Strategy 2: Improved Farm Management
One farm in the north of England have found strategy 2 of the National Farm Management Plan to be successful in their 450 Holstein Friesian dairy herd. They have used this strategy for approximately 6 years.
What does the Johne’s plan look like on farm?
The farm operates as a closed herd and has done so for more than six years. Meticulous screening was carried out when the farm first expanded the herd seven to eight years ago. This expansion marked the first time that new cows were brought into the herd for twenty years. The farm uses calf hutches to minimise the risk of disease transmission through nose to nose contact. This method of housing also allows closer monitoring and a faster detection and response to any arising health issues. Milk powder or clean milk harvesting for calves is employed to further reduce the risk.
Why was this strategy chosen?
The farm has no evidence of clinical disease and has not had any laboratory positives for over twenty years. They breed their own replacements so as to stay free from disease.
What benefits has the farm found from using this strategy?
The farm is not affected by the costs associated with testing. There has been no evidence of MAP on the farm.
What other tips could you offer in support of the Johne’s strategy?
For success, the strategy – as with any part of the Johne’s Management Plan requires the farms commitment to remaining as a closed herd or to sourcing low risk replacement milking cows of high quality.