FACTORS INFLUENCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF FARMERS’ ABILITIES DURING AND AFTER UNDERTAKING RECURRENT TRAINING PROGRAMMES IN JAPAN

Yukio KINOSHITA1, Nobuo KIMURA1

1Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University (Japan)

 

ABSTRACT

Currently, the agricultural industry in Japan has an ageing farmer population, mostly having traditional ideas, skills and knowledge regarding their farm business. To ensure that these farmers adapt to more advanced technology and a more competitive environment, their abilities should be further developed. However, what specific abilities need to be developed in modern Japanese farmers and how to develop them is not clear. Moreover, the existing training structures provide educational services primarily for students who plan to engage in farming soon but not for current farmers who want to gain deeper and wider knowledge that is useful for their business development. Thus, recurrent education for experienced farmers is underdeveloped and a pressing challenge. Therefore, we have organised a pilot training programme, based in Iwate University, for delivering recurrent education to farmers in Tohoku (the northeast region of Japan) since 2007. This programme comprises four modules: administration, production, marketing and business planning.

The present study investigates factors, related to both knowledge and experiences, which influence the improvement in farmers’ abilities. In particular, we examine what kind of knowledge gained from the training programme and activities experienced on their farms after completing it are important for enhancing farmers’ abilities. To this end, we used multivariable analysis of data collected through surveys answered by farmers who have completed all programme modules from 2007 to 2011. Between December 2011 and April 2012, questionnaires were delivered to 114 participants, generating 63 valid responses.

The survey data analysis proves that the respondents can improve their abilities, especially those of being adaptive to the changing business environment (e.g. information-gathering skills) and of becoming entrepreneurs (e.g. risk-accepting behaviour), during or after the training programme. Our analysis also proves that (1) respondents’ experiences are more significant for improving their abilities than knowledge is; (2) new experiences after the training are more significant than their past experiences, which are measured by the numbers of years of farming; and (3) experiences related to marketing are largely significant rather than those related to administration and production on their farm.

Our analysis suggests a theoretical framework demonstrating an association between improving abilities and the influencing factors of knowledge and experiences; it also explains how the training programme should be reviewed to be more effective and practical for developing farmers’ abilities. Furthermore, we refer to a wider usability of our pilot training programme, and, more generally, discuss about the agricultural innovation policy and training programmes for farmers in Japan.


BIOGRAPHY

Yukio Kinoshita is Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Faculty of Agriculture of the Iwate University. Dr. Kinoshita has conducted many studies within the field of agricultural economics and farm management in Japan and other developed countries. He has also written some practical textbooks of farm business for students and farm managers.

EDUCATING FARMERS TO USE BIOSECURITY IS AN IMPORTANT RISK MANAGEMENT TOOL

Jonathan Moyle1, Jennifer Rhodes1, Paul Goeringer1

1University Of Maryland Extension, Salisbury, Maryland, United States

 

ABSTRACT

In today’s modern world commercial farmers face a wide range of challenges, from weather to diseases to government regulations.  These ever changing, if not properly prevented or addressed in a timely manner can lead to large losses in production.  With the increased movement of products and animals in the current world, preventing diseases is becoming a greater challenge.  All types of agricultural ventures can have disease problems, whether it is Avian Influenza in birds, African Swine Fever in pigs or even nematodes in bananas, preventing disease is a priority.  Biosecurity – any and all measures used to prevent disease – is an important risk management tool that farmers need to use to help reduce the risk of disease.  In order to help farmers understand biosecurity and implement good practices, the University of Maryland Extension service conducted a number of outreach programs to train commercial poultry growers in the Delmarva region (DE, MD, VA).  These programs included: traditional extension hands-on education, newsletters, factsheets, videos and on farm field days. Prior to educational outreach growers where surveyed on biosecurity practices, this was followed by surveys three to four months after trainings and then again 2 years later.  The results found that 87% of growers made changes to their biosecurity plans as a result of workshops and 75% still maintained practices two years later and 92% reporting they still train employees on biosecurity.


BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Jonathan “Jon” Moyle is the Extension Poultry Specialist for the University of Maryland and is affiliation with the Department of animal and avian Sciences at the University of Maryland as well. He attended Brigham Young University where he received his B.S. in Animal Science. Then worked for 15 years, during which time he owned and operated a broiler breeder farm, before returning to the University of Arkansas were he got his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. After completion of his Ph.D. he served a Post-doc position with the USDA-ARS, in Fayetteville AR. In graduate school he worked on reproductive management and behavior in broiler breeders. Later his research involved improving organic and free range poultry production, along with looking for natural compounds that can be used to help growers prevent and control disease. Currently as the University of Maryland Extension Poultry specialist, he is looking at ways to help growers improve nutrient management (including alternative litter uses), increase profitability (alternative bedding and lighting), protect the environment and improve biosecurity.

FOOD AND FIBRE EDUCATION-SECURING THE FUTURE

Ben. Stockwin1, Lynn Mason2

1Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia, Barton, ACT, Australia

2JM & NL Mason, Carrick, TAS, Australia

 

Purpose

The main purpose of the Primary Industries Education is to provide improved teaching and learning about primary industries in Australian schools.

Corporate Profile

The foundation is a private, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee with tripartite membership engaging the primary industries, government and education sectors. The foundation is managed by a skills-based board, chosen by a selection committee representing the three categories of membership. The foundation operates with minimal overheads to ensure that member contributions are focused on ‘adding value’ and real outcomes.

Operating Environment

Primary industries are a diverse and vital part of the Australian economy (12% GDP and 15% national workforce), and the projected growth in demand for our ‘clean and green’ food and fibre products (estimated to double by 2030) suggests a bright future for these industries and businesses associated with the supply of high quality food and fibre products. Yet, our capacity to realize these opportunities, and address the challenges that will inevitably arise, is limited by an ageing workforce and low numbers of students enrolling and completing agriculture and related courses at both vocational and higher education levels.  Reasons for declining enrolments include an ill-informed image of primary industries and perceptions of career opportunities, and the disconnection with primary industries and poor understanding of the sources of food and fibre among our increasingly urban society.

The scope of this challenge was highlighted by the 2012 Primary Industries Education Foundation commissioned, Australian Council of Education Research’s report on school children’s knowledge of the origins of their food and fibre. This report struck a chord with many sectors of the Australian community. In fact, the stories about students thinking that yoghurt grows on trees and other such misconceptions went viral around the world. This confirmed the need for a strategic and focused organisation like the Primary Industries Education Foundation to identify, clarify and tackle the underlying issues.

Although it has been known for almost 20 years that the sources of knowledge of agriculture and career opportunities are, in declining order of importance, school/teachers, parents, media and friends,1 industry and institutional efforts to attract students have typically focused on media. Primary and secondary school is when most students start thinking about what career they would like, with the cross-over to making a decision usually occurring in mid-secondary schooling.2 Furthermore, it is well established that a focus on primary and secondary educational levels has a greater impact on students’ interests and attitudes to primary industries than a focus on the tertiary level.1

The Primary Industries Education Foundation focuses on the primary and secondary school levels to raise awareness of the importance of our primary industry sectors and to inspire a new generation of researchers, extension officers, primary producers and academics. We do this by evaluating existing resources, by developing relevant and current resources that add value and are aligned to the Australian Curriculum, and by providing support for primary and secondary school leaders and teachers.

1          Falvey L & B Matthews, 1999. Revitalizing agricultural extension. RIRDC Publication 99/172.

2          Miller D, W Allen & C Kleinschmidt, 2011. Career motivations and attitudes towards agriculture of first year science students at the University of Queensland. Agricultural Science,

Vol. 23, No. 3: 18-28.

SUCCESSFUL SUCCESSION PLANNING THROUGH EFFECTIVE FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS

Jeffrey E. Tranel1, John P. Hewlett2, Vanessa Tranel1

1Colorado State University

2University of Wyoming

 

ABSTRACT

The average age of farmers in the United States continues to increase each year. Data suggest that many current farmers and landowners are or should be considering the transition of their businesses – ownership and management – to the next generation.  In addition, many are concerned about sharing their legacies with children, grandchildren, friends, and others, where legacy covers a lifetime of achievements and the context in which that lifetime will be remembered.

