Mustiala herd

Organic milk is the main product of Mustiala campus farm. The herd consists of about 75 cows. They represent the different dairy breeds common in Finland. The main breeds are Ayrshire and Holstein, but the three Finncattle breeds, Western, Eastern and Northern, diversify the cattle, together with a few Jersey and Brown Swiss cows. Bull calves and some beef breed cross calves are sold to other farms for beef production.

Developing dairy production depends on data. The cooperation dairy, Valio, provides via their Valma system data about milk contents and quality every other day and analyses the feed samples. Valma also has a tool for farms to calculate their carbon footprint. The automatic milking system gives the daily amounts of milk for each cow and the whole herd. The system also shows how many times a cow has visited the milking robot as well as the fat and protein content of her milk. Measuring the milk electrical conductivity and cell count is used to ensure the quality of the milk and to monitor udder health.

The cows get their concentrate feed rations from the milking robot. Feeding is based on frequently updated feeding plans. The dairy cows are fed partial mixed ration (PMR) consisting of organic feeds produced on the Mustiala farm. The heifers and dry cows get total mixed ration (TMR) feed. The Lely Vector feeding system distributes the feeds automatically to the different groups of animals.

Mustiala cattle has been part of the Finnish dairy farm performance information system since the 1930s. Today the system covers also health control data, conformation recording and genomics testing. As a result of goal-oriented development, our organic cattle grazing the traditional biotopes of Mustiala is both pleasing to the eye and economically viable.