Progressive Genetics is suspending its manual milk recording service from 12:00pm tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, due to the ongoing developments with Covid-19.

Taking measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the agricultural services firm sent out a text to customers of its manual milk recording service earlier today, Monday, March 16, to inform them of the development.

The manual milk recording will be suspended for a two-week period and is expected to resume on Monday, March 30, according to the company.

Speaking to AgriLand about the decision, Progressive Genetics milk recording manager Stephen Connolly explained: “We have to be responsible.

We want to protect our staff, our contractors and our farmers. That’s what’s most important.

The manager assured that Electronic ‘do it yourself’ (EDIY) milk recording will continue over the two-week period, adding:

“We have a protocol in place to minimise contact with the farmer – and if a farmer is under pressure with a [somatic] cell count issue or anything like that we will get EDIY staff to drop bottles out so that the farmer can do samples themselves, if there is a spike in cell count.”

Commenting on the suspension, Connolly said: “It is unfortunate and regrettable, but you need a bit of common sense. We do need to put best practice in place and then hopefully after the next two weeks we can get back manual milk recording.

We all have to play our part. It’s trying to minimise everything as much as possible. We all need to do our bit, whether it be Progressive Genetics or farmers or the public, just to minimise the risk.

The manager reiterated that EDIY services remain in place, adding that strict protocols are being adhered to regarding minimising contact and disinfecting equipment between farms.

“If a farmer has a problem, we will get bottles out to them for milk recording and cell count; we won’t leave anyone in the lurch.

We’re available to be contacted in the office or our supervisors are available to be contacted if farmers have any issues or anything like that – we’ll be on call.

“It’s just unfortunate. It’s a challenge but we have to put common sense and people’s safety before anything else,” Connolly concluded.