sanagro milk


The AFG farm in Turčianske Teplice has increased milk production, its quality, but also the level of animal care. When the agricultural group SANAGRO became AFG's largest creditor at the beginning of 2019, it immediately started the process of farm recovery.

However, this was not only about its management due to the large debt, the threat of bankruptcy and the loss of jobs for dozens of people; it also concerned livestock and crop production. The latter had to improve considerably in order to be able to be more productive than in the past.

The low milk production on the AFG farm in Turčianske Teplice had several causes. It was not only due to the dairy crisis in 2016, which affected the entire sector across Slovakia, but also deeply affected AFG's operations and the entire livestock production. The sharp drop in milk prices at that time caused companies, including the Turčianske Teplice company, to limit themselves to buying the most essential commodities. At the same time, there was the problem of a shortage of straw, which is used to bed the animals. This has to be changed regularly. "SANAGRO immediately solved this problem with the help of the other farms it owns. We obtained the straw from the neighbouring PD Turiec cooperative, a member of the Sanagro group. recalls Peter Matula, chief zootechnician of the AFG farm.

It is also worth mentioning, according to him, that immediately after joining the company, SANAGRO took over the guarantees for the purchase of nuclear feed and various minerals for the animals, thus ensuring their adequate and even nutrition. "We use only non-GMO soybean meal for milk production" says Peter Ujmiak, SANAGRO's executive director for the Turiec region, who is in charge of AFG's economic recovery, as SANAGRO bought the company's million-dollar debt, which almost brought it to its knees, making it its biggest creditor. At the same time, AFG's zootechnicians have been provided with regular consultations with its experienced zootechnician Vojtech Horváth, who looks after the cattle on all the farms belonging to the SANAGRO group. "The advice is invaluable," admits Matula.

Package of measures

So with the arrival of SANAGRO, a bad situation started to change. Whereas last year AFG was able to obtain an average of 21.45 litres of milk per adult cow, the current figure is over 24 litres. This figure is expected to rise further as the year progresses. "We create ideal conditions for regularity, especially in feeding the cattle, but also in their treatment. Increasing the care of the technology on the farm has also been essential, and we are now rectifying faults immediately. We have also started to make changes to the rearing system for newborn calves," Peter Matula, AFG zootechnician, lists a number of measures, adding that one of the main priorities is to improve the breeding environment for dairy cows.

What is needed, he said, is a job well done by the cattle handlers. If their work is well done, it will come back to society in the form of higher milk production. And they are gradually meeting this, even in a situation where AFG has reduced the number of adult cows. "We had to cull those on the AFG farm that were not producing enough milk. However, we have included young cows that will help to increase milk production more significantly in the future," confirms Peter Ujmiak.

Currently, according to his words, milk from the AFG farm goes to the Hriňovská Koliba dairy. This year AFG plans to deliver 3.5 million litres of milk to the market.

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