Vol. 111 No. 1 (2017)
Research Papers

Productive, economic and environmental effects of optimised feeding strategies in small-scale dairy farms in the Highlands of Mexico

José Velarde-Guillén
Département des Sciences Animales, Université Laval, 2425 rue de l’Agriculture Québec, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6
Bio
Felipe Lopez- Gonzalez
INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS AGROPECUARIAS Y RURALES (ICAR), UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO
Bio
Julieta Gertrudis Estrada-Flores
INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS AGROPECUARIAS Y RURALES (ICAR), UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO
Bio
Adolfo Armando Rayas-Amor
Departamento de Ciencias de la Alimentación (DCA), División de Ciencias Biológicas y de la Salud (CBS), Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana - Unidad Lerma (UAM-L)
Bio
Darwin Heredia-Nava
CONACYT. Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Centro Universitario de Los Altos (CUALTOS), Benemérita Universidad de Guadalajara
Bio
Fernando Vicente
Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (SERIDA)
Bio
Adela Martinez-Fernandez
Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (SERIDA)
Bio
Carlos Manuel Arriaga-Jordan
INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS AGROPECUARIAS Y RURALES (ICAR), UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO
Bio
Published June 29, 2017
How to Cite
Velarde-Guillén, J., Lopez- Gonzalez, F., Estrada-Flores, J. G., Rayas-Amor, A. A., Heredia-Nava, D., Vicente, F., Martinez-Fernandez, A., & Arriaga-Jordan, C. M. (2017). Productive, economic and environmental effects of optimised feeding strategies in small-scale dairy farms in the Highlands of Mexico. Journal of Agriculture and Environment for International Development (JAEID), 111(1), 225-243. https://doi.org/10.12895/jaeid.20171.606

Abstract

Since most dairy production in developing countries comes from small farms, there is scope to reduce their contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the highlands of Mexico, the limitations in these systems are high feeding costs. This paper assessed the production, economics and estimated methane emissions from traditional feeding strategies (TFS) in 22 small-scale dairy farms compared to optimised feeding strategies (OFS) evaluated through on-farm research in eight participating farms in the dry (DS) and in the rainy (RS) seasons. Results were analysed with a completely randomized design. There were no differences (P>0.05) in milk fat, body condition score (BCS) or live weight between TFS and OFS, but there was higher (P<0.05) milk yield (17.99 vs 14.01 kg/cow/d), energy corrected milk (ECM) (16.77 vs 12.93 kg/cow/d) and milk protein (32.1 vs 30.9 g/kg milk) in OFS than TFS. Profit margin/cow/day was higher (P<0.05) (US$4.42 vs US$2.74) with a lower (P<0.05) feeding cost (US$0.18 vs US$0.22/kg) in OFS than TFS. Environmentally, the calculated enteric CH4 emission intensities were lower (P<0.05) in OFS (19.8 g CH4/kg milk) than TFS (25.3 g CH4/kg milk). Optimized feeding strategies in small-scale dairy farms increase milk yields, reduce feeding costs, increase incomes, and reduce enteric CH4 emission/kg of milk.