The Program Milk PLUS aims to increase productivity, quality and profitability of dairy farming through personalized provision of technical guidance to farmers assisted by use of a care model that was formatted from technical and economic indicators achieved during 10 years monitoring farms inserts in the Reference Networks Project for Family Farming.

From the implementation of this practice, an increase in gross revenue of assisted dairy farmers associated with higher monthly average gross margin has been identified, bringing the realization that the qualified and intensive technical guidance integrated with correct adoption of the recommendations by the producers assisted. It is a fundamental factor for improving the productivity and income in dairy farming in a sustainable way.

 

 

A - General Information

 

START: May 2009 (in progress)

EXECUTING ENTITY: Parana Institute of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension – EMATER, Agronomic Institute of Parana – IAPAR and Work Cooperative Technical Assistance and Rural Extension – COOPERMAIS.

CO-EXECUTORS: Cooperative of Milk Producers of Entre Rios Territory – COOPELER, São Leopoldo Foods, Dairy Simionato – Vidativa, Dairy Guaira – Real Lacto, Industry and Trade Tapira Dairy, Dairy Palotina – La Salle, Dairy Latco and Secretary of Science, Technology and Education - SETI.

PARTNERSHIP: Municipalities of São Jorge do Patrocínio, Tapira, Terra Roxa e Palotina.

PRESENTED BYJoaquim Rocha Martins, Simony Marta, Bernardo Lugão, Vanderlei Bett, Hitalo A.Kilan Kamitani Alves, Allison Marcel Sversuti Branco, Andreia Aparecida Conceição, Fábio Massal Fujisawa, Henrique Rossafa Palozi, Magno Rodrigo da Silva, Thais Margareth Del Moura Soares e Rafael Meier de Matos

RESOURCES: Owned

CATEGORY: Project

MAIN THEMATIC AREA: Agriculture

KEY-WORDS: Dairy Cattle; EMATER; Productive efficiency; Family Farming; Technical assistance, Northwest Paraná. 

TARGET PUBLIC: Family dairy cattle 

LOCATION: Rural area

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE: Regional

SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION AREA: Municipalities of the Northwest Paraná Region

 

 

B - Practice Description

 

1 -BACKGROUND

In the meantime Northwest Paraná Region the dairy cattle is the main economic activity among family farming properties, historically in most of these facilities the dairy farming evidenced low levels of productivity and profitability due to poor technological level leverage. In addition, traditionally speaking producers did not kept regular basis of record in regard to the production and economic indicators, in reflection of the non-usage of continuous management mechanisms. The lack of forage planning detailing the production of forages into the bulky food during the 365 days of the year was the key factor shortage for the productivity of dairy farms purposes in Parana Northwest. This reality has led to a cycle of poverty in rural areas, which in many cases caused the producer to abandon the activity, becoming one unskilled worker in regional urban areas.

In 1998 it was developed in Parana a pioneer work called “Project Network of References for Family Farming”, whose feature was the systemic monitoring of representative properties in the row of family farming, where the extension worker, researcher and developer farmer work together in action planning and into intervention for improving the productive system. Over 10 years, the achieved results in the Networking Project on the studied properties evidenced significant increases in performance parameters of these family production facilities.

In this context, in 2008 the IAPAR submitted to the Secretary of Science, Technology and Education – SETI the project called COOPELER, with the purpose to validate the technology transfer model suggested by the Project Network of References for Family Farming.

The validation project was approved and its execution took place in 2009 and 2010, under the coordination of IAPAR and EMATER, with the participation of Municipalities of the Território Entre Rios and the SETI itself.

From the scope of the good results obtained from the assisted COOPELER producers, in 2011 it was an issue to discuss the multiplication mechanisms of assistance template in partnership with the existing industries in the regions of Umuarama and Cianorte. Thus, it expanded the number of industry partners and producers assisted by the project, which, as of June 2014 was renamed Program Milk Plus.

