Interest in organic milk production is growing in New Zealand. At present milk is being collected from 13 organically certified farms in the North Island and 66 farms have been identified as either certified organic or interested in converting from conventional production (Stevenson, 2002). Massey University started a trial on August 2001 to monitor the difference between organic and conventional dairy farming systems, and to provide New Zealand dairy farmers with proven information on differences between the two systems. A key focus of the organic farming system is the maintenance of health and well-being of cows in the herd, without the routine use of conventional methods (e.g., antibiotics). Mastitis has been recognised as the main disease problem. The objective of this report is to present results on the variation in somatic cell counts (SCC), frequency of clinical mastitis (CM) and frequency of acute levels of SCC of cows managed according to either organic or conventional farming practices for the season 2001 to 2002, the first year after the change to organic farming.

N, Lopez-Villalobos, J Scott, Z Smith, CW Holmes, NM Shadbolt, and TG Harvey

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 63, Queenstown, 138-139, 2003
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