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AN ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY OF DAIRY FARMS IN FIJI

  • Kerr, D.V. ;
  • Fell, R.F. ;
  • Murray, A.J. ;
  • Chaseling, J.
  • Received : 1994.06.21
  • Accepted : 1995.05.10
  • Published : 1995.10.01

Abstract

A survey of physical inputs was conducted on the total population of dairy farms supplying milk to the Rewa cooperative dairy company in Fiji. The critical inputs associated with total farm milk production were determined using multiple regression, with analyses being conducted for each of the three identified supplier groups, bulk milk, canned milk and cream. Mean annual milk production per cow averaged 1460 (s.d. = 319), 889 (s.d. = 321) and 800 (s.d. = 451) litres for the bulk milk, canned milk and cream suppliers respectively. Stocking rate averaged 1.37 (s.d. = 1.18) cows per hectare over all farms. Inputs to pasture were universally low and Navua sedge (Cyperus aromaticus) was identified as a major weed. The average amount of supplement fed annually on a grain equivalent basis was 700 (s.d. = 984) kg per cow for bulk milk, 84 (s.d. = 198) kg per cow for canned milk and 146 (s.d. = 542) kg per cow for cream suppliers. The analysis of data from a small group of farms using nitrogen fertiliser indicated that their production levels were higher than the general population. This suggests that there is potential for the Fijian dairy industry to increase milk production through the use of higher inputs to cows and pastures. The regression models relating annual milk production from farms to the two key inputs of number of cows milked and the amount of supplement fed were all significant (p < 0.001). The coefficients of determination for these models ranged from 56.9 to 89.4 percent.

Keywords

Dairying;Farming System;Regression;Fiji