Visit to the Peine family – milk production with grassland and animal feed production I’m Christoph Peine, and I’m 27 years old. I started my agricultural education at the age of 16. Then I did my masters, … … so that was at a higher agricultural university in Meschede for two years. And then I entered the familiy business here with my father. Yes, it’s simply a tradition in our family … … and I got into it from an early age and enjoyed it. And that’s why our farm has expanded and grown again and again. My father also invested and kept operations modern. We farm an area of around 130 ha. Of which 20 ha are grassland, the rest is arable farming land. We grow sugar beet, wheat and silo corn. We have 150 dairy cows, plus the female calves. That means another 120 animals. Our core business is milk production. That’s our specialty. We are really good at it, so that’s why we do it. Milk is a very important food … … and a very high quality food. And so I think that, as living standards increase, sales should continue to be guaranteed. Here at Daseburg, in the centre of the Warburger Börde, we have … … Loam-free soil with very good soil profiles from 70 to 90. Good returns are possible here. We have to pay attention to the high quality of animal feed. The grass must be young and fresh. The grass is then well absorbed and contains the most energy. We must not mow too short and the feed must be soil-free … … and of course not contain any weeds. This is how the cows like to eat it. Of course, the harvest is important too. So that the grass is only slightly wilted: not too wet and not too dry. Then you have to pay close attention and wait for the weather … … and then mow and harvest accordingly. With grassland, it is okay to harrow … … because the sward is opened and lifted … …and some of the grass is pulled out. We currently milk 130 cows. The cows are milked in the double-eight fishbone milking parlour. That means 16 cows at once. It takes us two hours for milking including cleaning. At the moment we produce around 3,500 litres of milk a day. Our animals are kept mainly in the barn. The dairy cows spend two hours per day in a small meadow in good weather … … to get a bit of exercise. Of course, if milk prices are poor, things will get very tight. Then you will have to look at savings in all areas. But if you make too many savings in the wrong areas, … … the effects are negative and the performance drops. Namely, if you use less fertiliser, if you use less concentrated feed … … or worse feed crops. When it comes to grassland, we try to start fertilising … … when the deadline period for applying slurry is over … … with manure. After that, we use calcium ammonium nitrate between the cuts. In March, as soon as you can drive well on the land we fertilise with Magnesia-Kainit. Kainite is important for the grassland, … … to replenish the basic nutrients and, of course, to replenish the sodium balance … … and thus improve the palatability of the grass. This then also affects the feed intake and leads to a higher milk yield. In any case, our soils are well stocked with nutrients and we can achieve high yields. We lack nothing. The result is ultimately reflected in the volume of milk and also in the health of the animals. If you have done everything right, then you can be satisfied. That is our meaning of success. If you improve on something every year and are better than others maybe – … … that is also a motivation. And that makes work easier, even if you have to work on public holidays.