The farm’s innovation is the feeding system of dairy cows, which includes grazing during the vegetation season by “half-day” pasture. The farm has the opportunity to graze the rotational pastures located in close distance to the stables. The feeding system in the vegetation season consists grazing for a period of 4 hours, taking into account the lactation phase of dairy cows and balancing the pasture feed dose with the aid of preserved and concentrated feeds. In winter, cows stay in the stable and are fed with preserved and concentrated feed.
Reason for the innovation
Grazing of dairy cows has been carried out since the beginning of the farm since 1957. Recently changes in the cow’s feeding system consist a different organization of pasture management. The length of daily grazing depends on the lactation phase of the cows. Cows up to 200 days of lactation spend 4 hours in the pasture (between 7-11 hour), over 200 days of lactation 2 hours (from 11 to 13) but with access to the paddock. The problem with the the organization of pasture management is the periodically extreme soil moisture conditions. The efficient feeding by the pasture sward is often disturbed by droughts and feed deficiency, or periodic floods on pastures that prevent it from running. The herd managers indicate that grazing has a positive effect on animal health, welfare and calving and improves the quality parameters of the produced milk.
- Soil types: Sandy-loam, Peat
- Climate: Warm-summer humid continental
- Altitude: 100 m a.s.l.
- Slope: 0%
- Grazing for 6.5 months per year in strip stocking system.
- The sward for winter season is conserved by haylage making.
- Annual Work Unit: 24.5
- Agricultural Area: 872.4 ha UAA
- Main forage area: 368.4 ha
- Arable land area: 642.2 ha
- Permanent grassland area: 230.2 ha
- Temporary grassland area: 68.2 ha
- Other forage area (maize silage): 70 ha
- Average stocking rates:
- agriculture area 0.6 LU/ha
- main forage area 1.3 LU/ha
- grassland area 1.7 LU/ha
- Dairy cows: 165
- Beef cattle: 233
- Sheep: 1632
- Total livestock units: 493.36 LU
- Milk production per head: 9000 (l/year)
The farm is starting with beef cattle so there is no sale.
The sheep flock is the maintenance breeding of the Wielkopolska breed.
Why it is working
Thanks to the innovation, the farm can fully use the fodder resources from permanent grasslands what lead to a sustainable milk production. Half-day pasture using in dairy cows feeding during vegetation season is beneficial due to decreasing of cost milk production and improvement of animal welfare and health.