Our next tour takes place at Fäboda Gård, a family run Dairy farm from a small village called Ånäset in the county of Västerbotten which is North of Sweden.
Who are the owners of the farm and how long has the farm been operating?
Markus & Frida Stefansson own and operate the farm Fäboda Gård. They took over the farm in 2005. Markus is the 3rd generation to take over the family farm.
What is your Farm Size and what crops are grown?
Our farm is around 150ha. Our crops mostly consist of grass. We do also produce oats, peas and grain.
How many cows and young stock are located on your farm? What breed does your herd consist of?
We have around 75 cows and 60 young stock. Our herd is 90% Holstein, 60% are black and white and 30% are Red and White Holsteins. The rest of the herd consists of Canadian Ayrshire.
How many employees do you currently have working on your farm?
We currently have one farmhand, Frida. She is responsible for the animal’s well-being and daily chores around the farm. She is knowledgeable in all aspects of the farm and is able to run the farm by herself when we are away.
What is your average milk yield/cow?
Our herd averages around 10200 kg, 4.2%F, 3.38%p
What does the diet for your milking cows and young stock consist of?
Our cows are fed a TMR ration. Our young stock is fed mainly hay as well as a protein concentrate and minerals.
What is your Milk price per litre? Is the production for cheese, yoghurt, liquid milk?
Our current Milk price is 2.98 SEK/L. Our production goes towards Milk, Cheese, Yogurt and other dairy Products.
What is your farms Breeding objectives & considerations?
We focus on overall conformation with extra focus on feet and legs and height in their rear udders.
We really loved the old Canadian True Type Cows, such powerhouses such as Rainyridge Talent Barbara. We have purchased embryo’s from some great North American families such as Blondin Armani Salena who is a maternal sister to Blondin Destry Sally from Ferme Blondin. We currently have her on a flushing program. Other embryo purchases we have made came from Regancrest PR-Barbie, Glen Drummond Splendor, Aldonhill Brilliance-RED, Emlane Enhancer Maud-Red, Hanoverhill Roxette & Scientific Debutant Rae.
Two special ones we currently have on the farm are a Variant red heifer from the Regancrest PR-Barbie family and a Variant Red High Octane from Pennview Holsteins.
What Sires are currently being used on your farm?
Lading Park Talent is a bull that has made a great impact on our herd. We currently have 3 excellent daughters sired by him.
Holstein sires that we are also currently using are Gold Chip, High Octane and Bytes. For our Red Holsteins we are currently using Incredibull, Red Alert and Bretagne. Bending and Pokerstar are currently being used with our Ayrshire herd.
What temperature extremes are you faced with on your farm and how do you manage these factors?
Our winter temperatures can get quite cold reaching down to -30celcius. In 2009 we completed a new cow stable and at this time we made sure it was isolated to help keep our herd safe from the cold.
Our summers usually see a max temperature of +25celcius. To manage the heat our stables are equipped with fans.
What Type of housing is provided to your herd?
Our cows are provided with cubicles that have mattress’s and a saw dust bedding pack. From the time our calves are born and up to around 9 months, the calves and heifers stay in our older rebuilt stall barn. After 9 months until they are around 8 months pregnant they live in our free stall barn.
During the summer months the cows and heifers graze. It’s the law in Sweden to have the Dairy cattle out grazing for at least two months, depending on which part of the country you live in. With such a short summer a lot of work is put in a short order of time. Getting the pastures ready with fences and getting the seed into the ground needs to be handled efficiently.
What Type of parlour system is used on your farm?
Our milking is completed by a Lely A3 and they are milked 2 times a day. The cows are fed a ration while being milked. When we built and completed our new stable in 2009, we went from a tie stall barn to a free stable with 2 feeding rows. In Sweden many stables are built with 3 or 4 lines of cubilcles for feeding. We chose to operate with 2 lines so that every cow would have a place to eat at the same time.
Is there a Quota system in your region?
There used to be a Quota system but it was abolished on March 31, 2015.
How does the classification system work in your region?
The Swedish Holstein Association provides a classifier for both the Holstein and Ayrshire cattle. They come to the farm to classify twice a year.
Unique Facts about Fäboda Gård
- We live on the same latitude as parts of Alaska. We are located approximately 340km from the Polar Circle. This gives us a summer with a sun that over the horizon around 20 hours a day. Between May and June it is never dark.
- Due to a short and not very hot summer, we cannot grow corn and crops that need longer heat periods.
- Due to our hot summers our grass grows a bit faster than ordinary which makes it possible to get in three cuts if needed.