in their herd. The agreement typically requires farmers to follow best practices, such as proper sanitation and milking procedures, as well as to promptly report any cases of mastitis to their milk processor.

Why is a Mastitis Agreement important?

Mastitis can have a significant impact on milk quality and production, as well as the health and well-being of the animals. By following the guidelines outlined in the Mastitis Agreement, farmers can help prevent and minimize the effects of mastitis in their herds.

In addition, participating in a Mastitis Agreement may benefit farmers by reducing the number of rejected milk shipments due to high somatic cell counts (SCC). SCCs are a measure of the amount of white blood cells in milk, and high counts can indicate the presence of mastitis. By reducing SCCs, farmers may be able to improve their milk quality and potentially receive premiums for their milk.

What are some common elements of a Mastitis Agreement?

While the specific requirements of Mastitis Agreements may vary depending on the milk processor and region, some common elements include:

1. Proper sanitation: This includes regular cleaning and disinfection of equipment, milking parlor, and animal housing areas.

2. Milking procedures: Acceptable milking procedures, such as proper teat preparation, handling, and post-milking teat disinfection, should be followed to reduce the risk of mastitis.

3. Testing and treatment: Regular testing for mastitis should be conducted, and infected animals should be promptly treated using approved methods.

4. Record-keeping: Accurate and up-to-date records of milk production, SCCs, and mastitis incidents should be maintained to identify trends and facilitate early detection and prevention of mastitis outbreaks.


In conclusion, participating in a Mastitis Agreement can help farmers prevent and manage mastitis in their herds, improve milk quality, and potentially increase profits. By following best practices and adhering to the guidelines outlined in the agreement, farmers can help ensure the health and well-being of their animals, as well as the consumers who rely on their milk products.

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