Short communication: Influence of the sampling device on somatic cell count variation in cow milk samples (by official recording)
The objective of this study was to investigate the variability in cow´s milk somatic cell counts (SCC) depending on the type of milk meter used by dairy farms for official milk recording. The study was performed in 2011 and 2012 in the major cattle area of Spain. In total, 137,846 lactations of Holstein-Friesian cows were analysed at 1,912 farms. A generalised least squares regression model was used for data analysis. The model showed that the milk meter had a substantial effect on the SCC for individual milk samples obtained for official milk recording. The results suggested an overestimation of the SCC in milk samples from farms that had electronic devices in comparison with farms that used portable devices and underestimation when volumetric meters are used. A weak positive correlation was observed between the SCC and the percentage of fat in individual milk samples. The results underline the importance of considering this variable when using SCC data from milk recording in the dairy herd improvement program or in quality milk programs.
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