TECHNICAL-PRODUCTIVE CHARACTERIZATION OF DAIRY FARMS IN THE NORTHEAST REGION OF BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE, ARGENTINA
Ricardo Lara1, 2, Belén Lazzarini1, y Javier Baudracco1*
Dairy production in Argentina has been intensified, but dairy farms are facing problems to increase productivity. This work aimed to identify the major constraints on milk production in dairy farms of the North East region of Buenos Aires province, Argentina. A survey was conducted to collect production data from 29 dairy farms. The major constraints were: insufficient water provision (there is one water trough every 19 ha), and insufficient natural and artificial shade for cows (1.8 and 2.9 m2 cow-1, respectively); old dairy facilities (dating back 21 years) and lack of investment in milking equipment; long milking times (3.3 hours per milking); deficiencies in soil phosphorus (9.3 mg kg-1) and sulphates (11.7 mg kg-1); presence of nitrates in cattle drinking water and inadequate effluent storage and distribution. According to the correlation analysis performed, it can be inferred that dairy farms that increased land productivity by increasing herd size did not improve farm infraestructure to meet new requirements. Investment to cope with the problems detected might increase milk production and improve the sustainability and profitability of dairy farms.
Key words: Dairy systems, milk production, constraints, Argentina, investment.
1 Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Kreder 2805, Esperanza, CP: S3080HOF, Argentina.
2 Universidad Nacional de Luján, Ruta 5 y Av. Constitución, Luján, CP: 6700, Argentina.
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