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April 06, 2011   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
April 06, 2011

SHORTER, Ala. -- The National Conference of Interstate Milk Shippers will be weighing heavily on the minds of Alabama dairy producers April 19 when the Alabama Dairy Field Day is held at the E.V. Smith Research Center headquarters in Shorter.

A vote to lower the Somatic Cell Count (SCC) at the 33rd biennial IMS conference April 28-May 4 in Baltimore, Md., could have a big impact on the dairy industry, says Dr. Steve Nickerson, professor of animal and dairy sciences at the University of Georgia, who will address those issues at the event.

Nickerson, who addressed the 2011 Southern Dairy Conference in January, will explain SCC and ways of managing it on the farm level. Delegates to the National Milk Producers Federation's annual meeting last fall passed a resolution to lower the SCC limit at the 2011 NCIMS event. The resolution calls for reducing SCC levels in a stepwise fashion to allow producers sufficient time to meet the lowered SCC requirements to 400,000 per mL by Jan. 1, 2014. The resolution also included a provision for regulatory discretion ― while assuring public health ― to temporarily allow for seasonality-dependent increases or events outside of human control, as well as continuation of current regulatory enforcement of a warning notice when two of the last four Somatic Cell Count tests exceed the limit, and suspension when three of the last five Somatic Cell Count tests exceed the limit. G.M. Gallaspy, Alabama's representative to the NCIMS, will also discuss the upcoming vote.

Other topics on the agenda include presentations on feed costs and availability of alternative feed sources by Dr. Darrell Rankins, professor of animal sciences at Auburn University, and Max Runge, an ag economist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at Auburn.

Alison Strim, from the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, will have a presentation on "Dedicated to Dairy," and Extension veterinarian Dr. Lew Strickland and Extension dairy specialist Boyd Brady will address MILK meetings conducted around the state last fall.

Lunch will be provided free to all dairy producers and one guest; all others must pay a $10 registration fee at the field day. Also there will be an auction during lunch from items donated by sponsors to raise money for Alabama Dairy Youth.

For more information about Alabama Dairy Field Day, contact Boyd Brady at (334) 844-1562, (334) 321-8826 or bradybo@auburn.edu.

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