EBI details

Overall annual herd milk statistics 2014:
The table below shows the overall milk herd statistics based on figures from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) in 2014. The only real change to those figures for 2015 is that the EBI is now €205.

Monthly herd milk statistics 2014
The table below, shows the individual monthly figures for milk supplied to creameries, fat and protein %, total bacterial counts (TBC) and somatic cell count (SCC), as shown on the delivery dockets from both Lakeland Dairies and Drogheda Producers Co-op.

Total bacterial count:

Whiteleas has had no major problems with Total Bacterial Counts (TBC). The TBC is kept low due to good hygiene practices in the dairy and the parlour is given a hot wash after every morning milking and cold wash in the evening. The milk runs through a plate cooler before going to the bulk tank and is cooled to 5°C before the end of milking. The milk is kept at 2.8°C until collection. Cooling the milk quickly and keeping it at a low temperature prevents bacterial growth. The milking parlour is over 20 years old, but with frequent servicing no problems with TBCs have occurred. There was an elevated level in February that caused the milk to be graded as Grade 2 quality milk this was because the dairy didn’t collect the milk for a week and the resultant TBC was cancelled.

Somatic cell count:
The average Cell Count is 154,000 cells/ml, which is low compared to the National Average, which is around 250,000 cells/ml. This is due annual servicing of milking machine, teat dipping, dry cow therapy, timely and proper treatment of clinical mastitis cases and the culling of chronically mastitis infected cows. Persistent high cell count cows identified in the milk recording records are also dried off to keep the cell count low.

Protein %:

The protein levels in the milk on this farm are very high at 3.53%, much higher than the target of 3.30% on many farms. This comes with many years of controlled breeding by Artificial Insemination (AI). Since the early 1980’s the breeding policy has been to use high RBI/EBI bulls, positive for fat and protein % and with moderate yield increases. Our protein values remain high throughout the year as the cows graze grass from calving until the end of their lactation. In many other dairy farms in Ireland there is a period of indoor housing post-calving, where cows are fed on protein depressing silage until ground conditions are suitable for grazing.

Fat %:

The butterfat levels on this farm are high at 4.32%. This again is due to the breeding policy as outlined above.

Lactation length:

From 2015 the only thing determining lactation length being the profitability of producing milk into the winter.