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Dairy Global edition 2! A journey to China, US, and Brazil

The latest Dairy Global magazine edition is here! We take you around the globe in this one - on a trip from China to East Africa, and we dive into the topic of heat stress. Don’t miss this exciting edition, it’s available to read now!

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Interview: “You would not expect farms in the deserts of China”

Snorri Sigurdsson, senior project manager at Arla Foods, tells us more about how rapidly the sector in China is taking shape with some farms boasting tens of thousands of cows. The last few years have seen a huge change in the dairy farming sector. With dairy farms even set up in the deserts of China, this impressive transformation is a trend predicted to continue. He sheds some light on the sector and talks about growth and production. Page 6

Snorri Sigurdsson, senior project manager at Arla Foods. Photo: Arla Foods
Snorri Sigurdsson, senior project manager at Arla Foods. Photo: Arla Foods

Country report: A closer look at consolidation in the US

In the US, dairy industry consolidation continues. Farms with thousands of cows on site have sustainability challenges, but regulations and technology are keeping pace. While this situation does present some concerns relating to environmental sustainability and animal welfare, regulations and technology are keeping pace to mitigate these concerns effectively. Page 10

Photo: Ruud Ploeg
Photo: Ruud Ploeg

Passive immunisation to control calf diarrhoea

Calf diarrhoea is a commonly reported disease in young animals and still a major cause of productivity and economic loss to cattle producers worldwide in both beef and dairy cattle herds. Moreover, neonatal calf diarrhoea (NCD) creates a problem in terms of animal welfare and farmer distress. Page 12

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Farm report: A2 big business in Brazil

We take you all the way to Brazil to Santa Rita Farm which focuses on milk production and adopting technologies in order to add value and be sustainable. Founded in 1945, in Descalvado city, Brazil, the farm is also internationally prized for its A2 milk. Currently, Santa Rita Farm has 4,800 cows (all Holstein, 2,000 lactating) producing 24,000 tonnes of milk per year. Page 16

Santa Rita Farm which focuses on milk production and adopting technologies. Photo: Agrindus
Santa Rita Farm which focuses on milk production and adopting technologies. Photo: Agrindus

Low scouring around weaning

Clean and functional enzyme-treated proteins are cost-competitive alternatives to whey and soy products, turning calves into robust and vital animals that grow to their full potential. The immaturity of the gastrointestinal system is the reason a calf’s transition to ruminant can be troublesome. Page 20

China: Preventing heat stress in non-milking animals health

In just a few years, the landscape of Chinese dairy farming has changed dramatically, going from small household farms to professional and effective dairy operations. Successful farm management is therefore a top priority, especially when it comes to heat stress, which can affect all animals on-farm. Page 24

Some farms in China have installed shading nets or a roof above the calf hutches to prevent heat stress. Photo: CDMTCC
Some farms in China have installed shading nets or a roof above the calf hutches to prevent heat stress. Photo: CDMTCC

Sulfur: The dose makes the poison

Sulfur (S) is an essential nutrient for ruminants, required for normal growth and development of both rumen micro-organisms and the host animal. Deficiency of S can lead to problems ranging from poor performance to death, and excess S can equally harm the animals. The toxicity of S-compounds leads to alterations in the rumen environment, neurological disturbances and even death. Page 26

Sulphur contribution of individual feedstuffs and feed additives has to be taken into account during formulation to manage the exposure of ruminants to high sulphur diets. Photo: Mark Pasveer
Sulphur contribution of individual feedstuffs and feed additives has to be taken into account during formulation to manage the exposure of ruminants to high sulphur diets. Photo: Mark Pasveer

Managing the bedding and manure microbiota

Nutrition, health, and a clean animal environment are the 3 pillars to consider jointly for guaranteeing the quality of animal production. Today, it appears that the animal environment represents an important area for progress. Page 30

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Research: Late-gestation heifers and heat stress

Increasing global environmental temperatures have detrimental effects on the dairy industry. While the effects of heat stress on multiparous lactating and non-lactating dairy cows have been studied extensively, the effects on gestating heifers have received less attention. A total of 31 gestating heifers were used to characterise the effect of late-gestation heat abatement on thermoregulatory responses and subsequent milk production of nulliparous Holstein heifers. Page 32

Biogas systems gaining momentum in North America

As the race for more renewable energy sources continues, dairy farmers may find themselves in a unique position. Methane digesters – biogas systems able to process manure and the toxic greenhouse gas methane – can reduce manure waste while creating sustainable energy. This simple solution might be able to resolve some pressing environmental issues while returning an investment to the farmer in terms of power, fuel, and even monetary compensation. In North America, such opportunities are taking off in a big way for dairy producers. Page 34

Cows on pasture threatened in Russia

The dark path of global warming is a dangerous one with severe consequences, one being that in some pastures in parts of Russia there may be deadly viruses that have been buried for decades, if not centuries, under the permafrost; these viruses could be released as a result of global warming. This is of concern while the Russian government is rolling out plans to boost the domestic dairy herd and milk production. Page 28

One of the consequences of climate change is the increase in outbreaks of infectious diseases. Photo: Shutterstock
One of the consequences of climate change is the increase in outbreaks of infectious diseases. Photo: Shutterstock

Strategies to mitigate impact of heat stress

Global warming has become a major concern in recent years. Environmental temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.18°C per decade in the last 30 years, and various climate change models are predicting increases in global temperatures between 1.1°C and 6.4°C by the end of the century. This rise in ambient temperature has major negative consequences on livestock and agriculture. Page 36

Heat setting off alarm bells in East Africa

East Africa has the largest population of livestock in sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change, with its hotter and more humid weather in the region, is putting increasing pressure on the local dairy sector, making exotic dairy production challenging in much of the region. East Africa has the highest population growth on the continent and is home to approximately 145 million cattle. However, research published warns that the frequency of dangerous heat stress conditions and the average number of consecutive days with heat stress events will significantly increase. Page 41

Dairy farmer Lwitiko Mwakaliba in Tanzania. Photo: Kabir Dhanji
Dairy farmer Lwitiko Mwakaliba in Tanzania. Photo: Kabir Dhanji

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