• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Introduction
 Historical perspective
 Feeds and feeding
 Milk production and consumptio...
 Economics
 Transportation
 Diseases
 Research and extension
 The Northeast
 Conclusion
 Acknowledgement
 Reference






Title: Dairying in the kingdom of Thailand
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091674/00001
 Material Information
Title: Dairying in the kingdom of Thailand
Alternate Title: Dairy science research report DY 72-3 ; Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Benya, Edward George
Chakriyarat, S.
Wilcox, C. J.
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: November 1, 1972
Copyright Date: 1972
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: Asia -- Thailand
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091674
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: 316332891 - OCLC

Table of Contents
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Historical perspective
        Page 2
    Feeds and feeding
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Milk production and consumption
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Economics
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Transportation
        Page 15
    Diseases
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Research and extension
        Page 20
        Page 21
    The Northeast
        Page 22
    Conclusion
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Acknowledgement
        Page 24
    Reference
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
Full Text



SFLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
.... Gainesville, Florida


Dairy Science Research Report -DY72-3
l "- November 1, 1972'

DAIRYING IN THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND:
HISTORY, PERSPECTIVES AND TRENDS1

E. G. Benya2, S. Chakriyarat3, and C. J. Wilcox4


Thailand is located in the humid tropics embracing an area from 5 toi.
21* north latitude and 97 to 1060 east longitude (10). It occupies
about 514,000 square kilometers (about 4/5 the size of the state of
Texas) (10, 19). There are three major climatic regions, the
largest being the monsoon, having a rainy summer (May to September)
and dry winter (November to March). The Squthern peninsula region
experiences a fairly even precipitation distribution all year and
this factor distinguishes it from the monsoonal areas to the north
(20). In the mountainous northern regions, mountain climates may
be observed to varying degrees on different mountains, depending on
size, altitude, wind and solar effects (10). Precipitation averages
about 1900 mm throughout the country but varies greatly from a low
of about 600 mm in areas like Nakhon Panom to a high of 6000 mm in
Khlong Yai during some years (17). Mean annual temperature is about
27 C, but temperatures vary from 3.0 to 44 C, depending on region
and time of year (17).

Geography: There are four major geographic regions in Thailand,
the Central Plain, the Northeast, the Northwest Highlands and the
Southern Peninsula (Fig. 1). The Central Plain is the most populous.
It is fairly level and has soils that are generally fertile, with
fine sand and silt loams over heavy clay, becoming deep red in
nature in the southeast corner. The Chao Phya Delta is the main
geographic feature of the Central Plain. Its soils are extremely
fertile being alluvial sand, clay, or silt and gravel 50 to 300 m
thick (2, 10, 20).

The Northeast section is an area of low fertility and sandy soils.
A main feature of this section is the Khorat Plateau having an
elevation of about 170 m and an area of about 60,000 square km (2,
20).

The Northwest Highlands is a mountainous area of light sedimentary
fertile soils of limestone and sandstone origin (2, 8, 20). At
higher altitudes these soils can become shallow, and along the moun-
tains laterization can cause lateritic soils to form at the base of
mountains or along their slopes.

The Southern Peninsula possesses infertile sand loam and clay loam
for the most part and is extensively used for rubber production (2).


'Information concerning this study, besides being a review of avail-
able literature, was acquired while the senior author visited
Thailand in January 1971.
2Graduate research assistant
3Rockefeller Scholar
SProfessor, Geneticist







- 2 -


Vegetation: Thailand is extensively covered with monsoon deciduous
rainforest in which Diptoacarp type vegetation predominates. The
Khorat Plateau has a long dry season and poor soils which combine
to cause extensive scrub jungle and savanna areas, of which the
native grass Imperata cylindrica is a major component. Legumes such
as Katin (Leucaena endocsphylla) and Cham Churi (Samanea saman) are
found in the wild state (8, 11, 20, 24).

