Dairy Farming

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Dairy Farming
The developed world has
one-third of the cattle, 23 percent of the
people and produces over 80 percent of the
milk, while
the developing world, with three-quarters of
the human population and two-thirds of all
cattle
stocks and produces less than 20 percent of all
milk
Overview of the Dairy Industry in the CARICOM
Region
The dairy industry in the CARICOM (comprised of
the English speaking Caribbean
islands as well as Belize in Central America, and
Guyana in South America) region is dominated
by small-scale producers scattered across the
countries. Most of these producers operate on a
subsistence level on the most marginal lands,
where the dairy operation is usually a part of a
mixed farming system. The major dairy producers
are Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad
and Tobago.
Importance of the Dairy Industry
 Milk is highly nutritious (milk consists of 80 to 90 %
water and supplies the diet with essential vitamins,
minerals, fat, proteins, and sugars).
 It is important to economic and social development.
 It also generates beef from culled animals and veal
from young animals not used as replacement stock.
 It also provides manure, used as a fertilizer for crop
and pasture development.
 The industry also provides employment and a source of
cash for many rural farm families.
 Foreign Exchange and by reducing our import bill, we
will have a more favourable balance of trade.
Define the following terms
• Animal Husbandry- a term which is applied to
a whole range of activities encompassing the
rearing of livestock (eg. milk production,
feeding, production of meat etc).
- It also involves rearing cattle, goats, poultry
and sheep.
Characteristics of the Dairy Farming
• Size –
-avg. approximately 2ha. (small farm)- operated by
Peasant farmers;
- 20-40ha (medium sized farm)
- -large farms 100ha or more.
- Eg. Belize’s large area is an asset for livestock
rearing, despite the forest vegetation which
covers 80% of its territory.
- Belize has over 800,000ha of potential
agricultural land for cattle farming.
• Trinidad and Tobago- cultivated pasture lands
7000 ha. And uncultivated pasture land is
40,000ha.
• In Jamaica- the difference is that it is not
limited to cultivated or uncultivated, farming
is spread throughout the island.
Intensive – small area of land, where the cattle
is allowed to graze for a limited time. This is
called rotational grazing- as the pasture land is
divided into sections and the cattle moved from
one quadrant to another.
In addition to rotational grazing they are given
feed and salt blocks.
The animals are usually pen-fed.
vs Extensive- large area of land with a lot of
pasture where the animals are allowed to graze
on the land eg. Guyana.
Purpose-Dairy products (eg. milk, cheese,
chocolate milk and chocolate
products, powdered milk, ice
cream)
-Produce meat products-including
beef*, goat, lamb, buffalypso
* main producers Guyana, Jamaica,
Belize
Peasant farmers sell their produce
to the local markets.
-To milk processing factories eg.
nestle.
-Larger farms incorporate research
and development as part of their
activities.
-The largest farms are usually
export based, eg. farms in Jamaica,
Belize and Guyana.
Labour
Feeding Methods
Small farms use mainly family labour
Medium sized farms (approximately 20-30
heads of cattle) use both family labour and
hired hands
Large farms mainly use hired hands as well
as extensive mechanization- i.e. the milking
machines, tractors and trucks. They may also
have their own slaughter houses (abattoir)
as well.
 Farmers are encouraged to practice ZERO
GRAZING i.e. pen fed.
Advantages:
-Small amount of land space required
-Better management of herd
Animals feed mainly on pangola grass
mainly used for its resistance to drought.
Rotational Grazing
Reared in open fields (OPEN GRAZING),
particularly beef cattle eg. in Guyana
Milking cows are milked twice a day, in
between milking they may let out to
graze. NB: Diet for milking cows and beef
cattle is different.
In pastures there should be ample shade
to help counter HEAT STRESS.
Holstein
Jamaican Red
Jamaican Hope
Buffalypso
Black Belly Sheep
Fresian Cow
Home-Work:
What are the limitations and
problems associated with
pastoral farming across the
Caribbean?
Compare the differences
between larger farms and small
farms.
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