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Betting on VikingRed for fruitful robot milking

Amid the Argentine Pampas, a pure VikingRed herd is making waves and produces top-quality milk in a robot milking system.

La Inesita dairy farm, owned by the Brito family, is located near Highway 35 in the Córdoba Province, one of Argentina’s busiest. In a country dominated by North American Holsteins, this colourful setup never fails to catch the eye of passers-by and visitors.

Visitors and tourists like to stop and buy fresh milk or cheese at the farm. However, what many find so curious about the red cow setup is their DeLeval milking robot – they were only the third farm in Argentina to have one.

Before starting La Inesita, the Britos had already experienced the benefits of the VikingRed. While they previously milked a crossbred herd of Argentine Holstein of North American origin, New Zealand Jerseys and VikingRed bulls were also on a farm they rented.

They soon found that the healthiest and highest-producing cows in the herd were the VikingRed-sired cows. With this in mind, when they decided to take a step towards a robot farm on the newly acquired five hectares of land, the obvious choice was to go “All Red”.

Hearing this news, and as breeder and distributor of VikingRed and VikingGenetics in Argentina, Elisabeth Avendaño was happy to support this new and different initiative. She sent 30 pregnant cows and heifers to help the Britos get started and set up the farm as a “shop window" for the VikingRed.

VikingRed Argentina La Inesita Elisabeth Avendaño

Trouble-free, easygoing cows

The patient and expert training of the Britos and the calm, easygoing temperament of the VikingRed has proven to be a match made in heaven, facilitating the new farm’s success. The Pampas-born-and-raised heifers have taken to the robot without issue, making the family’s life much easier and production more efficient, with most cows visiting the robot four times a day.

Another trait of the trouble-free VikingReds that the Britos greatly enjoy is their excellent calving ease. “Watching the cows simply lay down and after scarcely 15 minutes of labour produce a healthy and vigorous calf - and both mother and calf being rapidly on their feet again, is something not so frequently seen in herds that mainly consist of larger US Holstein crosses,” explains Elisabeth.

"We have never had a doubt about the choice of breed", says Martin. "We need healthy, trouble-free cows to produce rich and nutritious milk; they must have healthy udders and not need to be treated with antibiotics. With their unique selection of health traits, VikingRed was the obvious choice,” he adds.

The results have been a welcome surprise and very encouraging, which Martín proudly explains with a smile: “Some of the cows produce upwards of 40 litres per day. We do not see this on our pasture-based farm.”

VikingRed Argentina La Inesita Elisabeth Avendaño

Nourishing milk, thriving business

The Britos aim to produce healthy and nourishing milk for consumption and cheese production. “We want to produce real milk so that Argentinean children can have daily access to a glass of natural, rich, healthy and nutritious milk,” says Martín Brito, herd manager and nutritionist, echoing his family’s philosophy.

A good, natural diet plays an essential role in this. Despite not having access to pastures where the cows can graze daily, the Britos still believe in the importance of offering the cows a simple, natural diet.

“The diet consists mainly of high-quality alfalfa hay, delivered from parts of Argentina where the soil and climate bring forth multiple harvests per year of protein-rich lucerne,” Martín explains. Only molasses is added to the hay, and the cows are fed 4 kg of concentrates during their frequent visits to the milking robot.

To foster the herd’s quick and sustainable growth, the cows are inseminated with X-Vik sexed semen from the best VikingRed bulls available.

The Britos have also set up their own dairy and cheese shop in Córdoba City, “Sol Argentino”, to great success among locals and visitors. The Britos’ dream is for La Inesita and Sol Argentino to keep growing and, in a few years, become "Cabaña El Sol Argentino”, where guests can truly experience the Argentine Pampas and try high-quality red cow cheese.

Learn more about VikingRed
VikingRed Argentina La Inesita Elisabeth Avendaño

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