South Australia’s top dairy farmers have been recognised in Dairy Australia’s 2022 Australian Milk Quality Awards.

The awards, which have been running since 2002, aim to celebrate and recognise the highest-quality milk producers across Australia, based on lowest bulk milk cell count (BMCC). Dairy farmers in the top 100 are named gold winners and the top five percent nationwide are named silver winners.

SA dairies in the top 100 (gold winners) are C.J. & C.E. Dale, D.O. & K.M. Hunter and S. & I. Pacitti.

SA dairies in the top five percent of suppliers (silver winners) are C. & B. Rowntree (Alta Vista Enterprises Pty Ltd), Misty Brae Holding Pty Ltd and The Martin Dairy Trust.

“Some of the farmers acknowledged in 2022 are repeat winners, including D.O. & K.M. Hunter who have previously won two golds and there are five silver awards on the wall at the dairy, but that might not be all of them! This year they won gold, which is an outstanding result,” said Geoff Raven, CEO of Dairysafe.

Achieving a low BMCC means maintaining attention to key on-farm practices that reduce the number of mastitis issues arising across the herd.

Disciplined approaches to teat health, teat hygiene, post milking teat disinfection and critical attention during drying off are not only beneficial for animal welfare, but help increase milk yields and lower BMCC levels.

For Sam and Nadia Martin this is the first time being named in the top five percent of suppliers (silver winners). Sam is a third-generation dairy farmer, following in the footsteps of his father Graham.

The Martins milk 500 cows and produce around four million litres at Wall Flat, located in the Murraylands.

Sam said that mastitis has not been a massive issue for his operation. “Our staff are good at identifying early signs and treating it – staff training has been our main focus and really highlights the reasons why we need to detect these issues early,” he said.

“We now have a better record keeping system for high cell count cows and better communication with the vet in which medications to use.”

Source: Dairy Australia