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Livestock of Thailand as in most other Southeast Asian nations
historically have been triple purpose creatures, cattle and buffalo
being primarily used for work and then for meat after their age
makes work impractical (1). Milk was a residual product after
gestation, mainly used to supply nutrients to calves. Goats
primarily were meat and work animals and served some dairy purposes,
but their contributions are still quite insignificant. Livestock
is second to crop production today in terms of agricultural economic
importance (10).

Cattle: Villegas (24) described dairy cattle observed during a tour
of Thailand in the late 1930's. They were Bos indicus and were of
the "Bengala" breed (24). Fisher (7) studying karyotypes of native
cattle in southern Thailand, found no evidence of Bos (Bibos) or
Bos taurus species in their background and concluded that these
native animals belonged to the species Bos indicus. Payne (19), in
describing "Northern" Thai cattle, indicated that they were of
medium size, hardy constitution, and long-legged, with a yellow, red,
brown or black coat color, the lighter shades being preferred. The
head is short with a narrow forehead, small ears, and small pointed
horns set well apart curving up and slightly forward. The hump is
cervico-thoracic and is small on males and almost absent on females.
The dewlap is moderately large (19). Height at withers of those
observed in 1971 was 120 to 130 cm. These cattle weighed about 180
to 500 kg (11, 19). Villegas' "Bengala" and Payne's "Northern"
cattle were similar to the Bengala, probably being a breed of the
Northern type.

Work purposes of cattle include plowing on light sandy upland soils
in the Northwest and Northeast, pulling carts throughout the country,
and being used as pack animals in the Northeast, where caravans of
up to 20 animals are used to transport tea (20, 23). Any dairy
.purposes were, and usually still are, incidental to the major
function, work.

Recent work (since 1961) has concentrated on improving dairy quality
of native animals and importing purebred dairy breeds. Semen and
purebred sires have been imported from the U. S., Switzerland,
Germany, Australia and especially Denmark (10). Holstein, Brown
Swiss, Ayrshire, Jersey and Red Dane breeds are maintained as pure
lines to various degrees, but their main importance is in upgrading
native stock by crossing local females to purebred imported bulls
or with imported semen from desirable bulls. Holsteins are used
most extensively for these purposes.







- 3 -


Crosses of native cattle (ex. Bengala) with any Bos taurus result in
offspring having markings and coat color patterns most similar to
Bos taurus and sizes intermediate between the two types. The hump
is almost totally absent in female offspring resulting from these
crosses.

Buffalo: Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) of Thailand are generally lower
set and less upstanding than their counterparts in other parts of
Southeast Asia (e.g. Cambodia and Vietnam) (24). They are a rather
nondescript breed, not related to any of the well known commercial
breeds (Nili/Ravi, Murrah,Surti, etc.). They are less stylish
looking than the Vietnamese or Cambodian animals and have a plainer
head. The horns curve out and back but not up as much as Cambodian
or Vietnamese animals (24). Their muzzles are shorter and their
bodies appear blockier. Height at withers is around 120 cm and
weight about 420 kg (22). These animals can be good milk producers
when managed properly, yielding less milk than cattle in terms of
overall volume but producing a higher quality milk containing up to
22 or 25% total solids and 7 to 15% fat. Their main advantage over
cattle is that they are more ubiquitous in terms of dietary habits.
Unlike cattle, there has been little or no concerted effort to
improve their milk producing ability by upgrading.

Goats: The goat is a very insignificant factor in the dairy
industry of Thailand. Their numbers have fluctuated between 14,000
and 40,000 since 1965 (16). The major dairy breed is a fat-rumped
type that is of Indian origin, serving most of its commercial
purposes in and around Bangkok (24). In the rural areas, goats
serve to convert brush and vegetative waste into meat, being even
more ubiquitous than buffalo in their dietary habits.

