The Israeli Dairy Farming: a Documentation

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Bart A. Wallang Myrna B. Walsiyen


This study was conducted to document the Israeli dairy farming
which includes dairy farmers, their operations and management practices,
milk production performance, and milking procedures at Kefar Vitkin, Kibbutz
Hama'apil, Kibbutz Ma 'abarot, Kibutz Eyal dairy farms and some Kibbutz farm
in the northern part of Israel.
The data gathered were based on the researcher's observations, personal
interview with the dairy farm owners and workers including Mr. Adin from
the Ministry of Agriculture, Israel.
Dairy farming in Israel is operated by two large sectors, the Moshav
(private owned) and the Kibbutz (communal). Each dairy farm, may it be controlled
by a Moshav or a Kibbutz, is given a quota by the government as to the
volume of milk that it should produce. All the milk produced by the different
dairy farms are monitored by the government. Any excess milk produce over
the farm quota is bought at 75% lower than the regular price.
There is only one dairy breed maintained by the farmers. The Israeli Holstein
breed was developed by the Israeli Breeders Association from a cross
between the German Holstein bull and the Israeli Damascus cow.
Dairy farmers breed their heifers at 15 months old for these heifers to
have their first calving at 24 to 25 months old. Cows are bred 70 days after
calving, however, for second timers, breeding is done BO days after calving.
This is to have a continuous milk supply Cows are milked for a period of seven
months from calving, after which, they are allowed to dry off for a period of 80
days for the second timers and 70 days for older cows.
Calves are separated from the cows immediately after birth and are
subjected to dehorning at two months old.
Milking of cows is done twice a day but some milk their cow three type milking machine. The volume of milk produced by the Israeli Holstein
cow per day can be as high as 46 liters particularly during the winter season.
During summer, milk production is reduced by 15%. On the average, the Israeli
Holstein cow produces 36 liters of milk per day or 11, 118 kg of milk per
year containing 3. 14% protein and 3. 58% fats. The peak of milk production is
reached on the third week of second month of lactation and start to decline on
the third month.
The different dairy farms have to maintain good milk quality to get a
good price. To do this, each farm has its own nutritionist who are responsible
in formulating the ration of the dairy farm animals.
Each farm has also its own veterinarian who visits the farm twice a
week to look into the health of the animals and to perform insemination. Furthermore,
the dairy farmers keep abreast with the Dairy Industry for new information
or disease warning on dairy farming through the internet.

Article Details



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