Great success of the Frisia Farm Open Day

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Comparisons, in-depth considerations and a final moment dedicated to solidarity: there was a good crowd on 13th November, organized by SOP,  Sgariboldi & Inseme.

Mr. Zanini: "Fundamental: the creation of a farmers movement to create a network and establish more correct comunication of the values and positive impact of the sector".

Bertonico, 13th November 2019 – More than 200 farmers present, more than 10 guided tours around the farm and a captivating presentation - that of Mr. Lucio Zanini, ARAL quality milk specialist - on the theme of selective dry cow therapy and cell differential. The Open Day, organized on the Frisia Farm in Bertonico (LO) by SOP, Inseme & Sgariboldi, was a great success, not only for its numerous participants but also for the quantity of information and knowledge shared.

The Farm Tour

The dairy farm represents a virtuous example of a circular economy: forage is produced to feed the animals, which produce liquid manure, which is then spread as fertilizer on the fields.

At the first of the five tour stops, SOP, who has been collaborating with Frisia Farm since 2001, explained Bio-hygienization in the barn: opposition to the pathogens and promotion of a correct drying of bedding and cubicles/stalls. Marco Rocchetta, SOP technician, illustrated the impact of the SOP products on the wellbeing and productivity of heifers and calves, demonstrating how it is possible to eliminate ammonia and odors from the barn environment, promoting the development of the growing animals.

At the fourth tour stop, the Animal Nutritionist Mr. Gioacchino Quarta illustrated results obtained by Frisia Farm by using SOP STAR COW, which helps the farmer to eliminate odor and ammonia emissions, oppose the pathogenic load in the cubicles/stalls, contain pathologies and sustain the physiology of the lactating cows to optimize their production. Here follow some of the results from monitoring carried out between 2015 and 2018:

  • increase from 35 to 39 kg/milk per head, a day
  • reduction from 317,000 to 169,000 somatic cells/ml of milk
  • reduction from 13.7% to 4.1% of mastitis a month (from 477 to 146 cases/year)
  • reduction from 35 to 20 cases/year of retained placentas

At the fifth and last tour stop, in the area of the liquid manure pits, SOP agronomist Mr. Roberto Pozzato explained how to use SOP LAGOON to valorize the liquid manure produced on farms, reducing crust and thus agitation times, promoting a correct maturation which prevents the formation of bad odors and compounds which "scorch" the crops on spreading, transforming the distribution of manure from simple spreading to organic fertilization.

His talk was also an occasion to share the contents of a study from the University of Milan published in the international scientific magazine "Sustainability" dedicated specifically to this additive (Borgonovo et al. of September 2019, Researchers highlighted how, on the fourth day following the first application of  SOP LAGOON, emissions were drastically reduced:

  • 100% of AMMONIA NH3
  • 100% of NITROUS OXIDE N20
  • 22.9% of CARBON DIOXIDE CO2
  • 21.5% of METHANE CH4.

Mr. Pozzato then went on to explain how, by using the products of the SOP CROP Line, it is possible to improve the absorption efficiency of nutrients, allowing farmers to reduce their use of synthetic fertilization by 30%, from the first year of use.

The synergy of the SOP products for crops with SOP LAGOON has allowed Frisia Farm to take full advantage of the liquid manure matured correctly and also reduce fertilization in the corn fields by 50%, without any negative effects on the yield or silage quality.

Regarding selective dry cow therapy and cell differential: a speech by Mr. Zanini

After the guided tours, Mr. Lucio Zanini (ARAL milk quality specialist) made an informal speech. 

His first comment regarded the participation of so many farmers at the open day, "it is very difficult to take farmers away from their farms, so it is necessary to find the right stimulation. Today is just what was needed". Subsequently, his reflections, and the data he supplied, clearly outlined the situation, regarding legislation, but not only, of farming today with respect to the subject of selective dry cow therapy and cell differential.

“The problem of mastitis and its management is a serious one and one which weighs significantly on the finances of every farm: for an average sized farm with about 150 head, its incidence on the farm finances may even lead to a loss of around 40 thousand Euro a year. This is data that is soon to be seen in an international scientific magazine, having recently been authorized in a scientific work”.

“Drying off dairy cows is an optimum animal husbandry tecnique but the EU is now requiring that from 2020 there is a 30% reduction in the use of antibiotics, forcing us to change the way in which we work so as to be in line with the obbligation of the  selective dry cow therapy set for 2022. Farms will have to reset their somatic cell and cell differential measuring systems to allow them to fulfill the legal obbligations without putting the herd in danger but preserving wellbeing”.

In the interview following his speech, Mr. Zanini brought up another delicate matter: the pressures consumers and legislators put on farms regarding sustainability. “What we need, in order to be able deal with this interference (instigated by bad communication), is a real farmers' movement, farmers working together to transmit a fundamental concept: correctly managed  intensive agriculture is less damaging and polluting than a domestically managed farm, with no means or investment. And this is not only my opinion, but also the opinion of many scientific studies".

Not only business

The Frisia Farm, SOP, Sgariboldi and Inseme not only collaborated in the organization of the open day, but also in the donation of €4,000 of technical means to support the development and modernization of agriculture in a village in Nepal.

“The first two of the 17 Sustainable Developement Goals identified by the United Nations are No Poverty and Zero Hunger” declared Marco Poggianella, CEO of SOP. “We believe that to achieve this, it is necessary to help farmers in all parts of the world to continue to cultivate their land. To this aim, the technical means, specifically regarding the cultivation of cereal and rice, will be sent directly to the local farmers of ONLUS Mariana (No Profit) which, for many years, has been working with the local communities there”.

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