Witness firsthand the best kitchen in Vietnam dedicated to dairy cows
In mid-October 2022, TH Group received the "double brace" of the highest award in the livestock industry awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, including the award "The best enterprise producing animal feed for ruminant cattle” in 2021-2022.
Participating in dairy farming and milk processing since 2009, TH is considered particularly successful, building the TH true MILK brand and making a revolution of clean fresh milk in Vietnam. The world-terminal technology application project combines management science, creating productivity and international quality right on Vietnamese plains. TH operates a closed production process from pasture to glass of milk, including raw material area, dairy farm, milk processing plant and distribution system. In particular, the production of feed for dairy cows is an important intermediate stage in the closed process chain that creates the world-class quality of TH true MILK.
Records of the best ruminant feed factory in Vietnam
Twice a year, during the biomass corn harvest, trucks carrying fresh corn of farmers Nghia Dan - Nghe An lined up about 2 km long on the entrance to two feed centers of TH Joint Stock Company - belongs to TH Group. Here, raw forage is silage and complete feed is mixed for nearly 70,000 cows of TH true MILK fresh milk.
|Overview of a dairy feed center of TH Group in Nghia Dan, Nghe An.|
The amount of corn purchased from local farmers sounds like a lot at first, but it only accounts for a part of the total volume of raw forage materials for TH dairy cows. According to the district government's statistics, TH Group purchases about 130-150 thousand tons of biomass corn per year in association, the rest this business grows on its own 8,100 hectares of more than 300 thousand tons. Every day, the Feed center silages about 2,000 tons, peak days up to more than 3,000 tons.
"From 2021 we have set a record for the volume and speed of harvest. With an average of 10 tons of grass each truck, in just 20 days of harvesting in one crop, we have a total of 2,800 trips to deliver the grass to the cow's kitchen. If the trucks are prolonged, the total length will be about 25km," said Nguyen Le Thang, Deputy General Director of Agitech, the company in charge of agricultural farming of the Group, sketches out an impressive visualization.
|TH grows corn as dairy feed ingredients in large fields that are automatically irrigated and harvested by high-tech, high-yield machinery.|
Forage raw materials from hundreds of hectares of corn, 2,300 hectares of mombasa grass (regarded as the world's largest concentrated mombasa grassland, contributing to setting a record of TH's world's largest self-contained high-tech farm cluster in 2020), not to mention thousands of hectares of mulato 2 grass, sunflower, legumes, sorghum and other grasses that are withered to a certain extent in the fields before being gathered at the Feed center. Here, right after receiving raw materials, 30 huge silage pits with a capacity of 4,000-7,000 tons/hole are mobilized at full capacity. Each hole is full of corn, grass is as tall as hills, three or four specialized vehicles run up and down from the foot to the "hill top", pour the grass, mix probiotics and then lay it, compress the ingredients to harden, as if can be rolled into pieces (Therefore, when the corn grass is "ripe", to take it out to feed the cows, we technically call it "digging", not "getting" or "shoveling").
|Corn is cut and crushed before being put into silage.|
|Forage pits as big as hills.|
“We use the most modern Israeli silage technology. Israeli experts were hired by the Group to come here to guide and work together for many years, until the Vietnamese technician could perform smoothly. With corn, it needs to be incubated for about 30 days, grass needs 45 days, at this time the feed has a pleasant sour smell and the highest nutritional content, most suitable for ruminants” - Mr. Nguyen Hai Thanh, silage control officer of the Feed center explained.
According to Mr. Hai Thanh, although producing thousands of tons of feed, each shift at the Center only needs 25 employees, including the driver of the trucks carrying raw materials and a computer operation team.
|Feed mixing control and monitoring center.|
The most modern machines and labs
TH Group currently has 2 Feed Centers and a Feed Mill in Nghia Dan - Nghe An, equipped with a modern laboratory to analyze the quality of ingredients and complete feed.
In formulating diets for dairy cows and controlling milk quality, TH invests in the world's most modern machinery and production lines. Among these at the Feed Mill is the NIRS DS 2500F - a near-infrared spectrum analyzer, with a wide scanning range from 850-2500nm. This high-end model provides stable and reliable results when measuring feed and forage raw samples at the time of sample scanning, so it is possible to know the exact ingredients, nutritional content and quality of ingredients in a cow's diet. TH does not need to send samples for testing to a remote laboratory, only to receive results many days later, leading to continuous adjustments in rations and feed formulations for cows.
|The Feed Mill is equipped with a modern laboratory to analyze the quality of raw materials and complete feed.|
The reason is, as Ms. Vy Thu Hang - Director of Food and Nutrition of TH Group said, TH has cooperated with Dairy One lab in the US for the past 8 years, storing all data for the process of building nutritionally balanced diets. As a result, the clean fresh milk from TH farm is always consistent and absolutely guaranteed.
