Investigating the Setbacks in Conventional Dairy Farms by the Follow-Up of Their Potential and Effective Milk Yields

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Animal Production and Biotechnology,Hassan II Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine Institute, Madinate Al Irfane, 10 101, Rabat, Morocco

2 Department of Animal Production, CIRAD Environnement et Societes, Campus International de Baillarguet, TA30 / A, 34 398 Montpellier Cedex 5, Montpellier, France

Abstract

The present study investigates the gap between the daily milk production potential and the effective milk yields in six herds. These two parameters and their changes were observed in the Gharb irrigation scheme (northwest of Morocco), during a five months study period. They were analyzed in relation to the changes in the rations of the cows and in their live weights. Results reveal that under conventional cattle rearing conditions in Morocco, i.e. the vast majority of smallholder units and farms with an area less than 20 ha, dairy production suffers from numerous setbacks. One of the most evident is farmer's lack of knowledge of cows’ dietary requirements and their changes throughout the lactation period. Moreover, dairy farmers seem to ignore the changes in forages net energy, rumen degradable and metabolizable protein contents, which induce many errors in providing concentrate supplements. Results also show that the effective milk yield is often inferior to the lactation potential, given the limited availability of forage coupled to errors in rations formulation. Finally, the results emphasize the need to reconsider the use of high genetic merit cows, because of their rising prices, in farms characterized by erratic fodder availability coupled to the absence of balanced rations formulation.

