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Dairy farming management: Animal health has highest priority

By Dr Achim Schaffner

  • Milk producers in Europe face challenges following two drought years impacting forage crop harvests. Management is therefore increasingly in focus.
  • Improvement of animal health is of central interest, in particular for dairy farmers in Germany and Poland. But the subject of animal health is also an important management field for more than every second milk producer in the Netherlands. After all, healthy animals are the basis for high fertility, optimum feed intake and vitality within the entire herd
  • Viewed as an equally important work area by Dutch milk producers is optimisation of feeding. After all, feeding and animal health are two sides of the same coin and only through performance-matched feeding can high health status be achieved.
  • Every second dairy farmer questioned in Germany wishes to increase performance from forage, or increase milk production in total. While it’s true that concentrate feed costs are currently moderate, high milk output from forage still leads to more profitable milk production. And, depending on milk production level, higher milking performance is possible. But, as the survey answers show, only when the animals are healthy.
  • For dairy farmers in France, reduction of production costs is, alongside improvement of animal health, the most important management field for strengthening milk output efficiency, even in the current difficult situation.

How will you overcome the challenges in dairy farming?