We monitor the problem and ensure farmers have as much help as required to identify the root causes and take steps to control the situation.
Along with the long lifespan relative to most international dairy industries, New Zealand also has a low bulk milk somatic cell count. Low levels of somatic cell count is strong evidence that good animal welfare is being achieved through sound management of animals.
We have seen a significant downward trend for somatic cell counts since 2008-9 with 187,000 cells/ml achieved in 2016 for the New Zealand national herd and Fonterra average being only 176,000 cells/ml.
Table: Trend in the New Zealand national herd test averages for the last 5 seasons
|Somatic cell count (000cells/millilitre)|