Keywords


ADA. (2011). Agence pour le Developpement Agricole. The dairy chain development in Morocco. http://www.ada.gov.ma/filiere_par_regions/region_gharb_chrarda_bni_hssen/filiere_lait.php Accessed Dec. 2013.
Agnew R.E. and Yan T. (2000). Impact of recent research on energy feeding systems for dairy cattle. Livest. Prod. Sci. 66, 197-215.
Bernard J., Le Gal P.Y., Triomphe B., Hostiou N. and Moulin C.H. (2011). Involvement of small-scale dairy farms in an industrial supply chain: when production standards meet farm diversity. Animal5, 961-971.
Broderick G.A. (2003). Effect of varying dietary protein and energy levels on the production of lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 86, 1370-1381.
Castillo A.R., Taverna A.M., Páez R.R., Cuatrin A., Colombatto D., Bargo F., García M.S., García P.T., Chavez M., Beaulieu A.D. and Drackley J.K. (2006). Fatty acid composition of milk from dairy cows fed fresh alfalfa based diets. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 131, 241-254.
Dillon P., Buckley F., O’Connor P., Hegarty D. and Rath M. (2003). A comparison of different dairy cow breeds on a seasonal grass-based system of milk production: 1. Milk production, live weight, body condition score and DM intake. Livest. Prod. Sci. 83, 21-33.
Faysse N., Srairi M.T. and Errahj M. (2012). Local farmers' organisations: a space for peer-to-peer learning? The case of milk collection cooperatives in Morocco. J. Agric. Educ. Extension. 18, 285-299.
Fulkerson W.J., Neal J.S., Clark C.F., Horadagoda C.F., Nandra K.S. and Barchi I. (2007). Nutritive value of forage species grown in the warm temperate climate of Australia for dairy cows: grasses and legumes. Livest. Sci. 107,253-264.
Garduño-Castro Y., Espinoza-Ortega A., González-Esquivel C.E., Mateo-Salazar B. and Arriaga-Jordán C.M. (2009). Intercropped oats (Avena sativa) common vetch (Vicia sativa) silage in the dry season for small-scale dairy systems in the highlands of central Mexico. Trop. Anim. Health Prod.41,827-835.
Guessous F. (1991). Production Fourragère et Systèmes Animaux. Institut Agronomique et Veterinaire Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco. Heinrichs A.J., Erb H.N., Rogers G.W., Cooper J.B. and Jones C.M. (2007). Variability in Holstein heifer heart-girth measurements and comparison of prediction equations for live weight. Prev. Vet. Med. 78, 333-338.
ICAR. (2011). International Committee for Animal Recording. International agreement for recording practices. Riga, Latvia. http://www.icar.org/Documents/Rules%20and%20regulations/Guidelines/Guidelines_2011.pdf Accessed Dec. 2013.
Jarrige R. (1988). Table des valeurs nutritionnelles des aliments. Pp. 351-443 in Alimentation des Bovins, Ovins et Caprins. R. Jarrige, Ed. Paris, France.
Kidd A.D., Lamers J.P.A., Ficarelli P.P. and Hoffman V. (2000). Privatising agricultural extension: caveat emptor. J. Rural Stud. 16, 95-102.
Le Gal P.Y., Kuper M., Moulin C.H., Srairi M.T. and Rhouma A. (2009). Linking water saving and productivity to agro-food supply chains: a synthesis from two north African cases. Irrigation. Drainage. 58, 320-333.
Lean I.J., Celi P., Raadsma H., Mc Namara J. and Rabiee A.R. (2012). Effects of dietary crude protein on fertility: meta-analysis and meta-regression. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 171, 31-42.
Martin R.C., Astatkie T., Cooper J.M. and Fredeen A.H. (2005). A comparison of methods used to determine biomass on naturalized swards. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 191, 152-160.
Mc Cormick M.E., French D.D., Brown T.F., Cuomo G.J., Chapa A.M., Fernandez J.M., Beatty J.F. and Blouin D.C. (1999). Crude protein and rumen undegradable protein effects on reproduction and lactation performance of Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci. 82, 2697-2708.
McDermott J.J., Staal S.J., Freeman H.A., Herero M. and Van de Steeg J.A. (2010). Sustaining intensification of smallholder livestock systems in the tropics. Livest. Sci. 101, 95-109.
Melendez P., Donovan A., Hernandez J., Bartolome J., Risco C.A., Staples C. and Thatcher W.W. (2003). Milk, plasma and blood urea nitrogen concentrations, dietary protein and fertility in dairy cattle. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 223, 628-634.
Moran J.B. (2013). Addressing the key constraints to increasing milk production from small holder dairy farms in tropical Asia. Int. J. Agric. Biosci. 2, 90-98.
Rabelo E., Rezende R.L., Bertics S.J. and Grummer R.R. (2003). Effects of transition diets varying in dietary energy density on lactation performance and ruminal parameters of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 86, 916-925.
Srairi M.T. and Baqasse M. (2000). Production and reproduction performance of imported Friesian dairy heifers in Morocco. Livest. Res. Rural Dev. http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd12/3/sra123.htm Accessed Dec. 2013.
Srairi M.T. and ElKhattabi M. (2001). Evaluation économique et technique de la production laitière intensive en zone semi-aride au Maroc. Cah. Agric. 10, 51-56.
Srairi M.T., El Jaouhari M., Saydi A., Kuper M. and Le Gal P.Y. (2011). Supporting small scale dairy farmers increasing their milk production: evidence from Morocco. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 43, 41-49.
Srairi M.T.,Kiade N.,Lyoubi R., Messad S. and Faye B. (2009). A comparison of dairy cattle systems in an irrigated perimeter and in a suburban region: case study from Morocco. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 41, 835-843.
Srairi M.T., Leblond J.M. and Bourbouze A. (2003). Dairy and / or beef production: diversity of cattle farmers’ strategies in Gharb irrigated area, northern Morocco. Rev. Elev. Med. Vet. Pays. Trop. 56,177-186.
Verite R. and Peyraud J.L. (1988). Nutrition azotee. Pp. 75-93 in Alimentation des Bovins, Ovins et Caprins. R. Jarrige, Ed. Paris, France.
Wanapat M. (2009). Potential uses of local feed resources for ruminants. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 41, 1035-1049.
Wilmink J.B.M. (1987). Adjustment of test-day milk, fat and protein yield for age, season and stage of lactation. Livest. Prod. Sci. 16, 335-348