Dairy in China #4

By Jim Bennett, DVM

Today we went to a farm that required driving on smaller roads than before, which was great since it allowed me to see more of the countryside. Previously we had been on superhighways, much like our interstates, and it was difficult to see the landscape. What follows are some pictures mostly taken looking out the car window, not great photography, but interesting, I hope.

Chinese farmland

The small square plots you see represent one person’s farm. Each farmer is allowed one small plot. I estimate the farms to be maybe 40 feet square, and I estimate that one of my clents’ typical John Deere tractors would take up at least one entire plot without even moving. The ridges aid in irrigation of the plots.

Cornfield

Note that this corn is all picked by hand. The popular method seems to be husk in place, leaving the husks attached to the plant.

More land

On the road

Buildings, housing perhaps

In the villages there seems to be a variety of housing, mostly brick, with a variety of designs.

The dairy
From the road
In a barn
Newborn calf pens
80 stall rotary parlor
Calving pens

I realize these are not the greatest pictures, but I had to repeatedly ask to get permission, and there were limits to what I could photgraph. This farm was brand new, in operation for only four months, and quite well designed. It supposedly has capacity for 4000 cows. Cows and calves were all Holsteins, and they looked to be comporable to US Holsteins. This farm also had a methane digestor, and cows were bedded with recycled digested manure solids. Milk production was 31 liters per cow per day and the somatic cell count was 106,000. The farm was, according to Kai, owned by the government, and built upon military land. Might explain the intimidating, military looking fellow in the guardhouse at the gate… I did not ask to take his picture.

More later…

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