Mastitis is still the most costly disease in dairy herds, according to dairy equipment company DeLaval.

It says that loss of income and extra costs are incurred due to lower milk quality, milk unfit for sale, reduced yields and higher culling rates. “Indeed the extra veterinary costs and the additional work involved are a further burden.”

Mastitis also has an adverse effect on milk quality with increased TBCs, reduced butterfat and high cell counts (SCC). Severe penalties apply and the processor may even refuse to purchase such milk.

However, DeLaval Ltd has developed a patented iodine teat dip appropriately named Proactive, it says. This has been successfully test marketed on Irish dairy farms and is now available from Coop stores and animal health outlets.

“Proactive’s advanced conditioning technology (ACT) is unique. A cosmetic carrier prevents the skin from drying out and ensures thorough penetration of the iodophor solution into all cracks/wrinkles on the teat. This ‘gentle’ teat dip has a neutral pH, does not dry out/crack the skin as happens with some other products.

“I-Tech is DeLaval’s patented iodine regeneration technology which ensures optimal and stable levels of free iodine. As active iodine is exhausted by its disinfecting activity more free iodine is released. This ensures a fast efficient kill of bacteria.

Proactive has a low level of total iodine-1500ppm and a stable formulation so there is a minimal risk of residues in milk, DeLaval says. “A 99.9% killing rate within 15 seconds for a broad spectrum of microorganisms prevents any build-up of resistance.”

It says that from a farmer’s perspective Proactive promotes fast healing, gently soothes sore teats, teats stay soft and supple after milking, there are no harsh odours, product is stable and user friendly and one can expect better milk out and more contented cows in the parlour.