Mastitis Overview


3 min read

Mastitis Benchmarking Healthy Udder Finding an advisor

Mastitis affects udder health and milk quality, impacting farm productivity. To manage it, use SmartSAMM, which offers guidance on reducing mastitis and somatic cell counts. SmartSAMM provides tools the Gap Calculator and Healthy Udder. Healthy Udder gives clear instructions on preventing, finding, and treating mastitis. For benchmarking, compare your herd's udder health with industry standards. These benchmarks show achievable goals based on real data. If you need advice, SmartSAMM connects you with trained professionals, including milk quality advisers, milking machine testers, and vets specialising in mastitis.


Udder health and milk quality are important to farm productivity and profitability. Every farm stands to gain from less mastitis.

This section explains how to minimise mastitis and somatic cell counts on your farm using SmartSAMM.

SmartSAMM covers everything from what mastitis is and why it's important to the best ways to manage it on a seasonal basis and where to get help.

Get started today and improve udder health and milk quality.

  • Use the SmartSAMM Gap Calculator to work out the economic benefit of achieving your goals.
  • Use Healthy Udder for quick tips and the right procedures to prevent, find and treat mastitis.
  • Use mastitis advisors, trained professionals who can help improve mastitis and milking management in your herd.


Without good knowledge of current performance, and a clear idea of what's possible, it's difficult to work out how and where to make improvements.

Use industry benchmarks to compare your herd's udder health performance with industry benchmarks for clinical mastitis and milk somatic cell count (SCC) measures.

These benchmarks are based on real herd data and indicate what's achievable in the future.

For an overview click on the below.

Benchmark exercise

Industry Benchmarks were derived from data sets from Fonterra, LIC, and Cognosco Animal Health Centre (Morrinsville). The performance of herds at the 50% position, top 25% position and top 10% position were identified. These "percentile" figures provide industry benchmarks.

For more information:

To find out more about the importance of benchmarking, click on the resources below:

Lower cell count benefits bottom line. Fonterra Farmlink, November 2011 PDF (161 kb)

Guideline 11 - Monitor bulk milk SCC

Healthy Udder

What does Healthy Udder provide?

Clear instructions on ways to keep udders healthy by preventing new cases of mastitis, finding new cases, and treating new and existing cases in the right way.


Healthy Udder explains how to:

Put on and take off teat cups, how to apply teat spray and how to identify teat damage.

For more, go to:


Healthy Udder explains how to:

Find new clinical cases, use a RMT (rapid mastitis test) and how to collect milk suitable for culture.

For more, go to:


Healthy Udder explains how to:

Follow the MRS T process, use injectable and intramammary products and products at dry off.

For more, go to:

How do I use it?

Use Healthy Udder to:

  • provide clear instructions
  • develop new skills
  • mentor new team members
  • improve farm procedures.

How do I get it?

  • To download or order for use in the farm dairy, click on the links below.

Want to make best use of Healthy Udder?

  • Contact your herd veterinarian or vet practice
  • For detailed investigations, work with an NMAC accredited vet.

Finding an advisor

SmartSAMM is working with advisers to provide effective services for farmers.

Seek help to reduce your bulk milk SCC and mastitis.

  • To find a milk quality adviser:
  • To find a qualified milking machine tester:
  • To find a vet that specialises in mastitis investigations:
    • Ask your local vet who they recommend
    • Select a region below to find a vet accredited by NMAC*
  • NMAC (National Mastitis Advisory Committee) accredited vets are qualified to undertake detailed on-farm mastitis investigations, and to access demerit relief under Fonterra's Mastitis Support Programme.
Last updated: Aug 2023

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