Association between Environmental Pathogens in Different Bedding Types and Mastitis Risk

Principal Investigator: Paula Ospina

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Sponsor: New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI)
Grant Number: OAR 15 019
Title: Association between Environmental Pathogens in Different Bedding Types and Mastitis Risk
Project Amount: $99,879
Project Period: August 2015 to July 2017

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

The objectives of this project are to establish a standardized operating procedure (SOP) for sampling bedding; evaluate the distribution of bedding types, bedding management, and mastitis risk; and evaluate the association between different intervention strategies, mastitis risk, and milk quality through bulk tank data. Currently, there is no SOP for collecting bedding samples; for example, there is no consensus about how many stalls to sample. The consequence is that bacteria counts can differ by several orders of magnitude, and may misrepresent the status of the pen as a whole. A producer who is trying to improve milk quality through bedding management may not get comparable results when he/she submits samples because there is no standard approach to sampling. This lack of consistency makes it difficult to evaluate progress, make changes in management, or even interpret the results. Therefore the objective of phase I is to establish this SOP so that results can be compared within and between farms. The objective of phase II is to use the SOP to evaluate the distribution of bedding types, bacteria counts within them, bedding management practices, mastitis risk, and bulk tank data across NYS (this data is collected from another NYFVI funded project). Although previous research has evaluated similar objectives, these studies have not evaluated an SOP; therefore, the generalizability of these results is limited. One hundred farms from different regions in New York will be visited in order to establish this distribution and confirm that the SOP can produce reliable results.