Extension specialists in many U.S. states offer programming to assist farm families with transition planning. More than 300 farmers and ranchers recently participated in estate and succession planning workshops conducted by Colorado State University. Assessment questions were asked at the beginning, end, and throughout the workshops using a personal response system to collect anonymous answers.

Responses suggest that less than half reported engaging in intra-family discussions about succession planning. Many heirs had not been told about their parents’ wishes regarding the future of the farm business. Members of both generations (parents and children) admit that they have not discussed end-of-life plans, even further confounding the problem.

There are two basic types of meetings for families operating a business: (1) family council meetings and (2) family business meetings. There may also be a need for business managers to meet to make decisions not directly affecting the family; such as what crops to grow or when to market grain or livestock.

Family Council Meetings are intended to provide a communication forum to keep the broader family informed of what is going on in the family business as well as the current and anticipated role of the family. These meetings are typically comprised of the broader family, including spouses, in-laws, children, grandparents and grandchildren whether active or non-active in the family business.

Family Council Meetings should be held when there is sufficient time available for discussion and few interruptions and in a neutral, non-family related location. There should be an agenda, a person to lead the discussion, someone to record meeting minutes, and other common features of a business meeting. A non-family member, trained as a facilitator, may be desired to keep the discussion flowing smoothly, to quiet talkative, over-bearing family members, to encourage less talkative people to share their thoughts, and to create a safe environment.

Family Business Meetings are dedicated meetings for family members who are working together in the business to deal with the interaction between the family and business. The agenda of the meeting can be primarily business issues or primarily family issues or both.

Farm families holding regular family council meetings and family business meetings report: (1) greater family harmony, (2) greater comfort with who will take over the family business, (3) increased understanding about the extent of the retiring generation’s financial needs and resources, and (4) smoother management and ownership transitions. By taking a proactive approach to succession planning, individuals and families can help ensure that they are remembered in the best possible light and that their life’s work will more successfully transition to future generations.


BIOGRAPHY

Jeff Tranel was raised on a large beef cattle operation in Colorado and Wyoming. He has been an agricultural and business management economist with Colorado State University for more than 30 years. His professional interests focus on estate planning, business succession, financial management, income tax management, and human resource management. Tranel has addressed audiences and worked with more than 10,000 farm and ranch families in 25 U.S. states and four other countries. He sits on the National Farm Income Tax Task Force. Jeff has authored or co-authored a book on human resource management, numerous fact sheets, and ten on-line courses.John Hewlett has been a Farm and Ranch Management Specialist with the University of Wyoming for more than 25 years. He delivers more than 35 educational programs each year, has provided technology support for more than 100 webinars, and developed and maintains numerous web sites. Hewlett has authored or co-authored 15 books and more than 82 Extension and Research Station Bulletins. He and his family operate a small diversified farming operation.Tranel and Hewlett are founding member/owners of RightRisk LLC – a premier organization helping agricultural firms and farm and ranch families better understand their problems associated with financial, market, production, institutional, and human risks. Vanessa Tranel is a 4-H Youth Development Specialist with Colorado State University Extension. She was raised on a dairy farm and has more than 20 years of experience helping youth develop life skills through county-based 4-H programming and on five military installations in Colorado.

ANNIE’S PROJECT BUSINESS MANAGEMENT COURSE FOR FARM AND RANCH WOMEN IN WYOMING

Cole Ehmke1

1University Of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States

 

ABSTRACT

Annie’s Project is an 18-hour educational program carried out over six weeks. The course is designed to empower farm and ranch women to better engage in the leadership of agricultural enterprises by both 1) developing skills in risk management and 2) building local social and information networks. This poster describes the Annie’s Project methodology and its implementation in the western American state of Wyoming. In addition to describing the program methodology, the poster provides insight for facilitators developing and delivering programs to reach this audience. The USDA reports 46% of all farmers/ranchers are women, and are 13.7 percent of principal farm operators, yet women are an underserved audience. Through educational opportunities such as Annie’s, they not only increase their successes but they recruit and empower more women to take leadership roles in agriculture.


