As a dairy farmer, there are many issues confronting us at present. It’s easy to feel that our destiny is being controlled by others. This is not a nice feeling.

There is one topic though, that we can control that is very important but may slip under the radar as we consider other issues. This is antibiotic use at drying off time in dairy herds. Many herds use blanket dry cow treatment, that is a tube into every teat in every cow.

There are an increasing number of herds that are growing in confidence in using selective dry cow treatment or SDCT. If already doing this, keep going and consider putting more cows on this protocol. If not, consider putting some cows onto this protocol and gaining confidence in SDCT. It does work but it’s vital to do it in the correct way.

Talk to any or all of the following; your vet, AHI, adviser (co-op or other) and ICBF.

Antimicrobial resistance is a real problem. We as farmers can do our bit. We should do this not because we have to but because it is the right thing to do. It removes some worry at calving time but this is just a bonus. It is the responsible thing.

We are all parents, grandparents or have parents or grandparents. Someone you love may need an antibiotic at some stage in the future. The last thing you ever want to hear from a doctor is that there is no antibiotic that will work for your loved one. I’ve been there.