Crystalyx feed supplement used in Italy
The products of Crystalyx Products GmbH, a subsidiary of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, are in great demand among dairy farms in Italy. There are around 1.3 million dairy in the region around Parma alone. The milk is needed, inter alia, in the production of two Italian cheese specialities and export hits: Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. Enrico Costantini explains the background to the large demand for Crystalyx.
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- Enrico Costantini in conversation with Crystalyx product manager Gerald Krabbe (right). Costantini leads the sale of Crystalyx products in Italy and is a regular guest in Münster where he swaps information with his German colleagues.
Sometimes it is just the name of a town that can cause wanderlust. For example, Enrico Costantini just has to say that he lives in Parma – and thoughts draft towards holiday. But the Italian is not responsible for tourist dreams. He is responsible for selling the feed supplement Crystalyx in the southern European country. The products of Crystalyx Products GmbH, a subsidiary of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, are in great demand among dairy farms in the country of pasta and pizza. There are around 1.3 million dairy in the region around Parma alone. The milk is needed, inter alia, in the production of two Italian cheese specialities and export hits: Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano.
"For the milk to meet the high standards for these two cheese varieties, a quite special feed ration composition is required", explains Costantini. Maize or grass silages must not be given as feed, especially not in the case of Parmigiano: "It is made only with salt, untreated milk and a great deal of time". The genetic level of the cows and the management of the farms supplying the milk for the cheese dairies are very high, the expert reports. On average, a farm has 100 to 200 animals producing around 10,000 kilograms of milk a year.
In order to feed the animals optimally, the feed rations have to contain a great deal of starch. High proportions of wheat, maize and barley ensure this, but connect prevent too little sugar naturally being the feed. "Our aim is to add at least three percent sugar to the rations. However, it is very difficult to achieve this." There is a risk of over-acidification of the rumen, making the cows ill with acidosis as a result of the addition of so much starch. If the animals are also exposed to stress situations, this increases the risk of a serious illness.
From mid-JUne to mid-August, the temperatures in Italy are between 28 and 40 degrees Celsius – a real problem for the sensitive milk cows. The animals suffer from heat stress, they sleep a lot and eat little. In view of this, the use of an energy-rich feed supplement to lick, such as Crystalyx Cattle Booster or Crystalyx Vitalyx is more than an alternative. The sugar problem can also be partly resolved with Crystalyx because the product has quite a high sugar content because of the high molasses content. "The use of licking buckets is a tool for giving the cows additional energy, even when it is hot, and encouraging them to eat," explains Enrico Costantini. WHen they lick, cows produce more saliva. Which in turn is an alkali, buffering the rumen and thereby actively preventing over-acidification. In addition, the ingredients cause an increase in fodder digestion in the rumen and also stimulate feed intake. In Costantini's experience, in summer almost all animals on a farm are given feed supplements, and dry cows, and cows in particular are given Crystalyx in the first weeks of lactation.
Crystalyx has been available on the southern European market for three years and the figures speak for themselves, says product manager Gerald Krabbe: "Our local partners very quickly realised the potential of the products. They deal intensively with the situations and demands locally and understand the Crystalyx licking blocks as a supplement to the existing rations, especially in sensitive situations." Even farmers, he added, had not only accepted the feed supplement, but understood it. More information about this subject is available from Gerald Krabbe, Tel. 0251 . 682-89229, firstname.lastname@example.org, at www.crystalyx.info or on the Crystalyx Facebook page.