BIOGRAPHY

Cole Ehmke is an Extension Specialist with University of Wyoming Extension based in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. His work covers agricultural entrepreneurship topics as well as personal financial resource management. Recent projects have included coordinating the Annie’s Project program of management classes for women in agriculture, creating a regulatory guide for foods ventures, creating a business startup guide for value-added food producers, and helping business managers transition ownership and management to a new generation.

REACHING UNDERSERVED AGRICULTURAL OPERATORS IN AMERICA’S WEST THROUGH A CONFERENCE SERIES

Cole Ehmke1, John Hewlett1

1University Of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States

 

ABSTRACT

Wyoming and other states in America’s West are experiencing rapid changes in land ownership patterns. The individuals and families now living and working on the land typically own smaller acres, manage them for other than traditional purposes, and are less familiar with land and animal management techniques. As a result, they are searching for ways to reach and improve sustainability, often with a desire to connect with the end user of food and other agricultural products.

The Living and Working on the Land project responded to this need over a period of years by targeting these often underserved audiences in Wyoming and the surrounding region. The project offered participants a better understanding of the risks they face and suggested techniques for becoming more knowledgeable about alternatives available for management in Western agriculture using a multidimensional approach. The two primary outputs used to inform and connect with the target audiences included: 1) a series of conferences and 2) extended distribution of educational material associated with the events (publications and a website). This poster describes the project aims, outputs, funding, impacts, and lessons learned.


BIOGRAPHY

Cole Ehmke is an Extension Specialist with University of Wyoming Extension based in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. His work covers agricultural entrepreneurship topics as well as personal financial resource management. Recent projects have included coordinating the Annie’s Project program of management classes for women in agriculture, creating a regulatory guide for foods ventures, creating a business startup guide for value-added food producers, and helping business managers transition ownership and management to a new generation. John Hewlett is a Ranch/Farm Management Specialist at the University of Wyoming where his interests include risk management, integrated management, enterprise assessment, financial analysis, recordkeeping, and applications of technology in agricultural. He is a member of the several regional teams including Ag In Uncertain Times, RightRisk, and Risk Navigator. He grew up in Washington State, where he worked eight years (four as foreman) on a large stocker-cattle/crop operation. John holds a B.Sc. degree in Agricultural Business from Montana State University and a M.Sc. degree in Agricultural Economics from Oregon State University. He came to the University of Wyoming, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in 1987 and has been involved in a number of state and regional extension programs, receiving numerous awards.

FARMER ATTITUDE TOWARDS ADVISORY SERVICES IN SWEDEN

Krafft1,3, M. Ljung2, C. Lunner Kolstup1, M. Melin1, S. Lundberg3

1Department of Work Science, Business Economics and Environmental Psychology, Swedish University of Agriculture, Alnarp
2.Principal Extension Officer, Swedish University of Agriculture, Skara
3Växa Sverige, Falkenberg

Corresponding author. Jannica Krafft, jannica.krafft@vxa.se

 

ABSTRACT

At the very core of a transition towards farm sustainability is the individual decision-maker. An increased awareness, knowledge, participation and capacity among farmers are keys to sustainable development of agriculture. Clearly, it is the farmer that will take both strategic and operative decisions that bridge between theory and practice while balancing a desirable future with what is feasible. Advisory services have and will be a major contributor in the realisation of a sustainable development, both on farm and societal level. Being an intermediary in the knowledge system, advisors should not only provide scientific and relevant knowledge, but also tailor their activities to the farmers’ needs. No doubt, advisory services are an important part of farm development.

Given that farmers struggle with an increased and international price-pressure, a need to work with objectives on different system levels simultaneously (i.e., viability, animal welfare, environmental targets, social situation), and higher demands on competence and capacity (individual and organisational), we have over the last years seen an emergence of alternative models in agricultural extension. In this respect, advisory services are called upon in new roles. However, conventional advisors encounter difficulties in taking over new roles and becoming professional coaches and facilitators.

