Contents of This Issue
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Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Contains Changes for MPP-Dairy Program

The Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) was established as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.  Overall, the program has been very unpopular as few producer have received payments from participation and many have questioned whether the program provides an adequate safety net for the dairy sector.  There were some pretty significant changes made to the MPP-Dairy program as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and I wanted to quickly highlight some of those. 

Using SCC to Evaluate Subclinical Mastitis Cows

Mastitis is the most important and costliest infectious disease on a dairy farm. A National Mastitis Council report calculated that subclinical mastitis costs the United States dairy industry more than $1 billion every year. Mastitis affects both the quality and quantity of the milk produced by a cow. Identifying cows with high somatic cell counts (SCC) can aid in the implementation of additional management practices to reduce bulk tank SCC. Identifying cows with clinical mastitis is easily done in the milking parlor, however, identifying subclinical high SCC cows is more difficult since these cows do not show any outward signs of infection.