FEEDS AND FEEDING

The monsoon climate which predominates over most of Thailand causes
problems specific to crop culture and particularly to production
of forages for livestock. Plant species and varieties must be
discovered, developed and cultured which withstand the heavy precip-
itation that occurs during the 4 to 6 month wet season and still
survive the 4 to 6 month dry season. Apparently no species thus far
tested has been found to thrive under both conditions. The most
promising plant species thrive under wet or moderately moist condi-
tions and barely exist under dry conditions. Therefore, combinations
of different forages having a complimentary climatic tolerence are
most desirable when planning livestock nutritional fulfillment in
this kind of climate. Further, forage control and production methods
relating to this problem involve forage conservation and moisture
supplementation of crops by irrigation.

Presently irrigation is a management tool which has a prohibitive
cost for all but very high value (human food) crops, because most
irrigation in Thailand is of a flood or ditch type. Potential for
economic sprinkler irrigation of forage crops exists along many
streams and rivers if introduction and adaptation of low cost
systems by the farmer can be facilitated. These systems could







- 4 -


increase the forage growing season appreciably just prior to and
immediately after the wet season.

Forage conservation, including silage and green chop (soilage), is
presently very important in dairy feeding. Green chopping is
economical even on small dairy operations since labor is relatively
inexpensive and since high forage yields per unit of land can be
obtained by this method. Villegas (24) observed Bermuda (Cynodon
dactylon) and Para grass (Brachiaria mutica) soilage in and around
Bangkok in the 1930's, so this method is well established in
Thailand (24). Silaging is the same as green chopping, except that
vegetation is preserved by means of natural fermentation. The
product is absolutely necessary to maintain lactating livestock
over the dry season when native pastures dry up. Maize (Zea mays)
or corn silage was tried in the early 1960's, but the 'expense of
cultivation was found to be prohibitive, since annual planting was
necessary, and since harvest was hindered by the rainy season.
Therefore, permanent or perennial grasses such as Para and Bermuda
now constitute much of the silage produced in Thailand. These
grasses ensile well. They are easy to harvest during the wet
season and the palatability and nutritive value of the silages are
almost equal to that which is made from corn (11).

Hay production, like green chopping, is well known. Villegas (24)
observed Para and Sudan grass hay being used as dairy feeds 35 years
ago. Hay is not extensively used today because of the problems of
sun curing forages at their peak nutritive value during the wet
season. However, like silage, hay is a means of preserving excess
wet season forage for livestock feeding during the dry season when
fresh forages are in limited supply.

Feed values: Indigenous vegetation serves a relatively minor role
in providing feed for commercial dairy operations. The native grass
Imperata cylindrica dominates much of the savanna area of Thailand.
It is palatable and fairly nutritious (Table 1) when used in its
young stages, but maintains its quality only during a very short
span in its life cycle. It must therefore be burned frequently in
order to eliminate mature vegetation and encourage young growth.
This requires a high degree of skilled management which few Thai
farmers possess. The potential for improved and more extensive
commercial use of this grass is not very high (8).

Katin (Leucaena endocaphylla) is a legume which is native to the rain
forests. Seed can be collected from the forests and sown at a rate
of about 80 kg/ha. The species, being adapted to this monsoon wet-
dry environment, produces good dry season roughage and is used
primarily as greenchop (11).

Chamchuri, (Samanea saman), is an indigenous legume tree whose pods
were reported to have been used by some Bangkok dairies in the 1930's
(24). The plant can serve as a protein source, but would have
limited potential as a forage legume due to its high degree of
lignification, unless cut frequently before lignification becomes a
problem.






