Technical assistance and seasonality in the diet and production of dairy herds in household agriculture of Western Paraná
Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
The objective of the present study was to characterize the food sources, as well as the composition and quality of milk obtained from household farms of western Paraná State (Brazil) with and without technical assistance during the different seasons. For such, 24 properties were selected, 12 of which only received assistance and technical support. Four milk samples were taken (summer, autumn, winter and spring) to assess the physicochemical composition, somatic cell count and total bacterial
... total bacterial count and feed supplied to the animals to assess the chemical composition (crude protein, ash, dry matter and neutral detergent fiber). The data were analyzed in a completely randomized design with a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement; the first factor was the presence and absence of technical assistance and the second factor was the four seasons of the year. Due to the dairy tradition of properties in the region, technical assistance had no significant effects on the health and nutritional quality of food, the number of animals, the production, or total bacterial count, which suffered oscillations only depending on the seasons of the year. However, the presence of assistance contributed to reducing somatic cell counts of milk produced and marketed. The technical assistance does not affect the quality of forages and concentrates used or the milk composition; however, it improves the sanitary quality of the milk produced throughout the four seasons of the year in household farms of western Paraná.