Australia’s best quality milk producers named in Top 5%

Dairy farmers producing Australia’s best quality milk have been named in Dairy Australia’s 2021 Australian Milk Quality Awards.

The awards recognise farmers producing the country’s best milk based on bulk milk cell count (BMCC) for the 2021 financial year. Gold Awards are given to the ‘Top 100’ dairy farmersnationally for milk quality. Together with Silver Awards winners, these farmers are the top 5% of Australian producers for milk quality.

Dairy Australia Managing Director Dr David Nation congratulated the 2021 winners. “Winning a gold or silver award is great recognition of the dedication and commitment required to produce high quality milk.

“Australian dairy products are well regarded, both domestically and internationally, and that is due to the high-quality milk we produce. It’s important that we recognise those in our industry who are producing our best milk. It takes consistent focus throughout the year across all aspects of the milking process to attain these awards.”

The awards are presented to those farm businesses with the lowest BMCC. A focus on low BMCC helps increase milk yields and can improve the milk income received by farmers. Most processing companies pay a premium for milk with a BMCC below 250,000 cells/ml and Dairy Australia analysis estimates that a farmer milking 300 cows who lowers their BMCC from 250,000 to 100,000 would be financially better off to the tune of $39,000 per year.

The awards form part of Dairy Australia’s national mastitis control program, Countdown, which aims to help farmers and their advisors achieve profitable mastitis control. Countdown was initiated in 1998 and was the first national program to be launched in the world and has now been adopted in Ireland and New Zealand.

Designed and owned by Dairy Australia, the program is trusted by more than 350 vets and trained advisors. The program includes industry-agreed farm guidelines for mastitis control, technotes for milk quality advisors and training programs for farmers, such as Cups On Cups Off, Mastitis and Milk Quality Online, and dry  cow discussion groups. 

Advisors have access to the Countdown MQ training program. Dairy Australia continues to invest in technology, programs and resources that assist farmers to maintain and improve milk quality.

Some examples include validation of on-farm diagnostic tests, a decision support system to identify cows with clinical mastitis that do not require treatment, tools for monitoring and benchmarking mastitis control (Mastitis Focus Report) and part-herd antibiotic dry cow therapy (Select Dry Cow Tool) and updates to existing training programs to include managing bactoscan, total plate counts and thermodurics.

Farmers who would like more information can contact Dairy Australia’s regional offices. Our network of trained Countdown advisors, including vets, machine technicians, factory field officers and herd improvement staff are available across the country. Online resources are available at

Data for the Milk Quality Awards is supplied to Dairy Australia by milk processors across the country. To be eligible, dairy farms must have data supplied for a minimum of nine months in the financial year.

BMCC results for each collection are then used to calculate the annual average BMCC for each farm.Lists of winners and some case studies can be accessed via Dairy Australia’s website: Gold and Silver Awards winners

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