US Dairy Farmers Visit Czech Farms

CZECH REPUBLIC - Participants of Biomins's 3rd US-CZ Dairy Plan visited several farm in the Czech Republic as part of a week's programme, in the beginning of June.
calendar icon 6 July 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

The American guests showed huge interest in analysing the most important points concerning the running of each farm. At the same time they made an effort to propose effective steps to be taken.

The biggest emphasis was put on the critical peripartal (transition) period, especially nutrition and providing of cows´comfort. Other topics discussed were unified, high fibre, low energetic diets, to feed from drying-off till calving - the so called Goldilocks Diet - the authors and supporters of which are Dr G Jones and Professor J Drackley.

The first farm visited was in Uhercice (Zemos, Velke Nemcice, with 600 Holstein dairy cows). The main topic discussed there was herd management. The American guests could see well how herd management is assessed in the Czech Republic and compare it with conditions in the US. They could talk to the farm employees and share their own experience with the Czech producers.

The second farm visited was in Trhovy Stepanov (Trhovy Stepanov, with 1,200 Holstein dairy cows). The American guests were made familiar with the conditions on Czech farms so that they could better understand the way in which the Czech farmers work. The issues discussed were similar to those the day before and the days that followed. Attention was paid to the issue of the fresh period after parturition and the quality of rearing calves, including their vaccination scheme.

The third farm tour led the participants to the farm in Pluhuv Zdar (920 Holstein and Simmental dairy cows) which is one of the most modern and best-equipped farms in the Czech Republic where a great number of cows are milked robotically. The matter discussed in the most detailed way was the risk of sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) development by high productive Holstein cows receiving a part of concentrates in milking robots and its relation to laminitis occurrence risk. The guests appreciated the excellent level of dairy cattle breeding on that farm.

The fourth farm visited was in Petrovice ( 600 Holstein dairy cows and a modern biogas station, 1,1 MW). Likewise in Uhercice attention was paid mainly to the planned construction of a new stable for cows in the transitive period. The last farm, which was visited within the 3rd US-CZ Dairy Plan, is situated in Hodkovice near Prague (AGRO Jesenice, a.s., with 1150 Holstein dairy cows). The guests visited that farm on Friday when they had already got quite a precise picture of herd management on farms in the Czech Republic.

The results were discussed on that farm, where The Goldilocks Diet has been used by Biomin Czech staff for two years (together with the methodology of cow distress elimination in the transitive period. The methodology was proposed by Professor Sheila McGuirk´s colleague from the research team of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor K Nordlund, on his previous visit).

The participants shared their experiences and the problems identified on the visited Czech farms on June 10th, 2011. American guests made use of their knowledge from the farms visited to update their lectures and in the discussions within the US-CZ Dairy Plan international academic workshops.

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