Israeli cows aren’t sacred but they produce more milk than ours

Delicious and nutritious hummus

For such a tiny country it is incredible how Israel keeps doing things better. We are well known in New Zealand for our Dairy industry yet those pesky Israelis have talked their cows into producing more milk than ours despite the less than perfect conditions that they live under. How have they done it? Do they sing to them? Do they feed them something special like hummus perhaps ( Cam ate it with every meal when he was in Israel.) Is it genetic engineering?

Herd manager Udi Stainbaum works at a dairy farm in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, southern Israel. Israeli dairy farmers ...

Herd manager Udi Stainbaum works at a dairy farm in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, southern Israel.

Herd manager Udi Stainbaum works at a dairy farm in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, southern Israel. Israeli dairy farmers provide milk in a country that is two-thirds desert, with little grazing land, using high tech methods and a lot of imported feed.

Israeli cows are the most productive in the world, says Afimilk professional services manager Yoni Levine.

The average Israeli cow produces about 1100 kilograms of milksolids a year compared to the New Zealand average of 373kg/MS.

At the Fieldays in Hamilton, Levine said the difference in production between the two was understandable because Israeli cows were fed on silage and grains, whereas in New Zealand they ate mostly pasture.

However technological innovations had also boosted performance. Some Kiwi farmers had managed to double their production using the Afimilk system to improve their livestock genetics, animal health and milk monitoring system.

Levine said the Israeli dairy industry was a product of the country’s political and geographical situation. Decades ago it saw the need to become self-sufficient and to create kosher products…

He said the genesis of the dairy industry was the collective communal kibbutz system…

…In the early days of the kibbutz, they operated under a socialist system whereby every worker was paid the same amount, but that has largely changed so people are paid to reflect the importance of what they do.

…Herds are fed on a total mixed ration (TMR) method, with a mix of silage, grass and concentrate. The number of ingredients are high, and include cereal grain, mainly barley and corn,  corn gluten, canola meal, cotton meal, sunflower meal, peanut meal, feather meal and fish meal…

Milk production falls off in summer as the heat takes its toll, but the Israelis are world leaders at cooling cows with energy efficient fans and irrigated water.

…Afimilk was founded in 1977, having started life as a kibbutz…

It makes computerised systems for dairy farms and herd management and introduced the world’s first electronic milk meter 25 years ago.

Manager Clint Brereton said Afimilk had 50 farms signed up in New Zealand…

 – Stuff


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