Low calf mortality rate
There are just over 1,000 animals in total at the Agrimat farm including the young stock which are kept in housing that mostly dates back to the communist era. The young heifer calves are kept in the old style pens with indoor and outdoor access while the older heifers have access to open corals with cubicles. Incidentally, the bull calves born on the farm are reared until they are 400 kg and then sold for 6.5 Romanian leu (€ 1.41) per kg to fattening farms. “Our calves are kept with their mothers for three days to ensure they get a good start and enough colostrum. Currently we have a calf mortality rate of under 5% which we think is very good”, she says.
Extra protein supplements
A total of 14 different feed rations are mixed at Agrimat for the various groups of animals from young calves through to the high producers. All the diets are mostly made up of alfalfa hay, maize silage, beer barley and mineral supplements with the high yielders receiving extra protein supplementations.
Demand for milk and dairy produce in Romania is on the rise and that’s the key reason Agrimat wants to increase production and become more efficient.
“We want to double our herd size by investing in two new barns with a 40-point rotary parlour in between them,” says Ms Ganoa. “We have a lot of heifers coming through so we have the numbers but we need to set up an efficient milking system. Our target is to reach 800 cows within two years. We hope to do this with our own money, not with specific EU funds. I think the EU milk market is not a fair place for all EU countries to operate in. There are better conditions and easier markets for some countries to trade with”. However, the people at Agrimat will be concentrating on their home market first and focusing on their expansion plans.