Mastitis is the most costly animal health condition managed by New Zealand dairy farmers.
Benefits of improved udder health include:
• More milk in the vat
• Better animal health
• Better fertility
• Shorter milkings
• Happier milking team.
SmartSAMM is the Smart Approach to Minimising Mastitis. It builds on the success of SAMM Plan, operated in New Zealand between 1993 and 2010.
Helping farmers achieve industry targets for udder health is at the core of SmartSAMM.
- 150,000 cells/ml bulk milk somatic cell count average for the season
- 8-10 cases treated per 100 cows, per lactation
- 1-2% of cows in the herd culled directly due to mastitis.
By achieving these targets the New Zealand dairy industry stands to gain $180 million operating profit per annum ($14,900 per herd or $37 per cow), enhance our international competitiveness, and improve animal welfare and working conditions on farm.
For more on the Dairy Industry Strategy click here.
Steps to improvement
Mastitis is a normal part of any dairy production system, and good management minimises its impact.
SmartSAMM provides tools and resources to support continuous, and sustainable, improvements. These include:
Step 1: Assess current udder health situation – see Mastitis Focus Report.
Step 2: Identify scope for improvement – see Gap Calculator
Step 3: Review options and make a plan – see Healthy Udder
Step 4: Take action and review progress – see Healthy Udder Service
See case studies for ways that the SmartSAMM programme has been applied.
See Continuous Improvement Process for more on this approach.
Introducing the SmartSAMM project team:
Mark is a DairyNZ senior developer, and project manager of SmartSAMM. One of his main areas of interest is reducing the incidence of mastitis in dairy cows and improving milk quality.
Jane is a DairyNZ senior scientist and technical leader for SmartSAMM. She is also Secretary for the National Mastitis Advisory Committee...more.
The SmartSAMM team collaborate with NMAC (National Mastitis Advisory Committee), which represents key stakeholders and service providers, to support farmers better manage mastitis and milk quality in New Zealand.
SAMM Plan has been incorporated into SmartSAMM.
SAMM Plan, or the Seasonal Approach to Managing Mastitis plan, was the extension programme for NZ that operated from 1993 until 2010. Operated by NMAC, it was well supported by researchers, dairy companies and commercial companies.
Dramatic industry growth, rising somatic cell counts and a growing gap in industry capability created the need for a more comprehensive programme. SmartSAMM was developed to help farmers and their advisors achieve sustainable improvements in udder health.
Source material for SmartSAMM was drawn from SAMM Plan and Dairy Australia's Countdown Downunder programme.
NMAC stands for the National Mastitis Advisory Committee.
Activities supported by NMAC include:
- Annual, now biennial Milk Quality Conferences
- Publishing “Managing Mastitis, a practical guide for New Zealand dairy farmers” 3rd ed. in 2001.
Dairy Australia's Countdown Downunder is the source material from which SmartSAMM resources and tools are derived, updated and adapted for New Zealand dairy farming in 2011/12.
Assistance from the Animal Health Ireland Cell Check programme for adaptation of Farm Guidelines to New Zealand is also gratefully acknowledged.