Improve farm economy with dairy herd improvement analysis

Efficient testing of a wide range of parameters in raw milk delivers vital intelligence for healthy, happy and productive cows producing higher output of high quality raw milk.

Raw milk testing


Since the advent of rapid testing methods over 60 years ago, great strides have been made in improving the productivity of dairy cows. However, further gains are waiting to be made through improvements in:

• Disease management
• Feeding strategies
• Productivity

In response, milk testing laboratories and dairy herd improvement organisations need to deliver relevant, timely and actionable analytical insight to farmers, advisors and veternarians, for example, to adjust feeding strategies. And, as farms and dairy herds get bigger, milk testing centres need to handle more samples more efficiently and deliver more data while keeping operational costs under control.

Multi-parameter analysis of raw milk provides the sophisticated insight that allows dairy farmers to achieve the full potential from their dairy herd. For instance, tests for parameters such as urea, differential somatic cell count, fatty acid profile and many, many more help farmers to improve farm economy by maximizing output of high quality milk at minimum cost.

Help farmers to avoid unnecessary veterinary costs and milk losses from mastitis

Mastitis is a costly disease both for individual farmers and the dairy industry as a whole, leading to unwanted veterinary costs, antibiotics, milk retention, decreased yield, poor quality and reduced payment and culling. But many cases of mastitis can be avoided. Rapid tests for both somatic cell count and types of somatic cell gives dairy farmers the information they need to take action before the detrimental effects of mastitis impact profitability.

Somatic cells are mostly white blood cells (leukocytes) which eliminate infections and repair tissue damage done by bacteria. 

Of critical importance for the dairy farmer is to not only catch the obvious clinical cases, but the sub clinical as well. For every cow with clinical mastitis there are 15-40 others with sub-clinical mastitis and a substantial loss of yield occurs already at this sub-clinical stage. Regular tests for somatic cell count allow results for individual cows to be monitored over time and any changes in somatic cell count can be used to give farmers a timely warning.

Differential somatic cell count

In addition to total somatic cell count, the development of a differential somatic cell count test adds a new dimension to modern milk testing. Differential somatic cell count gives a more detailed picture of the actual inflammatory status of the mammary gland. Milk testing laboratories can use it to help dairy farmers manage mastitis more effectively and head off the worst effects of the disease.

At the same time, the new differential somatic cell count can be performed at up to 600 samples per hour as an integrated part of normal DHI testing procedures.





Read the brochure: Better mastitis control with new tools

Get the insight you need to learn how you can improve your on-farm decision making and increase cow productivity using the new Udder Health Group tool. Read now


Testing urea and fatty acid profiles improves

feeding strategies


Test parameters such as urea and fatty acids profiles reveal a wealth of opportunity to optimise feeding and hence, optimal output per cow at the lowest possible cost.


Urea for getting protein balance just right with minimal nitrogen pollution


Information about urea content in milk is especially valuable to farmers in identifying nutritional issues and getting the balance between energy and protein in feed just right. Cows need to be fed adequate levels of protein to maximise milk production, but feeding protein in excess of the cow’s needs does not increase milk production further and will only be an extra cost for the farmer. urea, in combination with fat and/or protein, indicates whether the right balance between energy and protein has been achieved.


Fatty acid profiles for feed efficiency


The ability to monitor the main groups of fatty acids in a milk sample was originally developed by FOSS to improve the quality of raw milk entering the supply chain. Today, the so-called fatty acid profiling is also becoming highly relevant for feeding strategies measured on individual cow samples. 

Regularly available DHI samples can be tested for fatty acid profiles information as part of exising routine dairy herd improvement tests using instruments such as the MilkoScan™ 7 RM.

Improve productivity with ketosis screening


MilkoScan FT+ milk samples


Ketosis is a metabolic disease that can be costly for dairy farmers. It can reduce milk yield by over 500 kilograms of milk per cow per year while also having an adverse effect on reproduction and welfare for the individual cows. It occurs in dairy cattle when energy output for milk production is too high relative to energy input from feed.

A screening system based on existing routine dairy her improvement tests using instruments such as the MilkoScan™ 7 RM can provide an early warning of ketosis in dairy herds. This allows appropriate adjustment of feeding strategies to head-off the worst effects on productivity in the herd.

Please contact our specialists for more information on how you can implement this solution in your routine dairy herd screening.

Efficient operations save costs and enhance your reputation for reliable dairy herd improvement analysis

With FOSS, excellence in analysis starts with highly stable and accurate analysers and extends to all aspects of instrument maintenance and calibration.

Standardised instruments, operational software and comprehensive analytical models

Instruments are standardised to measure the same from instrument to instrument and over time. Design features such as self-cleaning pipettes make it easy to measure even the most difficult samples quickly and efficiently.

Complementing the well-proven instrumentation, networking and operational software makes instrument management straightforward. For instance, automatic sample tracing avoids handling errors and preventive maintenance of the instruments according to our recommendations keeps instruments performing optimally.

FOSS analysers are delivered with global analytical models based on the unique and comprehensive FOSS database built up over decades of activity in the raw milk testing area. A very robust analytical model can be developed to cover many dimensions in the measurement such as race, feeding, season and region. This reduces the number of analytical models required to meeting demands for different tests. An analytical model is easily transferable from one instrument to other instruments, which due to the standardisation will provide identical readings.

Networking software for analytical models management

The connectivity features of FOSS solutions and supporting networking software make it simple and cost effective to manage analytical operations. For instance, an update to an analytical model can be installed on a master instrument and then shared across all instruments in different locations at the click of a mouse button. Such an approach also allows a specialist to monitor and manage remote instruments while operators do not need any specific knowledge and training and can simply run their samples. Read more

FossManager Setup




Webinar: How to include sustainability goals in your milk production

Learn how you can make the move towards more sustainable dairy farming and reduce the environmental impact of your milk production. In this recorded webinar, dairy farming experts, Débora Santschi, Head of Innovation and Business Development at Lactanet and Daniel Schwarz, PhD and Senior Scientist at FOSS, discuss how you can work towards sustainability goals in your milk production using DHI test data.

Webinar: How to include sustainability goals in your milk production

Cows on grass
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