A milk production system with spring calving for the Southern Zone of Chile

Ljubo Goic M.1, Juan C. Dumont L.1

During five years, 6.8 ha of a permanent pasture, consisting mainly of white dover, ryegrasses and orchard grass, were grazed by 2.5 cows/ha, the first three years, and by 2.24 cows/ha, the las two. The cows were rotated in five paddocks, and 40% of the area was cut each year to keep forage (hay and/or silage) for the winter season. Also, after calving, the cows were supplemented with 4 kg of a mixture of oats and rapeseed meal (14% total protein). Management was aimed to equalize cow requirements with the pasture production curve, through calving in early spring and forage conservation. Milk production was 2,935±296 kg/cow (4% FCM), with an average fat content of 3.71%, and 6.989 kg/ha; lactation lasted 259±19 days; pregnancy percentage wes 85±4; average number of mounts/pregnancy was 1.2; lapse between calving and pregnancy was 76.2±12 days; post-calving weight was 456±18 kg/cow; weight at the end of lactation was 486±17 kg/cow. Cost of milk production during the five years was below US$0.12, with a minimum of US$0.07 and a maximum of US$0.12.

1 Estación Experimental Remehue (INIA), Casilla 1110, Osorno, Chile.