USSEC recently provided a dairy program to key Polish dairy farmers, managers and nutrition advisors. The first phase of the two-phase activity, featured in the U.S. Soy News on October 18, was a dairy nutrition and management seminar for industry members from all over Poland. Phase two was an on-farm dairy training, organized jointly with the Polish importer and distributor of AminoPlus® bypass soybean meal.
Two experts were invited to Poland to work with the local dairy industry: Dr. Lynn Davis, Nutrition Professionals Inc., of Neenah, Wisconsin, and Dr. Jan van Eys, GANS and USSEC consultant, of Paris, France. Drs. Davis and van Eys were supported by USSEC Northeast Europe Technical Director Jerzy Kosieradzki and Piotr Chełminiak, Dairy Feed Department Manager at the ETOS feed company. The team spent a week visiting farms in the western part of Poland to provide their ideas for improvements of the local dairy feeding programs and managerial practices. Their opinions and ideas for adjustments were given to the local farmers and staff responsible for nutrition, health, breeding and management of the dairy herds. Whenever needed, feedstuffs samples were taken and sent to ETOS feed company’s laboratory to be thoroughly analyzed and a follow-up visit to the farms will be made later by the Polish company’s dairy nutrition advisors.
Concerning AminoPlus® usage, the team encountered situations where the U.S. bypass soybean meal was successfully used, such as at a dairy farm at Godziątków, owned by the Jaworowicz family. The imported meal contributed to their high milk production, which was close to 12,000 liters per cow annually, in this large operation. There were also farms where the managers forced too many ingredients into the diet optimization software or introduced too many restrictions, causing elimination of AminoPlus® from the actual feeding. Each time the explanation was same: the bypass meal is just too expensive! In these cases, either Dr. Davis or Dr. van Eys had to remove the unjustified restrictions and let the computer choose optimal ingredients at optimal levels and, believe or not, AminoPlus® always found a place in the diet.
At each location, locally available protein-rich ingredients and additives were discussed and tips for their utilization were shared with the farmers. Nutritional values of soybean meal as compared to the other protein sources were also checked and often-helpful adjustments were proposed.
While most of the work done by the USSEC consultants concentrated on high yielding dairy cows, they also paid attention to how calves and replacement heifers are fed and managed. As the future of the dairy operations, the young-stock required better housing and feeding, which was not always easy to follow in a long period of very low profitability in the Polish dairy sector. Only the smartest farmers were making such an investment in the next generation of their milking cows.