Dairy Farm Efficiency in Galicia (NW of Spain)

C. J. ALVAREZ, M. CARDIN, E. M. MARTINEZ, X. X. NEIRA and T. S. CUESTA
University of Santiago de Compostela, Agricultural and Forestry Engineering Department,Campus Universitario s/n, E-27002, Lugo, Spain

Abstract

ALVAREZ, C. J., M. CARDIN, E. M. MARTINEZ, X. X. NEIRA and T. S. CUESTA, 2014. Dairy farm efficiency in Galicia (NW of Spain). Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 20: 51-55

 

A dairy cattle farming is the main industry in the Autonomous Community of Galicia, NW of Spain. The dairy sector is undergoing an important restructuring process prompted by the accession of Spain to the European Union in 1986. In the last twenty years, the great transformation of the sector has brought about the closure of less competitive farms. The break-even point for Galician farms is set at farms with 50 dairy cows, which means that only 5.4% of Galician farms are non-viable, even though the farms included in this percentage contain 20% of the cows required. An analysis of a representative sample of dairy farms has been carried out and the results obtained for labour productivity are very limited and burden farm profitability. A neural network was used to correlate farm variables such as milking system, cleaning system and feeding system with the labour required to perform these operations. The results of correlation analysis show a strong dependence between farm profitability and the milking, cleaning and feeding systems used. According to results, profitability increases with the increase in farm size. Considering the high potential for improvement of Galician farms, it has been concluded that further studies are required to determine the most suitable solutions for each particular farm and to achieve greater efficiency in production systems.

Key words: Neural network, productivity, efficiency, milk production

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