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1st Professional Dairy Farming event in Central Europe

Close to 150 persons took part in Lallemand Animal Nutrition’s series of conferences dedicated to professional dairy farming in Borkheide, Germany (7th November) and Konin, Poland (8th November). In Poland, the event was co-hosted with our local partner Adifeed and attracted 120 farmers and experts from the feed industry.

This First Professional Dairy Farming Conference gathered international speakers around market trends, dairy cow nutrition, silage management, practical indicators and consequences of acidosis and best practice strategies to manage large dairy farms. The attendants gained insights into tools and strategies to increase farm profitability, enhance forage quality and optimize the dairy cow’s rumen efficiency.

Deliver more value for consumers

Laurent Dussert, Global Category Manager for Ruminants with Lallemand Animal Nutrition kicked off the meeting with an overview of the dairy market trends. According to him, “We have seen tremendous growth in production efficiency, thanks to genetic and technological progress and today we are reaching a turning point, where we should not aim towards maximization but optimization of production. Feed efficiency and income over feed cost are still important criteria, but we also have to deliver more value for consumers. It is not just about productivity any more, it is also about food safety, care for the environment, managing antimicrobial resistance and maintaining farm profitability.” Dussert presented some of the tools available to assist producers in achieving these goals, such as precision feeding and proven probiotic microorganisms.

The legacy effect

Dairy consultant William Woodley, from Canada, focused on opportunities to optimize milk production by focusing on three key areas: nutrition, cow comfort and feed access, for each stage of the animal’s life cycle, from calf to cow. His approach is to determine and address the bottlenecks of production in each of these areas. For example, pre-weaning phase nutrition plays a role on first lactation production. Producers should consider what he calls the legacy-effects, the fact that each decision of today will have long-term implications for the future.

Leveraging forage quality

Feed is the first line of expense on a farm, and producing nutritious, high quality silage on the farm is an important element of farm profitability. After an overview of the ensiling process, Luis Queiros, Global Category Manager Forage Additives with Lallemand, delivered some practical tips to ensure silage quality from silo planning, planting and harvest to feed-out management. He insisted on good practices and tools to reduce dry matter loss through improvement of aerobic stability.

Smart farming and cow welfare

Moving on to animal health and welfare, Aurélien Piron, Technical Manager Ruminants, focused on the issue of sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA), which he qualifies as a “profit killer” for dairy production. Poor rumen efficiency is going beyond rumen pH, with new evidences showing consequences on inflammation. Today, new technologies can help to early diagnose rumen imbalance at farm level, such as boluses to monitor rumen pH or temperature, but also indicators related to rumen efficiency. Piron shared new evidences showing that feedbunk management (feeding, diet pushing, place to limit sorting, promote diet intake and water availability), nutrition (importance of particle size and efficient NDF), as well as feed additives, such as live yeast rumen modifier (S. cerevisiae CNCM I-1077), can help alleviate SARA.

Farmer’s success story

Finally, dairy farm manager Segev Segalchick, Managing Director of Taze Sut, a large, state-of-the-art dairy operation in Turkey, had the last say. He shared his experience and vision of farm management and demonstrated how monitoring key performance indicators is key to take decisions to optimize farm profitability. In his presentation about farm success and the impacts of good quality silage on farm business, he presented the structure and organization of Taze Sut, which operates with 1,000 milking cows, 800 heifers, and its own feeding center. Segalchick is convinced that, feed being the highest expense on the farm, it is necessary to pay the greatest attention to its quality.

The event was a great opportunity to share tips and experiences and get an overview of the latest tools and thinking on modern dairy farming.