Fodder as a Crop: Consensus without Coordination
Report prepared by Dr. Don Mitchell, Agriculture Economist
The challenge facing the Dairy Development Program and the sector is to increase fodder production to meet the requirements of the improved-breed dairy cows so that these animals will produce close to their potential. Increasing dairy fodder production is the highest priority of the newly formed dairy industry association, the All Island Dairy Association (AIDA). The lack of sufficient high-quality fodder reduced daily milk production, lengthened the time between calving by making it more difficult for the cow to conceive, and shortened the period of lactation. While it is impossible to know exactly how much milk production was reduced by insufficient supplies of high-quality fodder, dairy experts suggest it could have accounted for a large part of the gap between the potential production of 30 litres of milk per cow per day from the imported cows and actual production of 17 litres per day. It could have also contributed to reducing the days milked per lactation from the potential of 250 days to the actual 180 days.
Assessment conducted by Dr Arunkumar Ramaswamy - Organic and Specialty Plant Nutrition Specialist