Canadian dairy farmers will have to meet new standards for somatic cell counts beginning this summer.
Effective August 1, regulatory limits for producers will be lowered to 399,000 per millilitre from 499,000 per millilitre.
But industry representatives said farmers are ahead of the curve and prepared for the change.
“The change is not going to affect most dairy producers,” said David Wiens, chairman of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba. “Producers have been working over the years to reduce their somatic cell counts and this is just another step along the way.”
Current cell counts in Manitoba average around 250,000 per millilitre, he added.
“We are really already at this level, so why not make it official by bringing in the new standard,” said Wiens.
The change will also bring Canadian regulations in line with those in the European Union.
“We really believe that Canadians deserve dairy products that are some of the best, so we are always striving to improve our products,” Wiens said.