- 5 -


Table 1. Selected forages and concentrates being
used in Thailand: General nutritive levels


Dry
Matter
%


inea grass (Panicum maximum)
hay*
pasture#
silage#
perata cylindrica #
rmuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)
pasture#
hay#
ra grass (Brachiaria mutica)
pasture#
hay*
silage#
pier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)
pasture#
hay#
ar Grass (Cynodon plectostachyus)
pasture#
hay#
odes grass (Chloris gayana)
pasture#
hay#
ce bran*
ce*
rn*
ybean cake*
anut cake*
rghum*
ce straw (oryza sativa)*


90.0
25.1
29.1


29.1
91.3

25.6
90.2
32.9

22.2
89.1

28.0
90.0

28.8
89.0
90.8
87.8
85.0
91.4
91.8
89.6
80.8


Digestible
Protein
%


2.1
3.1
4.0
1.1

5.0
6.0

4.9
1.9
2.7

2.8
3.8

8.1
3.8


4.6
1.2
8.4
5.7
6.7
36.9
38.6
8.4
0.4


) Source: Morrison, F. B. (15).


) Source: Butterworth, M. H. (4).


TDN
%


40.7
52.3

58.8

58.2
42.9

57.6
41.6


56.4
45.4

56.0
45.6

56.8
46.3
67.4
80.1
80.1
78.6
76.6
79.9
37.0






- 6 -


Introduced forage species offer the greatest potential for improved
quantity and quality livestock feeds. A major hinderance to adapta-
tion of many introduced, high yielding species is that they require
fertile soil or ample amounts of fertilizer. The average Thai
farmer uses very little commercial fertilizer (only about .4 to 1.0
kg/acre), even on most food crops, and gives very little considera-
tion to fertilization of animal feed crops (5). Plant species
introduction also necessitates consideration of the monsoon climate
with its extremes in moisture distribution and the adverse effects
which these extremes have on various species. Thus management and
climatic problems offer the greatest deterent to utilization of new
species.

Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) is a good pasture grass in terms of
yields and quality but requires intense management which few peasant
farmers can provide (8). Important pasture, hay and soilage grasses
include the previously mentioned Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon) and Para
(Brachiaria mutica) grasses, plus Napier (Pennisetum purpureum), Star
(Cynodon plectostachyus) and Rhodes (Chloris gayana) grasses (11).
Grasses that are especially suited to very dry areas include Buffel
(Cenchrus ciliaris), Makarikari (Panicum coloratum) and green
panic (12).

Legumes which adapt well to the environment and produce well include
two Stylosanthese species, humilus and guyanensis, both of which do
well on sandy soils. Humphreys (12) reported that S. guyanensis is
especially well suited as a dry season pasture feed. It grows well
with native palmacious plants (i.e. coconuts) to provide a high
protein pasture feed in a multiple cropping system. Kudzues
(Pueraria javanica and Pollinia fulva) are also good quality legumes
(9). Local varieties of the legumes Leucanea endocsphylla and Phaseolus
calcaratus are very palatable to livestock, and become established
quickly and densely, thus displacing many weed species. Centrosema
pubescens is an excellent quality legume which, along with siratro
(Phaseolus atropurpureus), serves as very good dry season pasture
species (11,12). Other legumes showing good promise, especially
when interseeded in pastures, include phasey bean (Phaseolus
lathyroides), perennial soybean (Glycine javanica) and tropical
kudzu (Pueraria phaseoloides) (11).

In the continuous search for adaptable fodder crops, grass species
are most easily procured, whereas procurement of legumes, especially
perennials, is more difficult (11). Introduced legume and grass
species generally cannot be overgrazed without incurring serious
damage to the plant. They must therefore be grazed rotationally
which necessitates managerial skill, or be hand cut and carried to
the livestock, which is economically feasible only in high value
livestock operations such as dairying (8).

Concentrates

Concentrate feeds are primarily used by commercial dairymen to
improve milk yields and are usually supplementary to forage. The
major concentrate feeds include rice and rice by-products, sorghum
grain, soybeans and corn.






- 7 -


Rice is the major grain and food crop of Thailand, both for home
consumption and export. It is primarily a food staple for human
consumption; however, its main importance to dairying lies in by-
products which result from milling and processing. These include
rice bran and broken rice. They have long been used by commercial
dairies as components of livestock diets (24).