Today’s development of advisory services (agricultural extension) is quite radical. New societal and market challenges forces advisors to rethink much of what has been taken for granted earlier. The technological development gives rise to both new opportunities and challenges. In this sense advisors need to work both transformative (transcend the farmers visions of what is possible) as well as integrative (adapt their advice to the unique situation in which farmers live and act).

To be able to address these issues from the right angle we decided to map the overall attitudes among farmers towards advisory services using a questionnaire as a point of departure in our project “Learning and communication in Swedish Agriculture – Advisors role in bridging between research and practice”. We wanted to know how well the advisory services fulfil the farmers needs and requirements. The hope was to be able to identify areas, such as disciplines and/or type of production where the advisory services are sufficient and up-to-date and where there are gaps and a need for improvement. To do this we decided to do a survey among farmers from all over Sweden across production types. The questionnaire was sent out to 2000 farmers.

The results show that the farmers that use advisory services to a large extent also are the ones most content with the services. Larger farms use a bigger range of advisory services and have a clearer aim for profitability. We can also see that the services provided varies across the country.

A questionnaire gives us an overall picture of the situation at the moment. But it can´t provide depth and detail, therefor this study will continue using other methods interviews and focus-groups towards farmers. We will also direct our attention towards the advisors in the quest for a best practice in advisory services – what work and why?


BIOGRAPHY

I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Work Science, Business Economics & Environmental Psychology at the Swedish University of Agriculture. I am an Industrial doctorate and my PhD project is a joint venture with the Swedish University of Agriculture and Växa Sverige, an advisory organization where I work as and production advisor for dairy and beef farmers. During my study I will continue working part time as an advisor. The preliminary title of my project is “Learning and communication in Swedish agriculture: Advisors’ role in bridging between practice and research”.

CONSUMER EVALUATION OF DIFFERENT BEEF AGING METHODS AND PERIODS

Phillip Oosthuizen1

1Sernick Group, Bethlehem, Free State, South Africa     

 

ABSTRACT

Consumers worldwide are becoming more demanding about their preference for beef and it is evident from the switch from quantity to quality issues that consumers raise in the market. This is  expressed  by  the  increased  interest  in  importance  of  eating  quality  and  food  safety.  Eating quality is a main concern to the consumer which include juiciness, tenderness and flavor. A total of 77% of consumers rated tenderness as being the most important attribute when buying and consuming  beef.  Tenderness  is  therefore  crucial  to  the  consumer;  hence  the  producer  must comply to this consumer preference to sell its product. One method to improve the quality of beef is to make use of ageing (Strydom et al., 1999).  The problem is however that different ageing methods,  such  as  dry  and  wet  ageing,  as  well  as  different  ageing  periods  exist.  This  different methods and periods also have different cost implications for the butcher.  In order the meet the consumer’s quality demands the correct ageing method must be followed to  meet the  needs, while the cost implications for the butcher also must be kept in mind.  The objective of the study was to investigate consumers’ sensory tasting evaluation of different beef aging methods and periods. Specific evaluation with regards to tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall liking was done. Sirloin steak from Bonsmara cattle were used and homogeneously prepared  for  the  197  blind  consumer  tastings.  The  five  different  aging  treatments,  offered  to each consumer included (1) no-aging, (2) 7 days wet-aging, (3) 21 days wet-aging, (4) 7 days dry- aging,  and  (5)  21  days  dry-aging.  The  effect  of  different  ageing  methods  on  the  sensory parameters was analyzed with one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means compared with the Tukey-Kramer multiple comparison test at α = 0.05 (NCSS, 2016).  The results indicated that significant difference occur between all the meat attributes of any of the aging periods compared to no-aging. It is however interesting to note that while consumers prefer 21 days aged beef above 7 days aged, they were not able to differentiate between wet and dry aged samples of the same period.  It is evident from the results that ageing does improve the  quality  attributes  of  beef,  that  longer  ageing  is  preferred  to  shorter  ageing,  but  that  no preference could be made between wet and dry ageing.  Since  no  attention  was  given  to  the  cost  implications  of  the  different  ageing  methods,  it  is recommended that future studies should attend to it.  The reality however is that the moisture loss of dry-ageing will have a negative influence on the weight of the final cut and therefor it is predicted that wet-ageing will be the preferred option of butchers.


