Alternative approach to milk production in Poland

Cows keeping in large scale grazing management conditions producing high quality milk based on pasture and hay


Practice abstract

Description

Nowadays, most of the milk produced in Poland is based on very intensive production systems, in which cows are kept indoors and fed with maize and/or grass silages with addition of high amount of concentrates. In this way, farmers get high milk yield from the cow, but at the same time they incur high production costs. The milk is sold mainly to big dairy companies for market prices that can be very fluctuant. After all, it often turns out that milk production in dairy farm is not profitable. In this situation, milk producers are currently looking for alternative ways to produce milk and earn more. Mainly small and medium size dairy farms are interested in this kind of development.

Juchowo Farm is one of the innovative farms working in the biodynamic system. Cows in this farm are kept in very high welfare conditions, visible in the animal condition and good results of milk and periodic health tests. The diet is based mainly on grass, in the summer cows are grazing and in the winter they receive hay. Cows receive also a small amount of concentrates based on cereals and lupines from organic production. In this way, the farm produces less milk per cow but in extraordinarily high quality. The milk has a higher taste values and parameters it has a higher content of omega-3 acid and CLA. Thanks to the ‘Demeter’ and ‘Hay milk’ certifications the farm can obtain much higher prices for the produced milk and carry on profitable and stable milk production. Grazing is the base of milk production in Juchowo during the growing season, which is not common in Poland. In this way, there is the opportunity to reduce milk production costs while maintaining its high quality. The high level of animal welfare and cow’s longevity can reduce the costs of veterinary service and herd amortization.

Additional information

Farming system

conventional farming

Domains of innovation

animal feeding management, forage conservation technique, grazing management system

Main types of animal

dairy cattle

Country

Poland

Product type

Practice abstract

Language

English

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