Soybean by-products in the form of soybean cake and extract also
have long been used (22,23,24). Besides being a good energy source,
whole soybeans and by-products furnish protein to cattle.

Sorghum grain is as high in energy as most rice or soybean products,
and it can be grown under more diverse environmental conditions than
the others, especially under the hot dry climatic conditions in
many northern and eastern areas.

Corn

Corn is mentioned apart from other concentrate feed crops because of
the phenomenal increase in production and acreage planted over the
past 10 to 15 years, and because of its further potential as both a
human and livestock feed, especially in high investment, intensive
livestock operations such as dairying. The area planted to corn
increased 273% from 1956 to 1961 and production increased 130% from
1960 to 1966 (543,900 metric tons in 1960 to 1,200,000 metric tons
in 1966); 10,22). Corn has risen from 8th in importance among all
crops in the early 1950's to 2nd in importance today, being
surpassed only by rice (2,10).

The advantage of corn over other grain concentrates lies in its
adaptability to a wide range of environmental conditions while
still producing a high energy, high value crop. The "corn boom" has
been especially significant in the uplands north of the delta flood
plains, in the central part of the country, and in the Northeast,
where almost 100% of the nation's crop is produced (14). Production
in these regions increased 3000% from 1950 to 1961. Annual moisture
patterns in the Northeast are extreme. Irrigation systems are less
extensive, and soil fertility is somewhat below that of the major
rice producing sections. Corn requires little or no irrigation
and does quite well on many of the soils in these regions with very
little commercial fertilizer (2,22). It lends itself well to
double cropping over the year, requiring a 75-120 day growing season,
which is shorter than that required by rice. Triple cropping is
carried on in some areas where irrigation is available (22). The
major planting seasons are in April and May at the beginning of the
wet season, and August and September at the end of the wet season
(2,22). The April and May seeded crop, which is harvested during
the wet season, may present harvest and storage problems due to
high moisture content (22).

Corn is complementary to rice, lending itself well to double cropping
with the latter in the major rice producing regions. It can be
planted in dry paddies after the rice has been harvested (2). The
crop generally requires less labor than rice, often being planted







- 8 -


without previously plowing the land. It allows more efficient use
of the seasonal labor force in many areas when planted after rice.
Corn usually serves as a supplemental cash crop to other farm
enterprises (2,22).

Along with total production increases since the 1950's, yield per
acre also has increased, rising from an average of 10 bushels/acre
in 1950 to 25 bushels in 1961 (2). Present yields generally range
from 30 to 50 bushels depending on soil, moisture and overall manage-
ment. Seeding is usually carried out at about 7 1/2 kg/acre (22).

Most corn in Thailand is the flint type, usually being open-pollinated
(10). Recently, the use of single and double cross hybrid varieties
has grown in importance. Yield per acre was greatly improved by
introduction of the Gautemala variety of yellow flint corn which
allowed production of two crops per year in many areas. However,
use of this variety accelerated depletion of soil nutrients
especially on the poorer soils in the Northeast and Northwest, and
therefore facilitated the necessity for legume-corn crop rotation (10).

Much of Thailand's corn (about 30%) is exported (22). The foreign
market is good and the export marketing system efficient. The
greatest potential for corn in Thailand lies in its use as a foun-
dation for a young livestock industry based on intensive management.
At present, 70 to 80% of the corn export goes to Japan where it is
used as a feed grain for the Japanese livestock industry (2,3,14,22).
In 1961 only about 1% of the total corn crop was used for livestock
feed in Thailand (22). Rice is the main human food grain in Thailand
but corn could be the main livestock grain if a commercial livestock
industry can be built on it. This industry necessarily must compete
with the export market in procuring corn. Government support may be
necessary to spur this process. The Government promoted increased
corn production by use of price supports in the past but these are
seldom used today since the export market is good and prices are
high and stable. Gross income from an acre of corn averages 750 baht
(about $37.50) whereas for rice it is only 450 baht (about $23.50).
Prices of corn and rice tend to buffer each other (2). Government
support in establishing local markets for corn as a livestock feed
can be a big step in improving intensive livestock operations like
dairying.

