Description of the innovation
The “half-day” pasture is a dairy-cow feeding system which combines grazing in the vegetation season with an additional dose of conserved forage and concentrates.
Due to the localization, there is a possibility to use grasslands located on specific lime based soils that aren’t suitable for field production. These grasslands are in the direct neighbourhood of the cowshed so to reduce costs the most reasonable decision was to graze them. To ensure a stable and effective milk production, the farm developed a special feeding system combined with the pasture management.
The length of daily grazing in the vegetation season 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 they have unlimited access to the paddock during the time spent in the cowshed. To optimize the milk production the cows obtain in their nutrition also specially composed feed in the form of a total mixed ration (TMR). In winter, cows stay in the stable and are fed with preserved and concentrated feed.
Results obtained with the adoption of innovation
Thanks to the innovation the fodder resources from permanent grasslands can be fully used and there is obtained a sustainable milk production. “Half-day” pasture used in dairy cows feeding during vegetation season is beneficial due to the decrease of milk production costs and improvement of animal welfare and health. This model allows to produce milk of better quality in comparison to intensive systems which was confirmed by different tests and research.
Dairy-cow feeding system during vegetation season
pasture grazing combined with conserved feeds
- increased use of feed resources on grassland
- animal health and welfare
- livestock production quality (taste, nutritive value, etc.)
- increased calving efficiency
- higher labour demand
- varied quality of the pasture sward (especially in extreme weather conditions)
- www.encyclopediapratensis.eu – Farmer portrait: Brody Experimental Farm of PULS