As the year goes on, the SESAM project made considerable progress, which is to be presented in the new newsletter edition for April 2019. Again, we can welcome new members in the project team and present some of the farms, which were part of the testing network in the project.
As already in the previous newsletter, some of the test farms are presented here, to allow a better understanding of the test environments, under which the SESAM system has been developed.
Modic farm is a milk producing farm with brown Swiss dairy cows situated in the center of Slovenia. It was part of the SESAM small pilot tests as participating farm from the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia. Apart from milk production, the farm also focuses on the breeding of heifers and bulls as well as the usage of state of the art biotechnology, which includes Embrio-transfer (ET) in the cows. The herd currently consists of:
• 52 brown Swiss dairy cows
• 29 heifers
• 14 calf
The farm’s arable land is part of the Ljubljana moors and therefore part of Nature 2000 reservations. It amounts to 50 ha, which is used according to the following scheme:
• 5 ha pasturable land,
• 45 ha field
Field are mainly used for the cultivation of feed crops, which includes the following distribution of crops:
• 10 ha corn for silage,
• 5 ha corn for seeds,
• 5 ha grain,
• 20 ha grass-clover mixtures,
• 5 ha lucerne grass.
In 2018 the farm produced 360,000 kg milk, passed 7 young bulls for performance testing and 16 bulls for meat. Future goals are the genetic balance cows for high milk production with high milk production, with high percentage if protein, continue with Embrio-transfer (ET), selling pedigree cattle. Also, the farm wants to build new farm object for machinery, building biger silos for corn silage and building barn for heifers and youngstock. Furthermore, an increase in the milk yield per cow to at least 40,000 kg per lactation is aimed for.
One speciality of the farm is that all cows are genomically tested for kappa kasein and beta kasein. Results show a high percentage of cows which have BB kappa kasein and A2A2 kasein producing capabilities.
Andreas Täubl farm
The Andreas Täubl farm is situated in the Austrian federal state of Styria and took part in the small pilot testing as participating farm by the LKV Austria. Currently it has 56 dairy cows, 4 suckler cows and 68 heifers, of which the heifers are partially reared at a cooporating farm. Lactating cows are kept in a free range barn with cubicles and are milked in a swing-over herring-bone milking parlor system. Milking cows yield approximately 10,300 kg to 10,700 kg per lactation with an average fat yield of 4.16 % and an average protein yield of 3.36%. Similar to the Leihwieserhof farm in Baden-Württemberg, Andreas Täubl has several different breeds on his farm and occasionally crosses them, such as crossing Red Holstein bulls with Simmental cows. Further breeds include Holstein-Friesian, Brown Swiss and Wagyu, which is used to breed low yielding cows and heifers. Currently the farm owns three breeding bulls, of which one is Holstein-Friesian and the other two are Wagyu.
The diet for the cows includes grass silage from own production and maize silage, which is bought. Furthermore, lactating cows receive concentrate feed and mineral supplements for freshly lactating cows. Young stock is reared on alp pasture during summer season.