Corn yields/acre and investments
for the year 1962 (22)

average yield = 750 kg
value = 730 baht ($36.50)
production cost = 600 baht ($30.00)
net invome = 130 baht ($ 6.50)

Rations

Livestock rations for small family herds of 1 to 10 cattle, buffalo or
goats in rural areas consist primarily of natural forage grasses and
legumes grazed along roads, savanna areas or in the rain forest. An







- 9 -


occasional coconut or fruit from other palmacious plants may func-
tion as a high energy source but very little supplemental concentrate
or conserved forage (hay or silage) is given these animals and any
milk produced is supported primarily by their foraging ability.

Commercial dairies, especially those in and around Bangkok, have been
using concentrate grain and grain by-product rations to maintain and
increase milk production for over 40 years. Villegas (24) described
a concentrate ration used on a dairy outside of Bangkok in the late
1930's as follows:

2.36 kg fed/animal/day

.500 kg of rice bran
.500 kg of soybean cake
.330 kg of peanut cake
1.000 kg of other material
.021 kg of table salt
.010 kg of brown sugar

This ration was cooked and fed supplementary to sudan and/or para
grass roughages.

Rations recommended by the Thai Government in the 1960's for lactating
cattle had changed very little and included the following:

Component % Composition

Rice bran 41.6
Broken rice 41.6
Extract of peanut or soybean 14.0
Ground salt 1.4
Ground bone 1.4

Grass and water were to be fed free choice (22).


MILK PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION

Although the commercial dairy industry is not very large in Thailand,
it has been well established for many years. Villegas (24) made a
detailed recording of major dairy operations in and around Bangkok
during a visit to Thailand in 1938. The industry at that time
depended almost entirely on Bengala (Indian type) cattle with the
Hissar being a major cattle breed but not being extensively used for
commercial dairy purposes. As in other Southeast Asian countries,
many of the commercial dairies were operated by people of Indian
origin with many located in and around Bangkok (24). These people
concentrated on the use, breeding and selection of Indian type
animals (Bos indicus) for commercial dairy purposes (24).

Major dairies at that time included the Ban Kluey, Kula Sovate and
Bangkok dairies with a number of smaller ones also operating. The
Ban Kluey Dairy had 160 cattle housed in barns raised about 1 m







- 10 -


off of the ground on wooden floors. This was necessitated by the low
elevation, high water table situation in Bangkok which in conventional
barns presented a moisture and drainage problem. There were 40 animals
housed in each barn and the operation was almost totally an indoor
management enterprise with animals being turned out into paddocks only
during good weather, and then, only between 3 and 6 p.m. Milk let
down was initiated by putting calves on the cows and allowing them to
suckle for a short time (24).

The largest dairy at that time was located at Sub Muang, about 190 km
east of Bangkok. It contained 300 dairy animals (72 were milking) and
produced about 150 liters daily. Calves were placed before the cows
prior-to milking. They were not permitted to suck until after milking,
however. Milking was twice daily, 4:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (24).


Sampling five animals each of Siamese and Indian cattle in similar
stages of lactation, Villegas (24) found a milk production range of
1.31 to 2.90 liters/day with an average of 1.94 liters for Siamese,
and 1.52 to 3.23 liters/day with an average of 2.53 liters for
Indian cattle.

