Advances in Applied Agricultural Sciences 03 (2015), 01: 11-17
Factors affecting milk fat percentage and solids-not-fat percentage and milk price of dairy cattle in humid tropics
Marykutty Thomas 1* and Manju Sasidharan 1
1 Livestock Research Station, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Thiruvazhamkunnu, Palakkad, Kerala, India.
Multiple component pricing based on percentages of fat and solids- not -fat (SNF) in milk is employed by dairy co-operatives to fix the price of milk collected from dairy farmers in Kerala (India). A retrospective study was conducted to determine herd milk fat percentage and solids-not-fat (SNF) percentage and milk price in an organised dairy farm over the period from 2009 to 2013. The influence of year, season and month on milk composition and price were also analysed. The mean fat %, SNF % and price of milk per kilogram of the morning herd milk were 3.71%, 8.51% and Rs. 28.67, while those of the afternoon herd milk were 4.8%, 8.39% and Rs. 30.59 respectively. The year, season and month had a highly significant influence (p≤0.01) on milk composition. The SNF % in the morning milk and both fat % and SNF % of afternoon milk were the lowest in the summer season. The summer season recorded drops of 1.59 % and 2.39 % in fat % of the morning and afternoon herd milk respectively; and drops of 1.44 % and 1.64 % in SNF % of morning and afternoon herd milk. The year and month of milk production had highly significant (p≤0.001) influence on per kilogram pooled milk price. Milk fetched the lowest price in March, when losses of Rs. 0. 49 and Rs. 0. 80 per kilogram of morning and afternoon pooled milk (equivalent to 1.68% and 2.57%) were evidenced. The results of the present study calls for a state specific milk composition data as the mean SNF percentage did not comply with provisions in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1955. Economic loss incurred due to variations in milk composition during summer points towards the need for special support pricing for milk during these months.
Keywords: Herd milk composition, Milk price, Season