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Delhi Wine Club
Maha Cows May Give More & Better Milk

Posted: Thursday, 08 December 2011 18:24

Maha Cows May Give More & Better Milk

Dec 08 : Maharashtra dairy farmers as well as those in Karnataka may be able to increase the quantity of their milk as well improve it , thanks to new research by Aussie scientists that finds that leftovers from red wine making including pips, skins and stems increase the healthy fatty acids in their milk and increase the quantity by 5%, and it is also better for the environment with reduced methane emissions.

New research conducted at the Victorian Department of Primary Industries dairy research centre and announced today announced these results potentially helping both the environment and agriculture

The dairy cows were fed five kilograms of grape marc each day for more than a month in the study, while another group was fed conventional fodder. The impact of the different diets on the cows was then assessed as scientists measured methane emissions, milk production and milk composition, according to the report.

The grape marc eaten by the cows came in two forms; pelletized or in its normal state - which resembles a dark blend of coffee beans and potting mix. According to the department's scientist Peter Moate, this latter form of grape marc smells 'like a glass of stale red wine the next day', but when mixed with crushed wheat and hay it proved appetizing to the animals.

The study is believed to be the first of its kind in the world to measure the methane emissions from cows fed grape marc, as well as the feed supplement's impact on milk. ''We now know that supplementing a dairy cow's diet with dried grape marc increases the healthy fatty acids in milk by more than six times that of standard autumn fodder,'' Moate said.

These fatty acids are apparently known to help fight arthritis, diabetes and cancer, and to benefit heart health. The research also indicated that cows that had consumed grape marc produced milk with a higher level of antioxidants.

But Dr Moate said the key finding of the project was the substantial reduction in methane emissions from cows fed grape marc, which often now is simply ploughed into the soil.

This step could prove beneficial to the wine producers of red wine but -a food for thought, for Maharashtra’s neighbouring dry state Gujarat known for Amul milk and the resulting dairy revolution.  Would the government allow it? Too early to speculate but the day may not be far.


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