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XtraBlatt issue 01-2017

  • Text
  • Krone
  • Forage
  • Silage
  • Machinery
  • Agricultural
  • Maize
  • Cows
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MENSCHEN TITLE THEME

MENSCHEN TITLE THEME Plesse-Milch SUCCESS THROUGH QUALITY Three farms, five families, one management: those who want to become competitive, need a good concept. This is why Herbert Hardege, managing director of Plesse-Milch, works continuously on optimising herd feeding. A fter two-and-a-half years running-in period there emerged in 2010 the company Plesse-Milch GmbH & Co. KG, a merging of three farming businesses and five families in Bovenden, southern Lower Saxony with a staff of 14 and one trainee. The aim was, and still is, to create a good strategy together, for managing a large economically-competitive dairy production unit. To this end, the six partners involved gathered information in Denmark, Germany and the USA on management, housing and milking concepts, as well as on biogas plants. In 2013, there followed implementation of the planning: two open-sided six-row cubicle barns for 600 cows in total, a 2 x 20 parallel milking parlour in a milking shed with offices and a 530 kW biogas plant fermenting solid and liquid manure. “A milking robot wouldn’t have fitted our concept. We did not see any cost or labour savings for us with this approach,” points out Herbert Hardege, managing director of Plesse-Milch. Reasons: the extra input in training staff and the too-high total fixed costs per cow. FEEDING WITH SODA GRAIN “We began with three milking herds and 120 bought-in heifers. Since then, we’ve been continually adding to the stock, with the barns completely full just half a year ago,” says the farmer from Bovenden. The business chooses Holstein-Friesian females, the breed seen as the most efficient and best in performance terms. Each cow consumes 22 to 26 kg dry matter daily. The Plesse-Milch forage ration comprises up to two-thirds maize silage and one-third grass silage topped up with concentrate supplement. Cows average a daily intake of around 13 kg basic feed comprising two-thirds maize and one-third grass silage. Depending on the group – lactating, in-calf or dry cows – the animals consume 22 to 26 kg dry matter daily so that, says Herbert Hardege, up to 45% supplementary feed is required. Currently, this includes pressed beet pulp, ground corn, brewers’ grains and caustic soda treated grain (soda grain). The latter component comes from Scotland whereby moistened grain, or high moisture grain from lodged crops for instance, is mixed with caustic soda (NaOH). This treatment has a positive effect on pH in the rumen, as well as supporting a more constant fermentation. “We have just changed our feeding over to a more fibre-rich mixed ration so that milk fat content now averages 3.7%. We certainly don’t want to drop below this level. Protein content lies at 3.4%,” explains manager Hardege. CULTIVATIONS OUTSOURCED The supplementary feed is bought in. On the other hand, forage is mainly produced on the farm with, however, contractors hired for the respective and to bundle the available competences. “We have the problem that this is not really a maize growing location. Here, we cart-in only around 13.5 t/ha dry matter. For this reason, we arrange for 60 of the 170 ha of maize we harvest to be grown elsewhere under contract. The rest we grow here in rotation with oilseed rape.” 14 15