Bles Dairies’ consultancy division The Friesian has a long history of working in Greece for suppliers of a dairy processor. This long-term project aims to optimize the farmers results and to increase the milk flow to the factory. For more than 5 years technical results are being evaluated and farms are supported with various services. One of this services is ration calculation, which is being carried out by our nutrition specialist Ben. At the end of May he travelled to Greece for a follow up visit and he now shares some of his experiences here.
When visiting the major suppliers, Ben provides nutritional advice as well as consultancy services on several practical matters. During Ben’s visit at the end of May, temperatures were already high in Greece. He tells: “Also in Greece the climate situation is slowly changing: The summers are hotter and the cow’s heat stress periods last longer than before. Many Greek barns are simple shelters against sun and rain but not meant for long hot periods. Although most farms have ventilators, the single-sheeted low roofs make the summer killing for cows.” Some farms solved this situation by applying foam insulation under the roof which is greatly reducing the heat radiation from the sun. Others are replacing old sheeted roofs by sandwich panel roofs. Misters are not very common as they require good ventilation as well. Besides, in the South of Greece the high humidity makes them less effective.
To maintain a good condition and fertility, good management and balanced feeding are required. If this is being applied, Greek farms also can milk more than 11.000 kg/cow/year!