How to succeed in the dairy business in our difficult time

Andrey Romanov, APH “Zalesye” In the current situation, you need to find a balance at the expense of your own feed
Streda Consulting and Milknews talked with Andrey Romanov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of one of the most successful farms in the Kaliningrad region, APH Zalesye, about how to succeed in the dairy business in our difficult times.

On November 26, at 12:00, an online presentation of the first rating of dairy farms by productivity, compiled by the consulting agency Streda Consulting and Milknews together with Soyuzmoloko, will take place. On the eve of this event, we talked with Andrey Romanov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of one of the most successful farms in the Kaliningrad region, APH Zalesye, about how to succeed in the dairy business in our difficult times.
Milknews: In your opinion, what is the key to the success of dairy farming these days?

A. Romanov: In the field of animal husbandry, as well as in the agro-industrial business in general, it is important to introduce technological innovations. The use and combination of technologies allows you to open up new opportunities and horizons.
Milknews: What technological innovations are you implementing in milk production?

We see two main directions of innovation implementation. The first is work in the direction of breeding and genetics, which makes it possible to improve feed conversion, livestock health, and, as a result, reduce veterinary costs, while increasing the effective life expectancy of cows.
The second is work in feed production. Obtaining our own high-quality feed allows us to reduce the cost of purchased, primarily high-protein concentrates. This is especially relevant in the current market situation, when the growth rates of prices for such feeds are measured by tens of percent.
Milknews: What innovations and technologies do you use to develop breeding and genetics? Is the geography of supplies of the cattle you have raised expanding?
A. Romanov: We are trying to use all modern achievements in the field of breeding and genetics. But our main goal is to increase the effective life expectancy of cows and reduce culling. This gives us the opportunity to increase the supply of breeding stock to other regions of the Russian Federation. The geography of supplies is expanding, and we see this as a prospect.
Milknews: In 2020, you implemented a rather unique project for Russia – you opened a modern breeding and genetic center. What has been achieved in the first year of work, and what are the plans for further development of this project?
A. Romanov: First of all, we have gained invaluable experience. After all, this is a completely new type of activity for us, which, like everything new, required a lot of effort to launch. Plus, the conditions of the pandemic also overlapped, which we could not take into account in our plans in any way.
The sale of genetic material is connected with direct contacts between the buyer and the seller. This is not a product that can be sold through advertising in the media. When the possibility of these contacts was interrupted, it directly affected sales volumes, and we were unable to reach the planned targets. But now the situation is improving. We are adapting to work in new conditions, and I am sure that we will achieve our stated goals.
Milknews: Do you plan to expand production capacity in the raw milk segment?
A. Romanov: We are planning to build another complex for 35 thousand tons of milk per year. Now the object is in the design stage. We expect to build and put it into operation in 2022-2023. The milk produced there will be processed at the LLC “DMS-Vostok” plant, which will also be launched in 2023.
Milknews: How will the opening of the DMS Vostok plant affect the Kaliningrad region’s milk market?
A. Romanov: The appearance of this enterprise in the Kaliningrad region will give a new impetus to the development of dairy farming in the region and bring new products both to the Russian market and for export.
Milknews: What volumes of milk production do you plan to receive by the end of the year? Will the volumes increase or decrease compared to 2020?
A. Romanov: We will increase milk production to the level of 2020 and plan their annual growth in the future.
Milknews: Profitability in the dairy market has been falling recently, due to an increase in the cost of raw materials due to the rise in price of its components. How do you manage to maintain a high level of efficiency in such difficult conditions?
A. Romanov: First of all, at the expense of their own feed, which, with high quality indicators, allow not only to save on purchased raw materials, but also to maintain the health of the herd. In the current market situation, given the rising prices for feed additives, veterinary drugs, and care products, it is necessary to find a balance at the expense of their own feed, careful preparation of the diet and monitoring of the company’s own economy.
Milknews: What advice could you give to other farms to improve production efficiency?
Go ahead boldly. There have been crises in our industry more than once, and when the situation stabilizes, the dairy farming sector reaches an economically high level. Also, of course, you need to believe in your business. We produce food for the population – we do hard but noble work. It has always been and will always be an important component of society.
You can join the online presentation of the first rating of dairy farms by productivity by registering at the link.
The project was supported by industry leaders: the general partner of the rating was the company “Kocent Rus”, the official partner is the company Pecus International. The rating partner is Cargill.
All ratings can be found on the website: /
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