English / ILRI / Livestock / PIL / Southeast Asia / Vietnam

Hanoi training demonstrates feed management software for enhancing dairy production in Vietnam

Thinh Nguyen and Lucy Lapar with their training certificates

ILRI agricultural economists Lucy Lapar (fourth from right) and Thinh Nguyen (fifth from right) receive their training certificates (photo credit: USDA: Huong Nguyen).

A recent two-day training gave farmers and extension staff in Vietnam hands-on experience in using a livestock feeding software to improve feed management practices to enhance dairy cattle productivity while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from livestock.

Held 20–21 October 2016, the training was part of a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-led project on Enhanced Capacity-Low Emission Development Strategy (EC-LEDS), which is developing agricultural techniques that reduce GHG emissions in livestock production and extending them through Vietnam’s national agriculture extension system to farmers and other users in the country.

Experts from the University of California at Davis, USDA and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture demonstrated how the PCDairy software is used to formulate feed rations to meet the nutritional requirements of dairy animals using available feed ingredients at the lowest possible cost.

Training session on least-cost ration software

Farmers, extension staff and agricultural experts took part in the PCDairy training aimed at improving dairy productivity and reducing GHG emissions (photo credit: USDA/Huong Nguyen).

The PCDairy software has been adapted for use in some parts of Vietnam since its debut in a 2015 training program organized by USDA, MARD and UC Davis on software for beef cattle.

It contains an extensive feed library with information on nutrient content of different feed types available and used in Vietnam, which can be updated by users with locally available feeds and current market prices, as well as animal information (e.g. weight, milk yield, body weight, etc.) to calculate a least-cost ration for different types of dairy cows—lactating, dry or growing.

Its use will help dairy farmers increase their profits by estimating the quantity of milk based on a balanced feed ration and current feed and milk prices. The tool will also estimate GHG emissions based on feeding rations.

Extension staff and farmers from six provinces in northern Vietnam, namely Son La, Hanoi, Ha Nam, Vinh Phuc, Thanh Hoa and Nghe An, as well as lecturers and students of Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) and agricultural experts from non-governmental organizations working in the livestock sector attended the training.

Hanoi-based agricultural economists Lucy Lapar and Thinh Nguyen from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) attended the training and said it would be worth exploring using the tool in ILRI’s livestock value chain research in Vietnam and in similar ration-balancing tools in feeding pigs and poultry.

The training was organized by USDA in collaboration with the National Agriculture Extension Center (NAEC) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Learn more about ILRI’s efforts to improve feeding techniques for dairy cattle in India.

Read an article on an ILRI project that focuses on mitigating GHG emissions from Vietnamese agriculture.

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