“Dairy farming that is good for people and cows” proven by BIOTREX analysis

Hokkaido – Mr. Takeshi Uno

Interview from 2013

In the town of Teshio in northern Hokkaido, Mr. Takeshi Uno, who is in his seventh year of farming, is actively engaged in consolidated grazing. On the soil of the grazing and pasture land, he recorded an astonishing microbial performance index of 1.97 million.

Although Mr. Uno humbly attributes this success to simply practicing dairy farming that is friendly to both people and cows, we had the opportunity to hear about the secrets behind these high values 

Q. Please tell us how you started management-intensive grazing and your efforts.

During my time as a university student, a lab teacher introduced me to the concept of intensive grazing in New Zealand. This method involves feeding cows with grazing grass, resulting in high milk production. As someone who values cows eating green grass, I found this topic particularly interesting. 
Intensive grazing is a dairy farming method that allows cows to live longer and healthier lives while requiring minimal human involvement, except for milking. This method benefits both cows and humans, as cows are free to behave naturally, and humans have more time for themselves. Here in Teshio Town, there are many barns, and only about 10% of farms practice grazing. On my farm, we divide the grazing area into sections every half day.  
I manage it so that it doesn’t grow too much, because the shorter the grass, the more nutritious it is. I would like to continue with the self-supplied feed only, but at the moment I am also giving mixed feed, and the milk yield is about 7000 kg per cow. 

A plate with BIOTREX analysis results of Mr. Uno’s pasture soil. The microbial performance index has a very high value of 1,977,594.  

Calves born on pasture. 

Q. Where did you learn about the BIOTREX analysis?

I attend the “Grass Farming School,” organized by the Agricultural Research Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (SARIA), twice a year, in summer and winter. Dr. Kazunari Yokoyama from the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) Central Agricultural Research Center serves as an instructor and provided guidance on analysis. As an experiment, I decided to take a soil sample from a plot used for both haymaking and grazing and had it tested.  

Q. How did you feel about the analysis results?

To be honest, I was surprised when Naomi Sakuramoto, president of DGC Technology, told me that the microbial performance index was 1.97 million and the deviation was 80 or more. In the seven years since I started farming, I have only added compost every other year and have not used any chemical fertiliser.  
However, before the analysis, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be good if it reached around 1 million?” and I didn’t imagine that such a high value would be obtained. The soil on my ranch also decomposes manure very quickly, so I suspect that has something to do with the high levels. 
I paid for it myself, but it gave me confidence in what I was doing, so in my opinion it was well worth it. 

Muddy meadow after rain.

Q. How do you plan to use the BIOTREX analysis in the future?

I want to achieve better results. I am confident in my grass management and want to create pastures where the cows can graze evenly. I will ask you to test again after a while. I would like to use the BIOTREX analysis as one of the indicators of my progress.