SCOTLAND, UK - A local project will help dairy farmers in Kintyre and Gigha improve their milk quality which should in turn increase the cheese yield at the Campbeltown Creamery they supply.
Project organisers SAC Consulting, a Division of Scotland’s Rural College, believe that milk high in the protein casein will produce larger volumes of cheese. This new project will help farmers in the area produce this type of high quality milk.
Senior Dairy Consultant David Keiley said: “Milk quality is largely influenced by genetics, the animal’s environment and they way they are managed.
"All of these elements dairy farmers can exercise some level of control over and this project aims to help them better understand the changes they can make. We aim to help the farmers produce milk with a casein level of 2.8 per cent or above.”
There will be a series of meetings beginning early December (dates TBC) for farmers in the Kintyre and Gigha area where experts from SAC Consulting will detail some of the areas which could help the farmers improve the quality of their milk.
Genetics will be a specific topic as breeding for improved casein levels will take two or three years before a noticeable difference will be made. Management changes – such as alterations to feed – will yield results in just six to twelve months.
Mr Keiley advises the best possible forage quality with ideally two forage types (silage and whole crop) mixed with maize grain starch sources and a balance of rumen degradable and ungradable protein such as rapeseed meal and Hi Pro Soya.
Mr Keiley said: “Kintyre dairy farmers are focusing on the end product and looking to improve their present situation. High casein milk makes better quality cheese and reduces the lower value by-products of the cheese making process such as whey and butter.
"Economically milk processors should be taking more notice of casein content with regards to cheese making in Scotland. Given the two thirds of milk in Scotland goes into cheese production milk pricing need to consider casein content of milk in future payment schedules.”
This project is a follow on from one which worked with fourteen local dairy farmers and the creamery to work out how the needs of both groups could be met. This was when milk quality was identified and in particular milk with high levels of the milk protein, casein. Both projects are funded by the Scottish Funding Council.
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