BIOGRAPHY

Phillip OosthuizenStudies:- BSc Agric in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics- BSc Agric Honors in Agricultural Economics- MSc Agric in Agricultural Economics Registered for PhD in Agricultural EconomicsWork:- Research assistant at Department of Agricultural economics, University of the Free State- Agricultural Business Manager at Nedbank- Head of Research and Economics at Sernick group

PILOT PROJECT: “DAIRY SUSTAINABILITY TOOL”: IMPLEMENTATION AND FEASIBILITY OF A SECTOR-SPECIFIC CONCEPT FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF DAIRY PRODUCTION IN GERMANY

Tomke Lindena1, Anna Sophie Claus1, Dr. Heike Kuhnert2, Dr. Birthe Lassen1, Prof. Dr. Hiltrud Nieberg1

1Thünen Institute of Farms Economics

2Project Office “Land und Markt”

 

ABSTRACT

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a specific requirement for the production, processing  and  marketing  of  food.  Internationally  and  nationally  consumers, society, food retailers and food companies want to know from the German dairy industry:  how  sustainable  is  your  milk  produced?  However,  the  integration  of dairy  farms  in  (dairy  processor-specific)  sustainability  concepts  poses  particular challenges:  on  the  one  hand,  a  large  number  of  dairy  farms,  some  with  very different  production  conditions,  must  be  taken  into  account.  Given  the  fact,  that agriculture  takes  place  “under  the  open  sky”,  external  effects  have  to  be considered.  Therefore,  on  the  other  hand,  a  very  broad  range  of  indicators concerning  economic,  environmental  and  social  sustainability  as  well  as  animal welfare  have  to  be  recorded  at  dairy  farm  level.  The  problem:  so  far  there  are scarcely any simple workable and cost-effective means to measure sustainability at dairy farm level in its entirety.

Against this background in an intensive multi-stakeholder dialogue, the so-called “Dairy Sustainability Tool” (DST) has been developed. The idea of the DST is to serve as a basic tool for an initial illustration of sustainability aspects at dairy farm level.  It  aims  to  initiate  a  dialogue  within  the  supply  chain  and  to  stimulate stepwise  improvement  of  sustainable  dairy  production  in  Germany.  The  tool consists of (a) a questionnaire for measuring more than 80 sustainability criteria, (b)  factsheets  with  explanations  (background  and  status-quo)  of  every sustainability  criteria  and  their  respective  ratings  and  (c)  a  web-based questionnaire as well as (d) a database.

 

The overall  objective of  the  pilot  project  is  to  put the  DST  in  practice  on  a  large scale for the first time, to check its feasibility and recognition at all stages of the value  chain.  Additionally,  due  to  constantly  new  scientific  findings  and  practical experiences,  the  tool  will  be  continuously  improved  based  on  the  knowledge gained. As a result there should be an outwardly transparent industry solution for the sustainable development of dairy production in Germany, which is suitable for a wider successful dissemination.

 

The  pilot  project  started  in  February  2017  and  will  last  until  2020.  During  this time,  more than 30 German dairy processors are testing the DST. The resulting dataset is unique as it provides detailed information about relevant sustainability aspects  of  a  large  number  of  dairy  farms.  Within  the  first  year,  data  concerning economic, environmental and social sustainability as well as animal welfare were collected on more than 4 500 dairy farms. The dairy processors are now starting an internal process to deal with the results of the status quo analysis: discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the sustainability of the farms, formulating goals for  the  further  development  of  sustainable  dairy  production  and  developing possible measures for implementation.

 

The  concept,  selected  first  results  and  future  steps  of  the  Dairy  Sustainability Tool will be presented at the conference.

