Appendix 1: Summary of European studies of milk quality on organic dairies.

Organic Agriculture June 02, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF

eOrganic author:

Linda Tikofsky, Cornell University

AUTHOR COUNTRY YEAR # HERDS # COWS BULK MILK SCC (cells/ml) CLINICAL MASTITIS CONCLUSIONS
ORG* CONV* ORG* CONV* ORG* CONV* ORG* CONV*
Weller and Cooper UK 1995 11      

Year 1: 270,700

Year 2: 299,000 

  Year 1: .40/CY Year 2: .46/CY     
Busato, et al. Switzerland 1997 152   1907   86,000       High prevalence of subclinical mastitis in Alpine dairies; number of mastitis treatments was that of conventional
Hamilton, et al. Sweden  1998 26           .09/CY .15/CY No evidence to support that cows in organic herds are more prone to disease
Weller and Bowling UK 1998 10 National data     250,000 167,000 .35/CY .37/CY Clinical mastitis treatment frequency did not differ between organic and conventional herds.
Hovi and Roderick UK 1999 16 7     135,000 84,000 .36/CY (overall)         .37/CY(lactation)    .28/CY (dry) .49/CY (overall) .54/CY(lactation) .09/CY (dry)  
Toledo, et al. Sweden  2000 31      

Small: 175,000

Large: 198,000

Small: 205,000 Large: 186,000       
Hardeng and Edge Norway 2001 31 93     264,000 246,000 lower higher Fewer mastitis treatments than conventional
Bennedsgaard, et al. Denmark 2001 29 Old organic (OO)
35 Moderately new organic (MO)
18 newly organic (NO)
99    

270,000 (OO)

320,000 (MO)

330,000 (NO)

310,000 .33/ CY(OO) .50/CY(MO) .46/CY (NO) .58/CY The longer a herd is in organic production, the better its cell counts.
Nauta, et al. Netherlands 2002 325 newly organic (NO)
42 old organic (OO)
966

19,107 (NO)

2639  (OO)

115,058

(cow samples)

70794  (NO)

2639 (OO)

(cow samples)  63,000       The longer a herd is organic, the higher the somatic cell count score
Hoerning, et al. Germany 2003 74 -     222,797       More subclinical mastitis as indicated by higher SCC
Ellis, et al. UK 2003 7 7     205,615 191,400     Cow cleanliness was related to bulk milk SCC 
Roesch, et al. Switzerland 2007        

Visit 1: 52,700

Visit 2: 55,300

Visit 1: 38,000

Visit 2: 47,700

    Subclinical mastitis is a greater problem on organic farms but the difference is not marked.

* ORG = Organic, CONV = Conventional

Return to "Milk Quality on Organic Dairy Farms"

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.