AGRAVIS "Best Milk" concept in practice

Dr Andreas Milimonka prefers to rely on his sense of smell and touch. Years of experience have taught him that this is sometimes a better alternative to any technical equipment. The AGRAVIS expert reaches deeply into the freshly cut grass, holds a clump under his nose and finishes by thoroughly wringing it out and inspecting the palms of his hands. A simple but effective way to determine how dry the clippings are.

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AGRAVIS consultant Dr Andreas Milimonka (r) inspects the quality of the grass clippings with Jürgen Gebhardt.AGRAVIS 
AGRAVIS consultant Dr Andreas Milimonka (r) inspects the quality of the grass clippings with Jürgen Gebhardt.

Dr Andreas Milimonka prefers to rely on his sense of smell and touch. Years of experience have taught him that this is sometimes a better alternative to any technical equipment. The AGRAVIS expert reaches deeply into the freshly cut grass, holds a clump under his nose and finishes by thoroughly wringing it out and inspecting the palms of his hands. A simple but effective way to determine how dry the clippings are.

"This is a really straightforward way to find out what silage additives silage additives we need to use to ensile the grass with minimal losses", explains Milimonka. Amongst others, Landwirtschaftsbetrieb eG Selbitz, in the east of Saxony-Anhalt, benefits from his tips. The employees of the farm mainly deal with milk production and arable farming. With almost 2,000 animals to look after and 2,700 hectares of arable land and grass land, it is not only the farm's internal processes that have to be correct; the trading partners must also be reliable. Ideally from the seeds to the milking machine cleaning product.

AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG's "Best Milk Best Milk " concept is based precisely on these ideas. "Best Milk is the brace that connects all the various industries involved in successful milk production", explains Milimonka. Until now, the concept has been implemented almost unknowingly in Selbitz. "The quality of the staple feed is a particularly important factor for us", says Maik Bilke, representative of the Managing Board of Landwirtschaftsbetrieb eG, Selbitz.

He draws upon the experience and expertise of AGRAVIS when purchasing seed and for any questions concerning the cereals trade and silaging – despite the fact that the farm currently stocks 22,000 tonnes of maize, grass and whole crop silage: "The recommendations build upon and complement each other." Bilke and his colleagues are highly appreciative of this fact. At every step of the production process, those responsible ask the questions: What does one litre of milk cost us? What can we still do with tweaking?

Rations are formulated together with Steffen Ramm, an advisor at Hamburger Leistungsfutter GmbH, an affiliate company of AGRAVIS. Regular basic feed analyses form the basis for the ration calculations. For if the basic feed is right, the animals eat better, are healthier and perform better. "Which then means we will also get good milk", summarises Bilke. Milimonka is well aware that multidisciplinary thinking is still in its early days: "Everyone still thinks within the framework of their own field. We must find a way to pool our knowledge and coordinate on products and recommendations." This works well in Selbitz. There are constant changes in the processes and in the arrangements. This makes it possible to respond professionally to special situations at short notice.

This year, the first harvest has come earlier than hardly ever before. The Selbitzers determine when the optimum mowing date is, with the help of the AGRAVIS expert. They also discuss the high risk cultivation area of the Elbe meadowlands that conceals so many perils with respect to fertilisation, particularly manure spreading.

Discover more about the "Best Milk" concept by contacting Dr Andreas Milmonka, Tel. 0172 . 5303182, andreas.milimonka@agravis.de.

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