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But both university researchers and manufacturers soon learned the ability to kill mastitis organisms in a laboratory on excised teats was far different (and easier) than the ability to consistently prevent infections in the teat canal of a living, cud-chewing cow. So, in 1989, the teat dip protocols were revised. The in-lab germicidal protocol was dropped, as were the alphabetical designations of the protocols. The protocols for post-milking teat dips underwent further revision in 2003. In addition, protocols for determining efficacy of barrier dips and pre-milking dips were developed during the 1990s. NMC also started publishing a list of teat dips as an appendix to its annual meeting proceedings. To be included in the list, the teat dip must be tested by one of the NMC protocols and have that research published in a peer-reviewed journal. There are more than 80 teat disinfectant products listed.

“NMC is an ‘information dissemination mechanism’, both domestically and internationally.” - Doug Reinemann, University of Wisconsin put aside their corporate competitiveness and worked together to get the science right first,” he says. NMC is also good at assimilating information. For example, Danish workers have done a lot of research with milking speed and automated detachers. “US NMC members were the first to apply this research in the field, realizing that you don’t have to get that very last drop of milk out of the udder and have detrimental effects,” says Reinemann.

“The NMC teat dip protocols also now serve as a template for what is done throughout the world,” says Hogan.

In combination with proper milk prep procedures before milking, milking speed has increased and machine on-time has decreased. The result has been a monumental increase in milking parlor efficiency, resulting in more turns per hour, more cows milked per hour and less money spent doing it.

Increasing herd sizes in the mid- to late-80s led to ever larger milking parlors with their ever larger milk lines, vacuum lines, reserves and pumps.

All of this is the result of collaboration among NMC members. In the end, NMC is an “information dissemination mechanism” both domestically and internationally, says Reinemann.

“By 1987 or 1988, we realized we needed some kind of US performance standards,” says Norm Schuring, with GEA Farm Technologies in Naperville, Illinois. “Prior to that, it was left up to every company and every dairy consultant out there to interpret what the existing international standards meant. We needed to get some similarities on how we test milking systems.

“In my view, NMC is the very best place in the world to get information on milking machines, teat health and milk quality,” he says.

“But that also meant we needed to come up with standards on how to measure vacuum, where to measure it, and what our standards were trying to achieve,” he says. Coincidentally, NMC is not a standards setting organization, says Schuring, but it is often viewed as such. Its members, their universities and private companies often do the testing to determine what those standards should be. “These efforts have increased the working knowledge of the physics of the milking machine worldwide,” says Doug Reinemann, a milking systems engineer with the University of Wisconsin. “Through this work, common testing procedures have been developed that everyone is using in the world.” The development of the equipment guidelines also was not without controversy. “There were lots of opinions about how things should be done,” says David Reid, a veterinarian with Rocky Ridge Dairy Consulting, LLC, Hazel Green, Wisconsin. “We didn’t make friends with a lot of equipment dealers out in the field.” But eventually, as the standards were developed using sound data, folks started to look to NMC for guidance. Equipment companies then started to use the guidelines as the basis for their in-house technician training.

Congratulations to on 50 Years of leadership and innovation in mastitis control and milk quality! Ed al uc ion t ati a rn on e Teat Health t In Re y t i l sea ua rch kQ l i M Machine Milking Residue Avoidance

The key, says Reid, is that everyone involved in the NMC process was concerned about what was the right thing to do at the cow level. “They

50 Years of Milk Quality


NMC Commemorative Booklet  
NMC Commemorative Booklet  

This book is a collection of the past 50 years of mastitis control, milk quality, the history of the National Mastitis Council, personal rec...