Discovering China with BIOMIN

The choice of this region was not arbitrary. In China, farms are usually designed for larger herds, that is why production management on those farms is comparable to that at large Russian enterprises, and the experience of Chinese colleagues can be used in future on those farms whose representatives attended the event. This year, more than 20 representatives of large Russian farms from the Kursk Region, Tver’ Region, Voronezh Region, Leningrad Region, and the Nizhni Novgorod Region, from the Republic of Bashkortostan and the Republic of Tatarstan, as well as participants from Estonia and China, took part in this business trip.

Under the program, various pressing issues in dairy farming were discussed. Currently, there is a worldwide trend of an increase in milk production and consumption, but in view of the political and economic situation in the world, milk importers and exporters are gradually changing. An analytical review of the dairy market, as well as a report on the economic aspect of modern dairy farming was presented by Zanetta Chodorowska, Ruminant Technical Manager of BIOMIN. Ms. Chodorowska additionally spoke about how the efficiency of raising young livestock can be increased.

The participants in the event are already using BIOMIN’s products. Maria Zhuravleva shared her experience: “We are working with BIOMIN products for young livestock and with acidifiers. We started working with yeast products and mycotoxin deactivators. We use yeast for the designated group of fresh cows. As a result of our collaboration, milk yield in the fresh cow group has increased by two liters in one month, and the condition of the animals is stable – their milk production from 0 to 30 days is around 31-32 kg. The number of cases of ketosis has decreased by 40%, which has led to a lower culling rate. After the mycotoxin deactivators were used, the abortion rate immediately decreased, especially in the late dry cow period and in fresh cows groups. I was very interested in the aspects of calf rearing. For calves I use an acidifier; I use it as an antioxidant, adding it to the starter and pre-starter feeds. At the workshop, it was interesting to get more information on mycotoxins, and how to counteract their effects when raising calves. I think that we will be preparing our own starter and pre-starter feed, and will not purchase them any more. I believe that, indeed, it is very important to focus now on calves, because these are your future herd. If you do not notice a problem now, after two years the herd’s condition will be worse and worse. That is why when dealing with calf raising it is always important to have a finger on the pulse of the situation.”

A number of other representatives of BIOMIN also took part in the program. Elena Pavlova, Head of the Livestock Department at the Russian office of BIOMIN, talked about state-of-the-art methods of roughage preparation, and presented the relevant decisions of the company.

Donald Xu, Business Director Dairy China, talked about modern dairy farming in China.

The participants visited a large modern farm, Sino Farm-Lang Fang Eco-Dairy Farm, built in January 2016. Currently, the farm’s herd size is 10,993 head, of which dairy cows – 5,080, calves – 1,123, heifers – 4,582, dry cows – 208 head. The average milk production is 176,784 liters/day. Milk quality conforms to the legal production standards in China: fat content 3.61%, protein content 3.37%. Raw milk is supplied to the nearest milk-processing plants. The farm owns 400 ha of land where their own feeds are being grown, mainly corn and alfalfa; a separate feeding zone has been built on the farm. 200 people are employed. The farm has a carousel milking parlor produced in China. The total amount of investment in farm construction has been USD 65.3 mln.

Besides the business program, the entire group of the “BIOMIN Information Days” participants climbed the Great Wall of China and became acquainted with the ancient culture and traditions of China.

As noted by Sergey Neglyad, Managing Director of the agricultural enterprise «Voshchazhnikovo», the event’s busy programme, exchange of experience and presentation of new products and solutions in dairy farming opened up new opportunities for more effective production: “We liked the event a lot; this is the second time we have taken part in 'BIOMIN Information Days.' In its theoretical part, we liked the presentation of new products, whose use we will consider in our work. We have also attended a good lecture on calf raising; personally for myself, I saw new ways to help increase the herd’s livability even more, and get a higher weight gain. We really liked the farm with 11,000 head, which we visited as part of the event; it was very clean and everything was in order. We liked how small calves are kept – this is what we try to implement on our farms – to stop using hutches and start keeping calves in groups. We try to see this in Russia as well, and for that we are going to Chuvashia soon; and well, we just saw this method in China. We see that this system works, although we thought previously that this method of keeping can lead to diseases in calves; now we see that it works, and will try to implement the same on our farm. The experience of Chinese farms is of great interest in regard to feeding as well. For example, the use of roughages starting from six months of age; we would like to see more farms and explore that experience”

This article originally appeared on The Dairynews (in Russian)