Accuracy is adhered to over 99%
Right from the start of the dairy farming and milk processing project with a total investment of 1.2 billion US dollars in Nghe An, TH has been a pioneer in the Vietnamese livestock industry in building the Total Mixed Ration for cows, in order to carefully calculate the weight and strictly control the nutritional content.
TH applies the technology of rationing, mixing, processing and providing 100% automatic feed for dairy cows by computer under the advice and management of Israeli nutritionists on Nutritional Dynamic System – rationing software and 1-ONE – mixing and spreading control software.
The formula is developed for each group of cows based on the growth and development needs of each stage: lactating cows, dry cows, steers, springer cows, etc. Each recipe mixes 12-16 types of ingredients. In addition to forage raw materials, the cow's feed is also mixed with refined bran and a special ingredient that only TH dairy cows have, which is molasses - a by-product from the NASU sugar cane factory. – a unit under TH Group.
The Director of Feed and Nutrition with more than 10 years of experience with TH dairy cows revealed the secret to following 4 recipes at the best ruminant feed producer in Vietnam. First, the equilibrium formula is built on a computer. Second, the mixing formula. Third, the recipe spreads the food to the front of the cow's mouth. And the fourth is, the most important is how much cows eat and how to digest.
|Feeding of cows at the barn is done on a complete feed spreader – TMR has a control screen with a navigation system connected to 1-ONE software.|
“The theoretical formula is not too difficult, farmers who do not have their own rationing software can go online, search for formulas for US dairy cows and download them for use. So the important point here is how much accuracy is the actual mixing compared to the theory. At TH, we are confident that the accuracy is over 99%” - Ms. Vy Thu Hang affirmed.
Dairy experts at TH have learned that, for example, the same grass grown in different geographical areas produces different qualities. With the same grass and the same field, but planted in different seasons, when measuring, different quality indicators will be found. Similar to the same field but grass cut at 40 days old is different from grass cut at 50 days old.
According to Ms. Thu Hang, the example in the above recipe is to use elephant grass, but using elephant grass while it's still hydrated or the type that's already on the cane are two completely different things - they could even be said to be two different ingredients. “Through many years of analysis and experimentation on a large scale production and using near-infrared spectroscopy analysis system right in our modern lab, we are confident that we can accurately collect the index of each ingredient prior to formulation. As soon as an ingredient is harvested or a silage hole is opened, we have information about its nutritional content, which will then rebalance the refined bran formula accordingly, ensuring the cow always eat the recipe that best suits their needs.”
For ruminant animals such as dairy cows, stability in feed composition and nutritional balance are very important, helping to limit ominous diseases such as rumen deviation, uneven digestion, thereby affecting the health and quality and yield of milk.
With the principle of spreading feed, TH experts control the whole process with a unified software system from rationing, mixing to spreading in the cages according to the individual code, ensuring always spread the correct formula, spread the right amount and the computer will record the actual amount of feed eaten by the cows afterwards. TH cows are allowed to eat 3 meals a day, the food truck must not arrive more than 2 minutes early and 3 minutes later than the scheduled time each day. Because cows after eating will have a rest to do the milking and when they are finished milking, there will be fresh food waiting for them.
Every day, the veterinary department evaluates the health, milk quality and wastes of the cows to diagnose the health situation of the cows, thereby making appropriate adjustments. How cows eat and digest will be reflected in the quality and production of milk. The feed standards have been standardized from the processing stage. "That's why feed accounts for 70% of the cost and it determines the success or failure of a dairy project, especially a large-scale concentrated project like TH's in Nghia Dan, Nghe An." - Ms. Thu Hang explained.
VIETSTOCK 2022 is chaired by Livestock Department - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The award for the best ruminant feed producer is awarded to enterprises that meet the following criteria: Belonging to the top 10 enterprises with the largest volume of ruminant feed in 2021; Using advanced production technology & environmentally friendly; Application of TMR technology. In addition, business needs to comply well with the provisions of Vietnamese law and fulfill their obligations to support the community,…
Along with the award of the best ruminant feed producer, TH was also awarded the best dairy farm in 2021-2022.
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