Deep in the heart of Nakuru county in Kenya, Ken Chemngorem is managing an impressive 20-acre modern farm. 14 dairy cows and 6 calves graze peacefully in the green terrain of the farm. For Ken, these cows mean a lot since they provide upto around 75 litres of milk everyday. And this milk is a huge income earner for his farm.
Recently Ken hasn’t been impressed with the cow’s overall milk production. He has thought hard and tested on several ways to improve his milk quantity and quality. His main headache is that the cows are not producing enough milk. His cows breed is the high milk yielding Fresian breed; His cow feeding program is well sufficient with adequate nappier, boma rhodes and hay – so why aren’t the cows producing enough milk?
“Having healthy soil leads to healthy nutritious fodder for the cows”
It is very unlikely for a dairy farmer to go to soil testing as a likely solution to his low milk yields. And that’s exactly what Ken did. By addressing the nutritional deficiencies in his soil, Ken went to the heart of the problem. His cows were getting enough fodder but not enough nutrients from the fodder. And the cows’ milk production did suffer as a result.
“Fodder take nutrients from the soil. If our soil doesn’t have nutrients, the animals feeding on the fodder will not get the sufficient nutrients”
Sophie Mwaniki, CropNuts Agronomist, advises that testing the soil will uncover the hidden nutritional deficiencies that could be affecting your fodder and hampering milk production. After analyzing Ken’s soil, the soil report indicated that the soil did lack sufficient amount of Calcium, a key nutritional component in dairy milk. Our advise to Ken was to lime his soil with both Calcitic and Dolomitic Lime and Gypsum in order to produce a well balanced healthy nutritious fodder for the cows.