2021 travels: 10 exciting dairy farm visits around the globe

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Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

While some of us did have some opportunities to take to the road last year, for many of us Covid-19 still impacted 2021’s travel plans. However, here at Dairy Global we still managed to report on farms from all over the world.

Here we wrap up 2021 with these 10 must-read farm reports from the far corners of the globe. We start at the beginning of 2021 – happy travels!

1. Australia: Aiming to breed the perfect cow

Queensland dairy farmer, Paul Roderick, is on a mission to fine-tune his breeding to produce the perfect dairy cow that is matched to his farm. That is one of the future goals for Paul, who says he has already reached the maximum number of cows his farm can carry.

Silage is made to feed the cows through the winter months. Photo: Chris McCullough
Silage is made to feed the cows through the winter months. Photo: Chris McCullough

2. Israel: Even Covid-19 won’t deter this dairy farm’s plans

Classed as essential workers, the staff at one of Israel’s leading dairy farms have ensured the cows are milked daily even though some of the staff members tested positive for Covid-19 and had to isolate. Located in the north of Israel, Ramot Menashe dairy farm is home to around 1,000 animals including a milking herd of 500 cows, 450 heifers and 50 young calves.

A Total Mixed Ration is fed to the cows 3 times per day. Photo: Chris McCullough
A Total Mixed Ration is fed to the cows 3 times per day. Photo: Chris McCullough

3. Brazil: Where A2 milk is big business

Santa Rita Farm 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, which is 10 times higher than 40 years ago.

The cows live under a free-range housing system that allows them to choose to be in the solarium (usually on cool, sunny days) or inside the stables (usually on rainy days). Photo: Philipe Di Carlo
The cows live under a free-range housing system that allows them to choose to be in the solarium (usually on cool, sunny days) or inside the stables (usually on rainy days). Photo: Philipe Di Carlo

4. Canada: Leaving the supply management system

Milk processing on the farm is not so common in Canada where dairy farmers have relied on the trusted supply management system to market their milk. However, that system has been heavily tested in recent years. The brother and sister team of Tom and Suzanne Pettit own and run Mistyglen Holsteins based in southwest Ontario, Canada, near the city of London.

This is a fairly typical family dairy farm in the area but one with big ambitions. Photo: Chris McCullough
This is a fairly typical family dairy farm in the area but one with big ambitions. Photo: Chris McCullough

5. China: Going bigger! Big scale dairy farming a trend

China’s dairy farming industry has transformed over the last 2 decades and today the main trend is big scale farming. In 2019, the annual milk production in China was 32 billion kg, and according to China Dairy Industry Statistics 2020, the 25 largest farming companies of milk delivered 9.4 billion kg of the country’s production, contributing 29%. These farming companies had 1.7 million dairy cattle, or on average nearly 68,000 animals each.

The Terminal is where there are 4 exact same designed rotaries each with 80 places. Photo: Snorri Sigurdsson
The Terminal is where there are 4 exact same designed rotaries each with 80 places. Photo: Snorri Sigurdsson

6. Italy: Running a dairy farm and business in harmony

Dairy farms across Europe and beyond are traditionally handed down through generations and seldom change direction in terms of sector. As families grow in size, sometimes additional enterprises are added to the core farm business to increase greater income and create more family employment. That strong dairying tradition is very relevant in the Caligari family in Italy. They run the Crocetta company.

Angelo Caligari at work in the fields preparing to grow new grass for the cows. Photos: Chris McCullough
Angelo Caligari at work in the fields preparing to grow new grass for the cows. Photos: Chris McCullough

7. India: High milk output with Ayurveda therapy on-farm

This is the most advanced dairy farm in India! This is stated by dairy brand Pride of Cows, which is entirely supplied by Bhagyalakshmi dairy farm located in the lush greenery of Manchar, close to Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Its realisation of 50 litres of milk per cow per day is astonishing, but not so surprising considering that the cows are treated with unwavering welfare practices.

A 50-point GEA rotary parlour is in operation where 50 cows can be milked within 7 minutes. Photo: Parag Milk Foods Ltd
A 50-point GEA rotary parlour is in operation where 50 cows can be milked within 7 minutes. Photo: Parag Milk Foods Ltd

8. Argentina farm invests heavily in staff

All too often dairy farmers submerge themselves in debt, having invested in all the latest gizmos and gadgets blinded by marketing promises of increased returns and short pay-back terms. Keeping the business of milking cows relatively simple and investing in staff instead of too much machinery is the ethos of the Maria Teresa Sur Tambo 1 farm in Argentina.

Buildings and yards are kept simple on this farm. - Photos: Chris McCullough
Buildings and yards are kept simple on this farm. - Photos: Chris McCullough

9. South Africa: Nestlé’s first net-zero carbon emissions dairy farm

The Skimmelkrans Dairy Farm in George in South Africa’s Western Cape province is Nestlé’s first dairy farm earmarked to reach net-zero carbon emissions in 2023. The farm has set itself apart through prudent soil work, water conservation, feed management and manure processing. The 4 pillars of regenerative agriculture, namely soil, water, biodiversity, and livestock, are integral.

The Skimmelkrans Dairy Farm in South Africa is set to reach net-zero carbon emissions in 2023. Photo: Lizl Kuyler
The Skimmelkrans Dairy Farm in South Africa is set to reach net-zero carbon emissions in 2023. Photo: Lizl Kuyler

10. France: Aiming to for 1.1 million litres of milk

Organic dairy farm Gaec Sureau Clerget located in Courcelles Frémoy, Burgundy, France, aims to produce 1.1 million litres of milk with its Brown Swiss herd. Linda Sureau and her companion, Mickaël Clerget, run the organic dairy farm. Two dates are important in the history of the farm: the takeover of the family farm by Linda in 2010, and the arrival of Mickaël 2 years later with his 70 Brown Swiss cows coming from his farm nearby Châtillon-sur-Seine in the north of Côte d’Or.

Outside overview of the dairy farm Gaec Sureau Clerget located in Courcelles Frémoy, Burgundy, France. Photo: Philippe Caldier
Outside overview of the dairy farm Gaec Sureau Clerget located in Courcelles Frémoy, Burgundy, France. Photo: Philippe Caldier
Van Dijk
Zana Van Dijk Editor Dairy Global
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