A telephone survey was conducted of 149 current recipients of the Ohio DHIA SCC option, 30 past recipients of the SCC option, and 30 producers who had never received the SCC option. Producers were questioned to ascertain their knowledge of mastitis, how they used SCC information, their treatment and prevention of mastitis, and their use of veterinary services. Producers’ perceptions of mastitis indicated a high awareness of the consequences of mastitis. However, 10% of producers on DHI still did not practice postmilking teat dipping, and 16% did not handle mastitic cows any differently during milking. Current recipients of SCC data used the data more frequently than did past recipients of the SCC data to evaluate mastitis treatment or control, choose cows to cull, identify cows to dry off early, indicate herd infection, and evaluate mastitis control. The major reason given by nonrecipients for never having enrolled in the SCC program was that they did not perceive a need for it. Further educational programs explaining SCC and its use to producers seems warranted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
As early as 1900, milk SCC were recognized as a possible indicator of milk hygiene (1). By Received January 7, 1988. Accepted April 11, 1988. t Supported in part by a research grant provided by the National Cooperative Dairy Herd Improvement Program. 2 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. 3 Department of Dairy Science. 4 National Animal Health Monitoring System, USDA:APHIS:VS, 555 S. Howes, Suite 300, Ft. Collins, CO 80521.