Many times when we compare agriculture in Canada versus the United States we tend to focus on the differences. When in reality there are more similarities between the two countries. This week I went to Indianapolis with Dow Agro Sciences to learn about the things that the company is working on.
Before we went to the airport we had a chance to tour Kelsay Farms, a dairy in Whiteland which is a half hour out of Indy. There are two main differences between US and Canadian dairies. One is of course the quota marketing in Canada and the other is the much larger dairies in the US. Joe Kelsay referred to the quota by saying that in 2009 milk prices in the US were very depressed and he said it was one of the toughest years ever for his 6th generation dairy farm.
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Outside of the size differences of the dairies, the production methods seem to be very same. I would imagine that there are more robotic milkers in the US for sure because of the US dairy size justifies that kind of investment. Joe Kelsay himself said that much of the milking technology is similar in both countries.
In terms of feed the Kelsay’s feed a combination of brewsters grain, DDG’s, corn silage and hay. The Kelsay’s milk 450 cows three times a day. Joe mentioned that this allows them to maximize production.
One of the big challenges for the Kelsays is their proximity to the city. To educate their city neighbours on farm life and alos create more revenue for the farm, the Kelsay’s do a lot in terms of agri-tourism. Starting on weekends in October people can come out to the Kelsay farm for a dairy tour, hay rides, and the ever popular corn maze.
I would like to thank Joe Kelsay (Kelsay Farms) for his great hospitality and allowing us full access to his dairy farm.