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How to increase milk production

The positive increase in the demand for milk and dairy products in Africa is creating challenge for dairy farmers and their supporting systems for milk production.

Naturally, milk production in Africa during the hot summer months creates a “bottleneck” for the yearly production quota. That’s why the milk production process in summer is so significant. The challenge for dairy farmers in Africa is how on the one hand to avoid the seasonal decrease in milk production, while maintaining the quality of the milk, and on the other hand successfully impregnating the cows during this difficult season in order to ensure next year’s milk production.


Increasing milk production in Africa

Usually, the size of the herd and the number of calvings are more or less static, they should be treated as a given parameter. So the main effort should go into increasing milk production in the current herd, while taking the necessary steps to maximize the milk production, although doing so carefully in order to avoid hurting the dairy production industry in Africa in the long run also milk production.

Below are some recommendations for increasing milk production in Africa:

1. Improving the cow’s cooling process through proper water, shading and ventilation.

This is probably the main method for increasing milk production in Africa during the summer. But it is important to note that the method and quality of the cooling systems used is critical for the success of this step. This means wetting and ventilating the cows frequently and for the proper duration during the day and night, according to their level of production and the heat they are exposed to.


2. Increasing the milking frequency during a 24-hour period.

Milking frequency refers mainly to more than three milkings per day in a family farm. This increase can also improve the ability to cool the cows in summer because bringing the cows to the milking parlor provides a good opportunity for additional cooling in the waiting shed and inside the parlor.

3. Increasing milking frequency immediately after calving.


This recommendation refers to six milkings during a 24 hour period in the first three weeks after calving. Taking this step may increase the burden on the cows during this critical stage, but it seems that the extra walking and standing can pay off, providing that the cows’ walking distance is not excessiv (over 350 meters), that the time intervals between milkings is at least two hours, and that the cows are sufficiently cooled in the waiting parlor. Another condition, when taking this step is ensuring proper feeding according to the cows’ needs, water availability, and a cool, dry and ventilated shed.

4. Monitoring the size and crowdedness of the herd.


Assuming that the total size of the herd is not decreased, the cow sheds and the waiting parlor are expected to become rather crowded, increasing the number of low production cows. This overcrowding, especially during summer can negatively affect the ability to cool the cows and as a result cause the decrease in milk production. In this case it is recommended to open a new group for the low production cows.


From Concept Planning to Turn-Key Design

Dairy Farming Solutions, from ABT Planners, offers over 30 years of international dairy farm implementation experience. If you are renovating an existing dairy farm or building from scratch, we can assist you with one or all stages, from concept to a full Turnkey solution. Our process aims to minimize errors in the short and long term – developing an enduring operation that will take into account key factors from the start. With our global experience with dairy farming, our team can often forecast revisions to environmental or operational concerns, and address these in dairy farm planning stages.

For more information, please click here milk production