Modern Dairying

Modern dairy production in Thailand can be divided into two major
sectors; home and commercial production. Over the entire cattle and
buffalo population, daily milk yield per animal is low, ranging
around .5 to 5.0 kg per animal for both species (8,11). Total
recorded milk yields for 1969 were only 3000 metric tons for cattle
and 4000 for buffalo. Annual milk production for cattle showed a
significant increase from 1961 to 1968 rising from 2000 metric tons
annually to 3000 metric tons (6). Much of this milk is pasturized,
bottled and sold by modern dairies, such as the Bangkok Dairy, in
and around the capital and most populous city of Bangkok (24).
Commercial dairy production must be considered separately from overall
milk yield per animal which includes the usually poorly managed home
or household milk cows and buffalo primarily used for work. Bhannasiri
(22) estimated in 1960 that average milk yield for each animal being
used specifically for dairy purposes was around 909 kg/year for cattle
and about 331 kg/year for buffalo.

Records from the Government farm at Muag Lek provide information on
various levels of production and degrees of response to different
management methods which is shown by various pure blooded breeds and
crosses among these breeds. Purebred Red Dane cattle averaged 11.6
kg of 3.95% fat milk/day yielding a total of 3415 kg over a 305-day
lactation or 3895 kg over a 365-day lactation. The highest one day
record for milk yield by a Red Dane was 32 kg (11).

Upgrading native cattle by crossing them to imported purebred bulls
(or use of purebred bull semen) is the most extensively practiced
breeding management technique among Thai cattlemen who desire rapid
improvement in cattle quality. Therefore results of crosses between
pure breeds and native cattle are of paramount importance. Offspring







- 11 -


of native Siamese cattle X Red Dane cattle averaged 6.4 kg of milk/day
with a total yield of 1000 to 1500 kg/lactation. Offspring from
native Indian "Bongala" (Bos indicus) X European (Bos taurus) cattle
averaged 2000 to 3500 kg/lactation. These Indian X European cattle
crosses have a big advantage over cattle resulting from crosses of
native Siamese (Bos indicus) breeds X European breeds, especially
when milk yield is considered, as attested by the fact that some
offspring of Indian X Red Dane crosses have yielded over 1000 kg of
5.38% fat milk in a 100 day period. Siamese X European crosses some-
times take an entire 305-day lactation to equal this production level
(11). Most Bos taurus breeds respond to excellent management techni-
ques, mature early and have good milking ability. Management
techniques in most Thai dairies are mediocre (11). Until management
methods can be improved, use of pure Bos taurus breeds will be
negligible. Upgrading of native stock will continue to be the predom-
inant breeding management technique. Therefore the most economic
pedigree composition (i.e., Bos taurus to Bos indicus ratio) will
depend on management and milk producing potential of the breeds
involved. That is, if excellent management is available, use of pure
Bos taurus breeds (Jersey, Holstein, etc.) should work out very well.
If management is mediocre, breed composition of about 3/4 Bos taurus
: 1/4 Bos indicus might be most productive. If management is generally
poor then a good quality 90 to 100% native Bos indicus could yield
best results (11).

The monsoon climate affects most of Thailand and exerts a profound
effect on both extensive livestock operations (work and foraging
livestock) and intensive operations (beef and dairy livestock). The
climate affects the type of management techniques which can be
applied in these various operations and the types and breeds of
livestock which will respond to these management techniques.

Climate affects milk yields in direct and indirect ways. Its direct
effects are manifested in physiological alterations (positive or
negative) which extremes in moisture and temperature have on the
animal. Indirect effects are manifested through alterations in feed
supply in both quality and quantity as the season changes. High
moisture content of forage may inhibit rate of feed and nutrient
intake during the wet season. Low moisture content may do the same
during the dry season. Without proper nutrition in the form of feed
supplements or high quality forages, lactating cattle and buffalo
may dry off (1). Humphreys (12), observing cattle dry-season main-
tenance in the Northeast at Khon Kaen University, found that cattle
weight is maintained well on stand-over pasture if legume content of
the pasture is good; if the dry season is a true dry season, that is,
very little dew or shower activity occurring to cause forage decay,
and if feeding of legume seed (ex., Stylosanthes humilis or Samanea
saman) is carried on if the area is too dry for legume maintenance
(12). Bos indicus cattle, both native and imported, generally have
very good adaptability to environmental variation in tropical areas
and are especially tolerent of high environmental temperatures (11).







