Swedish farmers feed organic grains to maintain good rumen function
The Swedish dairy sector has been struggling in the recent years due to low world market prices. The number of dairy farms fell below 4.000 by the end of 2016. Currently, there are 320.000milking cows with an average herd size of 85 cows. Over the last 12 months the milk price has increased by 33% for regular milk and by 8% for organic production. In Sweden, despite the negative dairy trends, a lot of progressive and innovative dairy farmers are rapidly increasing the herd sizes and optimising their business to strengthen the competitiveness. Many progressions have been made to find a better spot on the market. That’s why Swedish farmers are involved in the EuroDairy network.
One of the Swedish EuroDairy pilot farms, Vasen Lantbruk, in the south-east of Sweden is exceptionally active in developing the farm and dairy products. Over the last 20 years, they have grown the herd from 30 to 540 milking cows, making them one of the largest farms in the region. In Sweden, milk has been to sold via a coop that collects the milk and pays according to the listed price. In 2010 this pilot farm took the opportunity to become closer to the end consumer by introducing their own brand of cheese, Vasen Cheese. This was done in partnership with agri coop, Skånemejerier, now owned by Lactalis.
This EuroDairy pilot farm is always eager to test new ideas and find inspiration across Europe. For example, they have changed from using sawdust as a bedding material to manure fibre bedding and this year the grain will be treated with Urea and Makamon instead of conserving it with acids. Through this treatment, the grain can be feed at a higher ratio but still maintaining good rumen function in the herd.