Tropical Dairy Farming


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Shows smallholder dairy farmers in the humid tropics how to improve feeding of cows cost-effectively.

Tropical Dairy Farming is a manual designed for use by dairy production advisors working in tropical areas, especially in South-East Asia. It aims to increase the productivity of small holder dairy farmers in the humid tropics by improving the feeding management of their livestock. It shows how to provide dairy cows with cost-effective feeds that match small holder farming systems and discusses the major obstacles to improving feeding management in the humid tropics. + Full description

The author shows the benefits and drawbacks of various feed components and the calculation of balanced diets based mainly on forages combined with some supplementary feeding. Diseases and problems associated with unbalanced diets are also covered, as well as important information on growing and conserving quality forages as silage.

The book draws on examples from a variety of countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, East Timor and the Philippines.

- Short description


No longer available in a print edition.



  • Nutritional requirements of cows in terms of energy, protein and fibre.
  • Comparisons of feeds on the basis of their nutritional value.
  • Principles of growing quality forages.
  • Making quality silage.
  • Explains the impact of nutrition on milk production, health and reproduction, and the growth of young dairy stock.
  • Balancing diets in terms of energy, protein and fibre.
  • Shows how forage and feed supplements interact and determine profitability.

CSIRO Publishing would like to thank the Crawford Fund whose generous financial support made the publication of this work possible.


  1. Introduction
  2. Tropical dairy systems
  3. Small holder dairying
  4. What is in feeds?
  5. How the rumen works
  6. Nutrient requirements of dairy cows
  7. How feed requirements change during lactation
  8. Growing quality forages
  9. Making quality silage
  10. Supplements for milking cows
  11. Milk responses to supplements
  12. Formulating a diet
  13. Problems with unbalanced diets
  14. Diet and milk production
  15. Nutrition and fertility
  16. Nutrition and young stock
  17. Economics of milk production
  18. Body condition scoring
  19. Overcoming environmental constraints to cow performance
  20. Future developments in feeding management in the humid tropics


Dr John Moran, a dairy adviser with the Victorian government, has lived and worked in Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and China) over many years and has written several books on management of dairy stock. His initial training in a systems approach to livestock science, with his many years working closely with the dairy industries of Australia and South-East Asia, stands him in great stead to write this book. This is both a training manual of dairy cow nutrition plus a series of observations on how successful and profitable small holder farmers manage their dairy herds.

Dr John Moran is a senior scientist at Kyabram Dairy Research Centre DPI (Victoria) and is deeply involved with improving the profitability of cattle producers in the dairy and beef industries.