 

 2 -OVERALL GOALS

The Program Milk Plus is focused on increasing in a sustainable manner, the productivity, product quality and profitability in the dairy business, by providing customized technical guidance to producers assisted by it, thus bringing the potential for improving quality of life of family farmers, expanding the succession perspective on family farming and deployment of environmentally sustainable production systems.

Specific Objectives:

  • Encourage proper management of soil fertility and rational grazing management;
  • Raise the income of small farmers through adequate management and consequent increase in milk productivity;
  • Encourage the implementation of silvopastoral systems;
  • Implement in assisted properties forage planning summer and winter;
  • To contribute to the reduction of the rural exodus in the region of Northwest Paraná.

 

3 - ADOPTED SOLUTION

Program Milk Plus features in a systemic way the described model by the Project Network of References for Family Farming. The program technical strategy is focused on milk production in pasture, in order to allow the producer in a lower cost of production during the spring and summer, due to the reduction of costs on food, factor of which impacts the cost of the activity. As a result of dialogue with the industry, in addition to the continuous work at COOPELER, it was set partnerships with dairy São Leopoldo, Vidativa, PicNic, Guaira and Tapira.

The actions are implemented through the provision of technical assistance carried out in a customized manner by professionals in the area of livestock production and crop production, which after coaching capability from IAPAR researchers, they hold monthly basis inspection to properties in a part-time visit and in an alternate structure between it. During the visit, the following activities are performed: 

  • Evaluation of production and measurement of conditions in respect to the availability of pastures;
  • Assessment of the manufacturing conditions of the winter bulky production areas;
  • Body condition score (ECC) of the cattle;
  • Assessment of the health conditions of the cattle;
  • Assessment of hygiene of the premises and equipment;
  • Realization of the head count balancing;
  • Monitoring of the weighing of calves/heifers;
  • Adjust the amount of feed;
  • Transfer to the animal record of notes made by the producer;
  • Diagnosis of pregnancy;
  • Note the recommendations in the appropriate documents;
  • Monitoring the milking routine whenever necessary;
  • Delivery to the visit schedule of the producer to the next month. 

Assisted farmers render responsibility by their actions such as weighing of each cow milk one day before the visit, spend the weighing tape in lactating cows, to register and reproductive health events in frames to be displayed in the milking station, separate animal by evaluation/reproductive diagnosis and/or health, and record income and expenses in the appropriate book.

To ensure adequate supply of bulky food for the animals on assisted properties, it is annually performed the inventory of dairy herd, by category and projection of its evolution over the next 12 months so that they can be scaled to pasture production areas, for the purpose of usage in the spring-summer period, as well as the bulky production to be rendered during the autumn-winter.

The adopted technical assistance model also emphasizes the proper management of soil fertility and rational grazing management. With this in mind, the assisted producer receives guidance on the rational division of the areas in paddocks and the rational distribution of water for the herd as well as the adequate stocking of the productive potential of the forage, avoiding overgrazing and therefore, degradation of pastures. Similarly, the program encourages the implementation of silvopastoral system, whereby the forestry component is inserted in the pasture areas.

 

4 - ACHIEVED RESULTS

Once the implementation of Program Milk Plus the production rates were reached in the region, similar to those obtained by the group of producers assisted by the Program in COOPELER. Highlighting the following results:

