Abstract #M152

# M152
On-farm bacteriologic milk culturing: Producer perception and decision impact.
Brittany L. Bowman1, Marina D. Denny1, Amanda E. Stone*1, 1Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.

The objective of this study was to evaluate producer perception and implementation of on-farm bacteriologic culturing (OFBC). Nine Mississippi dairy producers volunteered to participate after attending a local workshop in exchange for a month of free OFBC supplies. Initial farm visits were conducted between June 28 and 31, 2017, and ended 30 d later. Producers were asked to culture samples from cows with clinical mastitis and record the pathogen identified and resulting treatment or management decisions. Four weekly surveys were administered, intended to evaluate change and producer-perceived challenges and benefits. A χ2 analysis was conducted using the FREQ procedure of SAS for all questions asked during both wk 1 and 4. No significant changes occurred in the producers’ confidence in the accuracy of the test, confidence in their ability to run the test, amount of time the test added to their routine, the percent of cows with clinical mastitis they chose to sample, or the amount of antibiotics used on-farm (P > 0.05), all of which remained high throughout the study. No significant differences were observed in management decisions between wk 1 and 4 or producer-reported bulk tank SCC (P > 0.05). Throughout the study period, many producers treated cows regardless of OFBC results (n = 27; 28%), used a quarter milker (n = 23; 24%), or did nothing (n = 14; 14%) after reading the results. Most culture results were no growth (n = 41; 31%), followed by staphylococcus species (n = 25; 19%), streptococcus species (n = 24; 18%), Staphylococcus aureus (n = 16; 12%), and gram-negative (n = 12; 9%). Most producers reported that OFBC was inexpensive to perform, improved cow health, reduced antibiotic treatment expense, reduced contamination risk to other cows (all n = 6; 75%), reduced endotoxin release risk, and was faster than a laboratory (both n = 5; 63%). At the end of the study, 8 producers chose to purchase the incubator and extra plates to continue OFBC. Although producers did not use the tool for its intended purpose, they still wanted to continue its use. Reasons for lack of management change are not yet fully understood. Producer behavior is difficult to understand or predict.

Key Words: on-farm culture, mastitis, extension