Brazil has become a world leader in Agriculture production and exports, transforming itself from an importer of agricultural goods to a leading exporter over the past 30 years. This 2010 story in The Economist outlines some of the causes of this successful transformation. Further discussions readily found in news articles at sites like NPR and Farm Futures provide further insight on Brazil’s growing place in feeding the ever increasing world population. AMTS has a place in helping the Brazilian Cattle industry increase production while holding finite resources. Marcelo Hentz Ramos, PhD, PAS, a veterinarian/nutritionist is our distributor in Brazil. Our guest blogger this week, Marcelo writes about some of the characteristics and challenges of cattle farming in Brazil.

Cows Grazing under a Central Pivot

While USA is considered the brain, China where the products are made, Brazil is the farm of the world.

(As seen in this Chart from the Economist Article).

Figure 1- Main Commodities and Exports (Source US Department of Agriculture)

And the most important point: it is becoming a high tech farm

(The Economist-Source- Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture).

Today, if not all, most, of the companies that sell products related to agriculture are present in Brazil. What about milk? It is following the same trend: increase in productivity with less resource utilized. Very important is that the country has space for either milk being produced on grass or silage.

Today milk production in Brazil is very professional. A few tools that are being utilized by dairy producers in Brazil:

  • Pasture is handled by the high: high to move in and high to move out of the paddock. This allow for maximum production/area while still get the most out of the grass.
  • Silages are chopped to allow for effective fiber while still provide starch for the cow.
  • Nutritionists are starting to learn the importance to balance for unsaturated fatty acid, effective fiber, metabolizable energy and protein, and amino acids.
  • Milk is paid by quality (solids, SCC) in most parts of Brazil
  • Cattle vaccinated against mastitis causing microorganisms
  • The number of farms using TAI is increasing
  • The best cows (produce more and are adapted to Brazil climate) are being selected
  • Most semen utilized is from USA
  • Tools that allow for financial control are being more and more utilized.
  • Dairy farms are buying their commodities better (making contracts, watching the marketing)
  • High moisture corn is a tool that is being utilized all over Brazil. Harvested from the crop or hydrated after harvest.

When people visit Brazil they get a total different image from what they are expecting: milk is being produced with quality, technology and respecting the environment. This is what we are looking for.

Marcelo Hentz Ramos, PhD, PAS. Together with Grupo do leite represents AMTS in Brazil. Marcelo got his vet degree under the supervision of prof. Marcos Neves Pereira at UFLA in 2001. After that got his master at University of Wisconsin-Madison and his PhD at the University of Missouri. Current Marcelo is the director for 3RLAB (company formed between Rock River and Rehagro)

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