Guatemalan dairy customers got a boost in nutrition and management techniques during the summer of 2017.
USSEC animal nutrition consultants Carlos Campabadal, Carlos Espinosa, and Alejandro Gonzalez visited Guatemala to participate as speakers in the Guatemalan Dairy Cattle Congress and visit four dairy farms to provide technical assistance in nutrition and management techniques, promoting the use of U.S. soybean meal in dairy feeds.
During the dairy congress, Dr. Campabadal presented a lecture, “The Efficient Use of Dairy Feed.” During this presentation, he emphasized feeding cows a quality diet consisting of corn and U.S. soybean meal. In addition to speaking about nutrient diet composition, he talked about milk, concentrate ratios, ingredient quality, the problems of using poultry litter as feed, and many other topics related to the efficient use of dairy feeds. Mr. Gonzalez’s presentation, “Administration of Dairy Farms,” highlighted the importance of keeping good records. Mr. Espinosa spoke on “Factors Affecting Feeding and Management Programs of Replacement Dairy Cattle.”
Guatemalan and U.S. technicians gave four additional presentations on different topics. The producers were very interested in the USSEC consultants' presentations, and asked many questions about the information related to their presentations during breaks and lunch. In the case of Dr. Campabadal, the main questions were related to feed quality and the importance of the use of corn and U.S. soybean meal in dairy diets, metabolic diseases, and nutrient requirements.
During the visits to the dairy farms, La Providencia, Pasajinak, San Jose de los Altos and La Primavera, the feeding and management programs of the lactation cows, calves, and heifers, as well the transition cows were discussed, and USSEC presented specific recommendations to improve animal performance.
The outcomes presented in this technical assistance program explained the necessity of using good quality dairy diets made of U.S. soybean meal as the only source of protein, the high nutritional value of U.S. soybean meal, and the continuous use of U.S. soybean meal in all dairy diets, which will increase the demand for U.S. soybeans. The USSEC team informed the dairy farm owners about the importance of the amino acid balance in calves’ diets using U.S. soybean meal as a source of these amino acids, along with presenting management recommendations to improve the process of milking the cows. The consultants taught the dairy producers the importance of using lactating and transition diets made with U.S. soybean meal and the importance of using total mixed rations (TMR) for efficiently using the dairy feeds. USSEC taught different grazing system methods and an efficient use of the forage sources, providing recommendations to produce a good quality corn silage and how this feed needs to be used efficiently.