The U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Centers
for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH), in conjunction with the USDA
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the National Mastitis Council
(NMC) Milk Quality Monitoring Committee, monitor milk quality in the
U.S. using bulk tank somatic cell count (BTSCC) data provided by four
of the nation's 10 Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMOs). The remaining six FMOs do not collect BTSCC information.
the producer shipment BTSCC was 272,000 in 2010; 277,000 in 2009; 294,000 in 2008; 298,000
in 2007; and 293,000 in both 2006 and 2005.
Evaluating BTSCC Levels
More than 99% of the milk and 98% of the shipments monitored in these FMOs during 2011 met the current Pasteurized Milk Ordinance SCC federal regulatory limit of 750,000 cells/ml. Of the 29,937 producers, 92.3% shipped milk with BTSCC below 750,000 during all months monitored.
In 2011, during all monitored months, BTSCCs in 92.7% of milk was less than 400,000 cells/ml. Only 53.6% of producers shipped milk below 400,000 for the entire year.
Almost 50% of shipments in the FMOs monitored had BTSCCs between 200,000 and 300,000.
Monthly monitoring continues to show that BTSCC peak during the summer months (July - September). In 2011, monthly milk-weighted BTSCCs were highest in August (243,000) and lowest in November (188,000). With the exception of December, BTSCCs were lower in all months during 2011 compared with 2010
For more information, including State comparisons, see the USDA APHIS factsheet: