Add:No. 37-8, Xīnshēng Rd, Fusing Township Changhua County, Taiwan 506
When mentioning Spring Cattle Farm, the owner Huang, Jin Cai, who had always taken great interest in automatic equipments, volunteered to enroll in the model household’s project led by our branch office. Last year, the branch office began the implementation of the "Research on the increase efficiency of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology implemented in dairy farm management" study.
The first time I visited Spring Cattle Farm, I was greeted warmly by Huang Jin Tsai and his brother-in-law Mr. Lee Yu Ren. They paid me a cordial greeting, and cooperated with us to install equipments and constructions. I am here to express my sincere gratitude for the cooperation and assistance Mr. Huang has given us.
Huang, Jin Cai told us that the farm started out with only 6 dairy cows bought by their father, Mr. Huang A Shin in 1973. In the year 2000, Huang Jin Tsai and his brother, Huang Jin inherited their father’s property. Huang Jin Tsai took over the original farm, while his brother, Huang Jin went to start his own farm in the cattle business.
After taking over his father's dairy farm, which at the time had 130 cattle, Huang, Jin Cai and his wife took over the management responsibility into their own hands. The couple did everything that was called for, including estrus observation, breeding, milking etc. Little by little, they were able to expand the herd to around 275 cattle. Because of the increase number of stocks, they hired four workers to assist them with the ranch work. Graduated from National Chung Hsing University Department of Agricultural Management, Huang applied his management knowledge to work. He divided the ranch work into four different sections: nutrition, disease treatment, raw material control and farm data compilation, and appointed workers responsible for each section. The result improved the overall efficiency on the farm.
In 2005, Mr. Huang's brother-in-law joined the management team on the farm, Mr. Huang let Mr. Lee Yu Ren participate in various courses related to herd management in the Livestock Research Institute, and the courses include artificial insemination, cattle nutrition management. This series of courses trained Mr. Lee to become one of the key mangers on the farm, and also becoming a new force of the farm.
From the moment Huang, Jin Cai took over the farm, he planned on reducing manpower and achieves maximum efficiency by using automatic equipment on the farm.
Automatic cleaning equipment cleans the barn twice a day, and then with automatic manure scraping equipment, scrapes cow dung once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Automatic combinations such as these can greatly reduce time in the barn, maintaining the barn clean and neat, and placing manpower where manpower is needed.
The feces enter the sewage treatment system for solid-liquid separation. In the process, feces pass through the filter, and are divided into two groups, a large aperture group and a small aperture group. This process filters out solid manure to make compost. The solid manure are gathered and sent to the compost plant once a day. At the end of the scraping manure channel, sewage water flushes the remaining silted manure, so that the sewage water are recycled and reused, and the feces are completely flushed into the sewage treatment system.
The nutrition control of Spring Cattle farm comes mainly from outsourced nutrition companies; the materials include imported grass alfalfa, sweet oat grass, Bermuda grass, silage corn, Pangolagrass, soy bean shell and other raw materials. Cattle are classified into three groups according to their milk production: low, medium, high-yielding. Different groups are offered different mixed ration (TMR) forage.
Huang, Jin Cai told us that around the 1990s, the government encouraged the establishments of pasture OEM centers. At that time, he participated in the program, and bought a machine so he could make sausage silage, and had been using the machine to produce sausage silage to feed his cattle ever since. Recently, leased land was sold by the landlord, so there was not enough space to make the sausage silage anymore. In respond to this, Huang built silos on the existing land, and used the homemade silos for corn silage to feed the cattle.
They produced 2-3 times silos a year, each time producing 4 cellars of silage. Mr. Huang referred to the pros and cons of these two silage production methods. The sausage type of silage is better for preservation, and produces a more stable quality compared to the silo silages. In the future, he is considering discarding the use of silo silages, because the unstable quality of silages produced by the silos tend to pressure the cattle, and might have adverse affects on long term farm operations. Possibly, he intends to remove the silage from the mixed daily grain, and assess the cattle’s differences due to the change.
Disease prevention is also one of Mr. Huang’s priority works on the farm. Every day, the feed manger is disinfected through spitfire, and the whole farm disinfected every Wednesday. In order to maintain the cattle hooves’ from infections, organic zinc, vitamins and minerals are mixed into forage when feeding, copper sulfate water are placed in the inlet and outlet exits of the milking room to enhance the hardness of the cattle’s hooves, and professional hoof cutters are hired to trim and treat the cattle’s hooves each month.
Huang, Jin Cai emphasized that these small details are all very important, because they are the key to maintaining a stable and healthy cattle. “In the cattle business, you can make a living, support a family, and maybe even make a few extras”, he told us, “but it is very difficult to maintain the quality of life”. Huang, Jin Cai gets up at around 4:00 every morning, and works until 21:00 in the evening. Sometimes, labor difficulties or unexpected events pop up, so he has to be on watch around the clock.
He must take care of cattle all the time. If he hires workers to help out, an appropriate worker would fit into the job and reduce the farm’s operation time, but there’s a chance he might hire an unsuitable worker that quits after basic training. Hiring workers is something that comes with luck, and it’s a problem that always bothered Mr. Huang, so he still spends half a day inspecting the farm. Mr. Huang said that he heard about a plan to hire agricultural foreign labors a while back, and he thought it was a very good program. It could help farmers move upward to management positions, so that farm managers need only worry about cost cuts and efficiency, while the labor portion could be handed down to full-time personals. The operation of the farm may become more organized and complete.
Huang, Jin Cai said that milk output had never been his main consideration. His feeding strategy had always been aimed at low-cost, low but longer milk production. Overall, their cattle’s performance is not outstanding, yet the profitability of the farm is gradually increasing, and the number of cattle is steadily growing each year.
I asked Mr. Huang: “Recently, the market is in serious shortage of milk, people often couldn’t buy fresh milk when they go to the supermarket. Do you think this is because of abnormal weather changes?” Huang, Jin Cai replied: “the dairy farmers nearby all thought the cattle were doing well this year, but milk factories had been urging everyone to deliver more milk than usual, and the cattle couldn’t produce more than they are already producing!
Abnormal weather caused by climate changes, unstable international corn quality, these are all factors that might cause pressure to the cattle and influence milk production. As a matter of fact, thanks to the melamine incident, milk prices had gone up in recent years, and the milk market demand had caused milk factories more willing to buy our milk. It is a great blessing for us dairy farmers. Overall, the general population’s demand for fresh milk hasn’t increased much; the milk shortage in the market is mainly caused by increase fresh milk usage in commercial products. Before, most bakeries and coffee industries use milk powder. Nowadays, domestic fresh milk had become their main appeals, which result in a significant increase on commercial milk demand.
The demand for fresh milk had increased a lot in the past few years, which led Huang, Jin Cai to reconsider the farm’s future business strategy, whether to continue maintaining low-cost, low milk output, or to adopt a new high-cost, high milk output strategy, in order to earn more profit for the farm and to meet the market needs.
In recent years, both milk prices and milk demand have improved. We hope to use this opportunity to drive motivation and vision into the dairy farm industry, and to attract new blood to join the business, and make Taiwan's fresh milk and dairy industry blossom and flourish.Home
Add:No. 37-8, Xīnshēng Rd, Fusing Township Changhua County, Taiwan 506