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Since its early days, the Dairy Industry in Israel has been an important aspect in the development of the agricultural sector in the country.
Dairy farming has been transformed into an industrialized system, creating optimal integration between the production unit (the cow), technologies and equipment (engineering), the operator (the farmer) and the production environment (the dairy farm).
Producing more milk with less dairy cows improves the economic performance of the farm unit and also drastically reduces the ecological imbalance in the country. Israel is not bound by agricultural traditions, and Israeli farmers integrate many new ideas into their farming systems. Integration of co-operative ideas has provided even the small farmer in Israel with technological access to modern and to up-to-date know-how, through extension services.
For many years much attention has been given to minimize the “heat stress” on the dairy cow. Even in Israel’s extreme climate (temp. & relative humidity), the Israeli Holstein Friesien Cows are among the world’s best performing dairy cows.
Population of Israel: ~ 8.500.000
Dairy Cows in 2017: 135.000
Production averages per cow 2017:
milk-production: 12,083 Kg
fat content: 3.86% - 458 Kg.
protein content: 3.42% - 402 Kg.
somatic cell count: 218,000/ml 
Total milk production in 2017:
1,560 million liters cows milk
10.3  million liters sheep milk
14.03 million liters goat milk
Most of the Dairy cows (90%) are registered in the Israeli Holstein Friesien Herdbook of the I.C.B.A. (Israel Cattle Breeders Association). Insemination is provided, regardless of the cost & quality of the semen and is based on the guided by the database compiled over the years. The Holstein Friesien black & white cow is recognized as the most efficient milk producer in respect of total yearly milk-production in liters, fat and protein per kg.
Because of the lack in natural resources, difficult climate and intensive farming, much attention is given to correct feeding of the cow. It is essential to provide the animal a constant & well-balanced feed ration, which provides all her requirements throughout the year. Based on reliable on-line feed ingredient analysis, computer cost/benefit calculated feed rations are provided in such a way that the animal can efficiently produce milk.
The Israeli dairy farmer incorporates all modern equipment, improving the overall performance of the systems. International Equipment manufacturers use Israeli test farms as beta-site for the development of their equipment in close collaboration with local farmers. Israeli companies have developed manufactured “high-tech” computer based management systems and dairy equipment, which are sold worldwide. Close control of the many production variables enables the farmer to follow the “performance” pf each individual cow.
Much attention is given to the design and establishment of the production environment adapted to the needs of cows and farmers. Reducing the “heat stress” on the cow, with active evaporative cooling systems and well designed animal housing structures, have an enormous positive impact on the production level (milk yield).
The larger production units operate al lower costs and can implement more advanced technologies / systems, which are out of the reach of small farmers. Buying services for private small farms from more cost effective units is economically feasible. However in Israel some groups of farmers have organized themselves into farmer’s co-operatives supplying many basic and professional services to member farmers. This has developed into “Integrated Dairy Production Developments” and leas to the establishment of “Centralized Multi-Farm Developments”.
The Israeli Dairy industry can provide first class, proven know-how & design, technology, equipment, genetic material. etc., as the basis for the establishment / upgrading of the dairy industry in other countries especially with similar climatic conditions. On farms in Asia where Israeli ideas/systems have been implemented, cows achieved far higher production levels than before. Milk quality also improved, thus increasing shelf life of the dairy product. More attention should be given to “heat stress” reduction, to correct feeding and feeding practices, to the animal housing/production environment and to the implementation of a modern dairy management package.

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