Report of LOL & ACDI/VOCA Sponsored Farmer to Farmer Trip to Morozovsy JSC Dairy, Karasuk, Novosibirsk, Russia
From 23 July to 30 July 2003 I was a volunteer animal nutritionist on Land O'Lakes' Farmer to Farmer program #089, working at Morozovsky JSC Farm near Karasuk in Novosibirsk Oblast (Russia). Alexander Ivashkevich was the translator. This was his first assignment. He did an excellent job, as reported earlier to Slava Sundukov. Use him again.
On the visit to the LOL office in Novosibirsk, I left a 110 page Russian translation of a swine article I wrote on feeding swine in different ambient temperatures (complete with rations for gestation, lactation, starter, grower, finisher one and finisher two) with Dr. Sergei Padyablonsky, a professor of swine nutrition at a local university. We met on my return to Novosibirsk. He had studied the manuscript, was very complimentary, said it was text book material and said he would use it. I expect to use it on future trips. The Moscow office of ACDI/VOCA said they were distributing it to swine growers there. Publication?
The SOW for Morozovsky was written for a swine assignment but because of a hog house fire and the emphasis of the people involved at the JSC, this turned out to be a dairy project predominately. The farm has 500 milking cows, mainly Simmental breeding. Animals are in good body condition, primarily because they are deficient in protein and can't use the energy they consume for milk, so they deposit fat. They are on poor pasture without any supplements. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are apparent. A work up of their ration showed a calcium deficiency. The zooteks said there were leg problems. There is a major protein problem. Forage is poor quality with the possible exception of spring pasture. When asked, they said that they don't do anything to the native pasture (strip graze, cultivate, fertilize or seed). This seems like an area for big improvements. Hays were mainly straw. I see no reason why more attention can't be paid to producing higher quality forage. This would pay big economic dividends. The director is an agronomist.
There are two main products from this volunteer effort that have been completed after returning home but were based on what we learned on the JSC. The first one is (1) a ten page spreadsheet on feed ingredient nutrient analysis that uses data on all 121 ingredients shown in the U.S. National Research Council's Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle, 2001 edition to calculate various nutrient parameters. I have written a five page document (which is part of this report) describing this spreadsheet and its application. This feed analysis spreadsheet is a major work that can be used on other assignments and by others to formulate dairy rations for milking cows. Please study it to know its worth and application.
The second spreadsheet is called (2) an Interactive Milk Money Maker budgeting tool for selecting feedstuffs and predicting income over feed costs. It is a major work also. This format can be used on future assignments. This MMM contains 38 rations specific for Morozovsky JSC including four present rations with 34 alternative rations. The write-up mentioned above includes comments on how to use the MMM spreadsheet. This is the primary document that should go to Morozovsky JSC so that they use it to see the predicted economic impact of improving their dairy rations. Please study it to see how you can use it. This is a valuable tool!
Accompanying this trip report are (1) feed analysis data base spreadsheet, (2) Milk Money Maker spreadsheet, (3) instruction and comment sheet & (4) evaluation of present rations and proposals. The attachments contain the main message of this assignment. Please read!
Morozovsky has a feed plant with a continuous mixer and also a large vertical batch mixer (BM) used as a bin to feed the continuous mixer. This could be used to produce vitamin-trace mineral premixes, base mixes (V-TM premix plus major minerals), concentrates (base mixes plus protein supplement) and finished feed. Besides improving the performance of their own cattle and swine, this could be a profit center for the JSC if they supplied premixes, base mixes, concentrates and finished feeds to neighbors. I am supplying milking rations and could supply other rations used for calves and raising heifers (swine formulas supplied in the 110 page report). The JSC feed mill is an under-utilized resource.
On the way in through Karasuk we met the head zootek for the raion. We met her again at the JSC. She is open to hosting a meeting of all livestock producers in the raion where I would speak and give ration recommendations. We have lots to say. Big opportunity!
The two zooteks at the JSC seem ready to make changes if they (asked for our help) can persuade the director to invest in buying better feed. These FtF projects have $200 or $300 available for products associated with the assignment. I have advanced Alexander Ivashkevich $300 to buy the individual vitamins and minerals needed to make a dairy premix. He's working on buying ingredients and will stir them together. The plan is to present the Morozovsky JSC with enough dairy premix for 50 milking cows for a couple of months when they go on winter rations on 1 October. The other 450 milking cows can serve as controls. When the farm director and zooteks see the positive results we expect them to see, plans can be made for them to access the dairy premix on a permanent basis.
In addition, I urge the director to pick up enough soybean meal in Novosibirsk on his weekly trips there by car so that he can feed SBM to some test cows to evaluate the milk response and the economic impact. There is the possibility to increase income over feed costs by a factor of five to eight when the cows go on winter rations. See the MMM spreadsheet for winter rations (grass & corn silage) that supports this outrageous claim.
By working with this farm, we can help them revolutionize their dairy operation and use them as a model farm for all other farms in the raion. If you want to have this FtF program successful, we must change what animals eat so that they can improve their production. It can be done and the above is how we start making it happen. I want to return to work on it.
Swine performance can be improved also. I left them with my 110 page manuscript (Russian translation) that gives rations for every pig on the place. It includes economic and carcass data for starter, grower and finishing pigs. With time I will try to make an Interactive Pig Profit Planner (PPP), similar to the Milk Money Maker. I have the spreadsheets that I used to predict performance for the swine article I handed out but I will try to convert it to an interactive user-friendly format. They have the formulas now. We'll need to supply the swine vitamin-trace mineral premix and the formulas for the base mixes.
I've spent as much time on the two spreadsheets since returning home as I spent in Siberia. Siberia was more fun! Great trip and great opportunity to improve animal production.
Roy Chapin, Ph.D., Animal Nutritionist
11145 Chapin Lane, Amity, Oregon 97101