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Turnaround on dairy farms in Slovenia using NorFor

Report by Tadej Virk, cattle nutritionist in Slovenia

As a young and passionate nutritionist in Slovenia I saw a potential to turnaround losses into profits on the dairy farms I worked with. The dairy farmers were in a dire economic situation. However, it was obvious there was unused production potential to explore.

I want to share my experience to show that there is a huge economic and production potential to be unleashed if you are dedicated and work systematically while having the right tools.

Most Slovenian dairy farms are family farms with 10 to 20 dairy cows producing just below 7 000 Kgs/cow/year. Roughly 20% of the milk production is exported and the milk price has remained very low compared to the rest of EU. These puts a strong economic pressure on the dairy farmer to keep production going and the family income on acceptable levels.

While working as dairy nutritionist advisor for the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia (KGZS), I could see that the nutrition models used at that time weren’t sharp enough to create the results I aimed for. After testing many different tools and models, in May 2016 I was introduced to NorFor and since November 2016 I have been using it daily.


During October 2015 work started at Bojan Miklavžina’s farm to increase milk yield and turn losses into profits. The owner of the farm, Bojan Miklavžina (38), cultivates around 25 ha. of land of which more than 80 % of it is permanent grassland. In 2014, a brand new barn with 54 cubicles for milking cows including dry cows and high pregnant heifers was built. They currently milk 35 cows and have 10 dry cows with high pregnant heifers plus young heifers and calves. To summarize, 65 head of cattle of mainly Holstein breed and 20% of the herd is Brown. Milk yield per cow is constantly rising, and it accelerated when Bojan decided to use an advisor for cow nutrition and management.

Since we started using NorFor in the farm in May 2017, the increase of milk production has been about 7 kg of ECM/cow/day, a real success. The feeding practise is now TMR instead of PMR and we use restrictive feeding for dry cows and high pregnant heifers, as recommended by NorFor.

From the very start, full attention was given to producing good quality forages. Also, feeding soda grain to cows to increase protein content in milk was introduced. In 2017, they increased the yearly milk production per cow from 6896 kg ECM to 7293 kg ECM . Results pleased Bojan. In the start of 2018 according to milk recording average milk yield per cow have risen to 10.300 kg per cow.

Planning and follow ups as key

Just as my clients, I want to see fast results from my efforts. Results mean more efficient milk production, especially when the milk prices drop down significantly. One of the most valuable tools in NorFor Feed Ration Optimizer, in my opinion, is the Feeding Control. It is the basis for an efficient milk production. When you are working with high producing dairy cows and farmers who demand good advisory service you need tools to plan and tools to follow up the output to learn and make progress. NorFor is my first choice and there is no question about it.

For more information about Tadej's work do not hesitate to contact him at


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