 


BIOGRAPHY

Tomke Lindena has been working at the Thuenen Institute of Farm Economics in the field “international competitiveness of dairy production” since 2015. Besides her work in the project “Dairy Sustainability Tool” she works on policy advices for the German Ministry of Agriculture. She is also responsible for the German group in the European Dairy Farmers (EDF) network. Tomke comes from a dairy farm in northern Germany, which her brothers have now taken over from their parents. She is currently doing her PHD in the field of “economic analyses of sustainable dairy production” in cooperation with the University of Kiel. “. She is supervised by Prof Dr Sebastian Hess (University of Kiel) and Prof Dr Hiltrud Nieberg (Thuenen Institute).

THRESHOLD ANALYSIS OF FEEDING CONCENTRATES TO DAIRY COWS DURING HOT WEATHER

Lewis C.D.1,4, Ho C.K.M.2, Malcolm B.3, Williams S.R.O.1, and Marett L.C.1

1Agriculture Victoria Research, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Ellinbank, Vic, Australia.

2Agriculture Victoria Research, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Agribio, 5 Ring Road, Bundoora, Vic, Australia.

3Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic, Australia.

4Corresponding author: claire.lewis@ecodev.vic.gov.au

 

Heat stress reduces the milk yield of dairy cows. Digestion and metabolism of feed generates heat which contributes to the heat load on cows. An experiment was designed to compare the effects of different concentrates on dry matter intake and milk production of cows during hot weather. Prior to commencement of the experiment, an economic threshold analysis was conducted to determine the saving in lost milk production during hot weather required from the concentrate supplements to break-even with a control diet. Diets were formulated as a mixed ration with only the concentrate component changing. Concentrate treatments were wheat (control), barley, maize or a mix of canola meal plus wheat. All diets contained 8 kg DM/cow.day of concentrate and 13 kg DM/cow.day of conserved forage. In the economic threshold analysis, the reduction in the heat-related loss of milk solids (MS) for each treatment diet that would give the equivalent contribution to farm profit as the control diet was estimated. It was assumed the diets were fed every day from 1st November to 28th February (120 days). Reductions in heat-related losses of milk production from the treatment diets were assumed to be realised over this period. Market prices for concentrates delivered to Gippsland, Victoria, Australia were used and an 8% p.a. opportunity cost of variable capital was included in the cost of each diet.  A four-year Victorian average milk price of $6.18/kg MS was used. Feeding barley resulted in a saving of $0.21/cow.day compared to the control diet. This meant the MS from cows fed barley could decline 4.4 kg (60 L/cow @ 4.0% fat and 3.3% protein) more than the yield decline of cows fed the control over the 120 days, before profit would be penalised by feeding barley. Replacing wheat with higher cost maize increased the cost of the diet by $0.60/cow.day, resulting in the maize diet needing to reduce the loss in MS from hot weather by 12.7 kg MS/cow (174 L/cow) to break-even with feeding wheat. Feeding 2 kg DM/cow.day of canola meal plus 6 kg DM/cow.day of wheat had to prevent a reduction in MS from heat stress of 5.7 kg MS/cow (77 L/cow), to be equally as profitable as feeding wheat. Pre-experimental economic threshold analysis provides insight into the biological requirements for changes to diets to be economically sound substitutes for the control diet. All diets were analysed here on an as offered basis. Marginal changes in total DM intake with each diet (including pasture and conserved fodder), to achieve the required changes in milk production, were assumed to come from feed which would otherwise have been grown or fed but not utilised. This assumption will be revised as experimental results become available.

12

IFMA

The objective of the International Farm Management Association is to further the knowledge and understanding of farm business management and to exchange ideas and information about farm management theory and practice throughout the world. The IFMA is a non profit-making organisation and currently the Association has members in over 50 countries.

Congress Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the Congress.

Photography Credits

Tourism Tasmania, Barnbougle Dunes, Ray Joyce, Health Holden, Graham Freeman, Joe Shemesh, Glenn Gibson, Hobart City Council, Nick Osborne, National Trust Tasmania, Dale Baldwin, Brian Dullaghan, Rob Burnett, Alistair Bett, Alice Bennett, Wai Nang Poon, Chris Crerar, Kathy Leahy, Flow Mountain Bike, Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service, James Bowden, Masaaki Aihara, Sean Feennessy, Bruce Irwin, Liz Knox