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Farmers’ Focus April 2019


The stop-start nature of the season continues – with just enough rain for most to
keep hanging in there, but much more is required. I’m sure most of you would like a good solid rainy day. Fortunately production seems to have been good up until recently. Maize crops are generally doing well this year, with a fair bit of it likely to be going in to the stack then straight out again.


Most of you have done your lepto vaccinating by now. If you haven’t, please
contact us to organize it as soon as possible.

Facial Eczema

Spore counts haven’t been high so far  however with a recent dribble of rain this can change very quickly, watch this space…

For weekly updated Spore Counts, speak with one of our helpful clinic staff, or  visit  https://www.gribblesvets.co.nz/index.php/14-facial-eczema/602-2019-facial-eczema-reports

Alternatively we can perform Pasture/Fecal spore counts in clinic, call for details.

Update On Blanket Dry Cow Therapy

NZVA position statement :

“NZVA recognizes DCT in non-infected cows is no longer appropriate in an era of effective alternatives such as internal teat sealants (ITS) and improved management practices.

By 2020, DCT (Dry Cow Therapy) will only be used in the treatment of existing intramammary infections. The NZVA and DCV are committed to working with industry partners to develop the significant programme of work required to support this goal through education, surveillance, research, development and innovation.”

As present there is no planned legal enforcement of selective dry cow therapy in NZ dairy cows. But I strongly believe that the veterinary and farming communities should embrace these changes and do what we can to safeguard our futures,by reducing the amount of antibiotic contribution to antimicrobial resistance and maintaining lucrative overseas markets.

Recently proposed cut points to distinguish a herd with high or low prevalence of mastitis – (DCV Roadshow)

Measure of infection Low prevalence, incidence High prevalence, incidence
Bulk milk SCC Ave <250,000cells/mL Ave >250,000 cells/ml
Clinical mastitis <1 case/100 cows over the dry period >2 cases/100 cows over the dry period
Clinical mastitis <8 cases/100 cows in the 1st month of lactation >10 cases/100 cows in the 1st  month lactation
Individual cow SCC <25% of cows with SCC  >150,000 cells/ml at herd tests in the first 6 months of lactation >25% cows SCC >150,000 cells/ml at herd tests in the first 6 months of  lactation
Individual cow SCC <10% of cows have an increase in ICSCC from <150,000 cells/ml to >150000 cells/ml over the dry period >15% cows have an increase in ICSCC from <150,000 cells/ml to >150,000 cells/ml over the dry  period

RVM Consult

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Annual RVM consults are required to meet our legal obligations to dispense prescription medicines, and to make life simpler for you in picking up the prescription products you need.

If you are coming in to the clinic for any reason, call ahead and see if a Farm Vet will be available to do the RVM consult (allow at least 45 minutes) while you are there. The more notice you can give us, the better!


Information is key!

Don’t forget to bring your mastitis info with you. (Cell count breakdown, herd test summary 3 report and number of mastitis cases by month).

If you can arrange a FFR (Fertility Focus Report) bring it along too!

To obtain a ‘Basic FFR’ at least 80% of cows that calved in the previous season must have re-calving information. To obtain an ‘Intermediate FFR’ at least 50% of cows must have AB information recorded. To obtain a ‘Detailed FFR’ at least 80% of cows must have either an empty or pregnant result after pregnancy testing, and at least 80% of those pregnant results must be aged between 35-122 days (5-17 weeks).

Pregnancy Testing

Our farm vets are still busy with pregnancy testing. Our Contact Centre team has done a great job co-ordinating these bookings to enable the most efficient use of the vets time.

If you are looking for your herd to be ‘aged’ you are probably too late, so this should be done as soon as possible.

Empty rates so far this season are ranging from 4% to 21% with an average so far of 12.6 which is tracking similar to last season. The majority of herds have now been pregnancy tested and culls sent away.

But with no substantial rain forecasted in the near future be sure to do your in-calf girls a favour – identify those pesky empties and get them off farm!

Pregnancy Testing Empty Rates

Jenny-as bubbly as ever, even at 5.30 in the morning

Updated with testing done in March:


  • Average                      12.63%
  • Lowest empty rate    4%
  • Highest empty rate   21.6%


  • Average                      12.42%
  • Lowest empty rate     0%
  • Highest empty rate   32.5%

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