  • 140 farmers assisted by the program until the month of February 2015;
  • Between the years 2009 and 2013 there was an increase in the daily average production of beneficiaries, which rose from 119,7 liters/day in September/2009 to 167,7 liters/day in September/2013 (as per chart attached);
  • Lifting the relationship lactating cows: dry cows, 50:50 to 80:20, and a calving interval (CI) of between 12 to 14 months;
  • Higher average monthly gross revenues and increased gross margin (MB) monthly average earned by producers assisted due to the increase in production volume. Converted in number of minimum wages (SM) received per month, the average referred MB can be translated in an increase of remuneration in 2.33 SM in September/2009 to 3,41 in September SM/2013. This degree of increase in income is not taken by other cooperative members not assisted by the program, which in terms of SM/month, increased from 1,15 in September/2009 to 2,00 in September/2013 (as per chart attached) ;
  • The heifers female producers assisted by the program have obtained the first farrowing on average aged between 23 and 25 months, while the average of other unattended producers is 36-38 months old, which turns it possible to optimize the production process females for replacement and/or expansion of the herd, as well as to obtain income from the sale of good quality matrices surplus;
  • Improved quality of the milk produced in assisted properties, as evidenced, for instance, the results obtained from the dairy producers group Vidativa, whose levels of CCS (somatic cell count) and CBT (total bacterial count) presented reduction in the assessed period (chart attached);
  • The proceeds from the milk production improvement enabled the family dwelling house conditions, improvements to other facilities, fences and pastures in silvopastoral system, resulting in appreciation of property as a whole.

In addition to technical and productive benefits, periodic visits have an aggregate social cultural performance. The fact of the producer to monthly receive technical assistance in the property encourages them to apply the technical recommendations revisited in the previous month, in the meantime it starts to push for extra commitment and efforts from intern personnel during the visits.

 

5 - REQUIRED RESOURCES

By means of the partnerships jointly ventured with COOPELER, 07 municipalities from Território Entre Rios and SETI itself, the financial resources were initially made available for the payment of employees: 02 professionals in agricultural sciences and 02 university students in the administration area to act as auxiliary technical issues in the registration/control of information. The cooperative incurred in 02 vehicle maintenance costs (01 lend by EMATER and 01 donated by IAPAR), in addition to providing the physical basis and office supplies used by technicians, meanwhile the municipalities covered the costs of fuel and food.

The technical assistance provided by the Program Milk Plus is managed by COOPERMAIS, whose members are agronomists and veterinarians.

The amount of properties assisted by the industry-partner must be at least two.

 

6 - TRANSFER

To the date the Program Milk Plus is being applied only in Northwest Parana, the work methodology recommended by the Program can be replicated in any region of the state, requiring only the necessary adjustments to local scenario in terms of climate and soil, since these aspects are related to the possibility of producing different forages. Therefore, the clear evidence is good results obtained with the implementation of technical assistance model used by the Program in the Cantuquiriguaçu Territory, located in the Third Parana Plateau, the geographic regions in the South Center and part of the Western Parana.

 

7 -  LESSONS LEARNED

The results obtained over the implementation period once rendered by the Program Milk Plus have shown the same efficiency towards the increase productivity in the properties and the income of assisted producers. This efficiency has persisted during the labor application timeframe, increasing the possibility of succession in family farming due to the prospect of improvement in the quality of life of families as a result of increased income earned in the dairy business.

As an obstacle observed in program implementation, it can be mentioned the initial format of performance of technical assistants in partnership with the dairy industry, which provided the service which should be performed by dual-composed agronomists and veterinary doctors, engineers, each owner of a small company of services and acting as an individual, both in terms of contracting the service industry, but also in relation to other pairs. Upon such format, the number of assisted producers required by the industry was around 60, in order to obtain a capital raise as capable of providing adequate remuneration of those professionals. Nevertheless, due to the difficulty of achieving such a number of beneficiaries, we began a process of discussion with the staff, focusing on finding a new way of working in order to allow or even be able to reduce the number of producers by industry, therefore it was possible to achieve financial feasibility for both technical assistants and for the contracting company service.

In summary, by the given analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the different possible forms of organization, once arranged in view of developing a labor union – COOPERMAIS, which began to gather all the technical framework of the program, to replace the above-mentioned micro structures. Thus, the service is now carried out on a globalized basis between the technical set of industry partners, tearing down the individualism and making it possible to obtain benefits such as: optimization of the technical shift routes to the assisted property (with reduced costs with mileage), multidisciplinary knowledge in respect to different aspects related to dairy farming, joint procurement of materials/work equipment, among others.

 

It is possible to visit some units by appointment, with no limitation on the number of visitors. 

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