Technical Advisor: Jean Mezzalira
The Mauro Schuh and family farm is at Laranjeiras do Sul – PR, has an area of 14.2 ha and has received assistance from the PisaCoop program since March 2014, through the consultant Jean Mezzalira. Dairy is basically the main activity, where there is mostly a Dutch breed heard, which is in constant genetic improvement, besides the summer crops production, basically comprised by maize for producing wet grain and whole plant silage.
In planning activities for the farm, the family work force was endorsed, so that the activities could be well developed, verticalizing the farm areas use, seeking to reduce working time, besides increasing productivity, making the farm more efficient on what it does.
At the consultancy beginning it was verified that feed gaps were occurring in both autumn and spring. This factor, which can be seen as a major problem in a property, has been solved with well-managed forage planning and pasture management, very well executed by the farmer, following the rotatinuous stocking grazing principles, allied to crop rotation and soil conservation, thus ensuring food quality for animals.
In order to improve the family life quality, it was suggested to adopt a new timing for milking, changing the morning hours from 5:00 to 7:00 and the afternoon hours from 18:00 to 16:30. By this way, it was possible to optimize the grazing period, so that it can concentrate on the cooler hours of the day, basically before the morning milking and after the afternoon milking , thus increasing feed consumption by animals.
Linked to the highest pasture consumption, the Precision Nutrition concept was implemented with individual diet adjustment based on individual animal parameters. This increased productivity, improved herd sanity, and practically eliminated reproductive problems, and as a consequence of all these factors, costs for animal feeding and maintenance were reduced.
There was a 31% increase in the lactating cows number, a 66% increase of calves and heifers for replacement, and a 33% reduction in the number of dry cows, which along with the other improvements resulted in a 51.8% increase in the production per animal and twice as much milk per day.
Consequently, current production costs decreased 25% from the project beginning, resulting in a gross margin increase as production and productivity increased and production cost decreased. In addition to the lower workload and increases in the productive indexes, improvements that have been occurring in the farm infrastructure are visible, thanks to the higher achieved profit and, thus, also ensuring family succession.