S&T-based farm project boosts dairy farmers’ profitability

Four related technologies, implemented by the Philippine Carabao Center in certain villages in Nueva Ecija, are seen as a big booster for the dairy farmers’ profitability.

These technologies are use of “milk replacer”, “flushing of buffaloes” and use of “portable milking machine” and “communal cooling facility”.

These technologies were done involving 16 farmers and 18 heads of buffaloes. They belonged to three different cooperatives: Angat-Buhay Dairy Producers Cooperative, Licaong Dairy Producers Cooperative in the Science City of Muñoz and Eastern Producers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in San Jose City.

The S&T-based Farm technologies are described as very simple and easy to follow.

Through “flushing”, the mother and its developing fetus are provided with better nutrition. The calving interval by the dam is shortened and its milk production is increased. The method is done by giving the pregnant buffalo 3 to 4 kilograms of concentrates daily during the last months of pregnancy up to 2 months after giving birth.

“Flushing” assures the farmer-owners of three calving seasons in four years for their dam thus giving them a bonus of additional calf produced from

shortened calving interval. They also tend to benefit from the extra income of at least P40, 000 from the sale of calf and additional milk produced in 120 days that “flushing” is employed.

Another technology endorsed by the S&T project is the use of “milk replacer”, a guaranteed profitable method ensuring the farmer of lesser expenses in feeding and management of newly-born calf.

The “milk replacer” technology is feeding the calf with diluted powdered milk as a substitute to the dam’s milk. It helps the calf to gain weight comparably with the mother’s milk without harming its health.

The diluted powdered milk is given immediately after the calf has consumed the colostrum (first milk) during the first five days after birth.

The calf that feeds from the mother carabao can consume 4 liters of milk everyday at P32 per liter, this totals to P128 compared to the expense of P100 per calf per day using the “milk replacer”.

In three months of calf rearing, the farmer can earn an additional P2,520 per calf.

When it comes to proper milk collection and storage, the use of “portable milking machine” and “communal freezer” is advised. This technology makes possible twice a day milking compared to the traditional way of milking once a day.

The portable milking machine is a double bucket type of unit that can serve two animals at the same time and is an effective facility in collecting buffalo’s milk. It eliminates the possibility of contaminating the milk during milking process. The “communal freezer” on the other hand, assures farmer of extended buffalo milk’s shelf-life and freshness. By using this equipment the twice-a-day milking will be a lot easier.

The added returns of using this machine will give farmers additional volume of milk of 150 liters a month. Thus in every lactation period of 10 months, the farmer can get extra income of P48, 000 per cow. The technology also improves the milk quality because it lessens the risks of contamination. In effect, it increases the milk price of P2 per liter.

Each unit of portable milking machine costs P58,000.

These technologies were presented and discussed during the S&T-based Farm Project Farmers’ Field Day last Nov. 7 at Brgy. San Ricardo, Talavera, Nueva Ecija, homebase of the Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperative (Nefedcco).

The recipients referred to as “Magsasaka Siyentista”, presented each of the “kwento and kwenta” derived from the technology implementations.
Mr. Marcelino Mislang discussed the process and benefits of “flushing”, while Ms. Belinda Parugrug explained how “portable milking machine and communal freezer” are used. She shared how these technologies benefited their cooperative, the Angat-Buhay MPC.

On the other hand, Engr. Jaime Ramos of Talavera, enlightened the farmers on actual demonstration of calf milk feeding using the “milk replacer” and machine milking done in his farm.

Dr. Daniel L. Aquino, head of the PCC Nutrition Unit, and study leader of this project, said that the S&T-based Farm Project helps farmers manage their buffaloes properly, and gives guaranteed positive effects in terms of animal productivity and profitability.

The project was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD-DOST). It aimed to encourage farmers to engage in an integrated buffalo management system where they can have additional income and an assurance for a brighter dairy buffalo industry.