Bacteria/Regulatory/Producer Payment

Every time a milk truck takes milk off the farm, a bulk tank sample is pulled. Most bulk tank samples in the Northeast come to Dairy One for this analysis. Results are sent to the milk marketing cooperative and producers are then paid based on the fat, protein and quality (somatic cell count) of these bulk tank samples. So, it is important that results be timely and accurate. In addition to the “producer payment” function of these bulk tank samples, they are tested for a variety of things from antibiotics, to added water.

If a farm is treating a cow for mastitis or some other infection and they suspect that cow’s milk did not get withheld from the tank, a sample is taken and sent to this lab for testing. The presence of any contaminants or added water can mean serious fines or in some cases, dumping entire loads of milk. The bacteria lab plays a critical role in assuring the milk from the farm can proceed to the milk plant and on to the retail supermarket shelves.


Milk Culturing Service

Milk Culturing is provided through a partnership with Dairy One and the Cornell University Quality Milk Production Services, and the Penn State Diagnostic Labs.  Samples are collected by the technician on test day.  They are frozen and travel to the culturing laboratory on Dairy One’s temperature controlled trucks.

Results are sent back to the farm via mail, email or fax and are available through the Dairy One field technician’s computer.  Users of  Dairy Comp 305 and Scout can download their culture results directly into their cowfile from the  iLOOP.

Allow 4 business days for aerobic and 10 days for myocoplasm results.

Farm Water Testing

  • Colilert
    • Presence/absence method
      • (MMO/MUG)
    • Substrate added to sample
      • Sample is considered positive for presence of Coliform after 24 hours if there is a color change
      • Sample is considered positive for presence of Coliform and E.coli if there is a color change and sample fluoresces under black light
  • Membrane Filtration
    • Sample is filtered through a vacuum and incubated for 21hours
      • Growth of colonies indicates presumptive p


  • Reference method for determination of Somatic Cells in raw milk or basic bacterial ID 
    • Sample is smeared onto slide and stain is added after which bacterial cells or somatic cells are counted 
      • Counting method used is Single Strip Factor