- 12 -


Offspring resulting from crosses between native Bos indicus and
imported Bos taurus show no significant loss of heat tolerence
from that of their pure or nearly pure Bos indicus parent (11).

A second way in which climate influences livestock production
indirectly is by its effects on disease and insect life cycles. The
degree of dryness or wetness plus thermal extremes during either or
both seasons can adversely or advantagously affect insect and disease
cycles which in turn can affect livestock and their production of
meat or milk.

Processing

Major processed milk products include butter, condensed milk and
cheese. These products are produced primarily at home from excess
milk from non-commercial family cows. Statistics show little if any
commercial butter, condensed milk or cheese production (6). Thai
Federal law requires pasturization of all marketed milk. Condensed
milk is especially suited to this environment because it is a very
high quality product maintaining most of the quality of fresh milk
and requiring no refrigeration when canned properly. Commercial
milk processing facilities have been operating in Thailand for at
least 30 years. Early plants condensed milk until it had a fat
content of 3.7%. The milk was sterilized and packed in 175 cc cans
which were sealed and heated, thus producing a well preserved
product (24).

Consumption

Per capital milk consumption is small, averaging about 6.5 kg
annually (6,22). Fluid milk by weight constitutes about 2% of the
Thai diet and about .8% of the total caloric intake (6). Dairy
product consumption is above average in and around Bangkok but is
still a small component of the diet despite numerous dairies and
imported dairy products (8,22). Trends in per capital milk consumption
have shown a significant increase over the last 12 years. In 1958,
average annual per capital milk consumption was 4.2 kg while in 1970
it was 6.5 kg, a 55% increase (5,6). This trend promises to continue
in the future but is slow since extensive consumption of dairy
products is not historically a part of Thai culture.

Imported products

Imported milk and dairy products form a major part of the total dairy
foods consumed. In the mid 1960's fluid milk and cream, evaporated
and dry milk imports constituted around 3.5% of the total value of
annual imports by the country (14). Most of these came from Denmark.
Of the total 1962 dairy product imports of 48,000 metric tons, 32,000
metric tons were condensed milk, followed in importance by fluid
milk and cream, butter, cheese and curd (22). Trends in importation
of dairy products since 1956 show milk and cream increasing most







- 13 -


rapidly followed by butter, cheese and curd, and evaporated milk imports
increasing least rapidly on a percentage basis (22).


ECONOMICS
Management

Management of most cattle concerns their function as beasts of burden.
They generally get poor care. Cows average only one calf every 2 years
(10). The average Thai farm has 1.6 cattle or oxen (8). Regional
variation in management methods also occurs. In the North animals are
allowed to forage freely in tea (miang) groves and are provided only
simple sheds for shelter. They are a status symbol and are treated as
members of the household. Animals per household number up to 15 in
some areas of the Northeast and Northwest but get as high as 200
animals on some large farms (23,24).

Managerial practices used are principally small scale compared to
American standards. Like most Asian agricultural enterprises, opera-
tions are small, the average farm seldom being greater than 10 acres
(5,8). The country is unique from other Asian nations in that the
- number of large land holdings is minimal and the amount of land
tenancy is negligible on a national basis, with around 90% of the
farmers owning the land which they till (2,5,8). Thailand therefore
escapes many social and political problems of incentive and production.

In noncommercial small family cattle and buffalo herds, management
tends to treat livestock as status symbols the ownership of which
imparts a degree of prestige to the farmer. This has been especially
true in northern and eastern parts of the country causing many undesir-
able cattle and buffalo to be kept in herds because of their prestige
Value. This causes outside observers to speculate that the country
actually has an overabundance of these particular species of livestock
and would be better off if fewer animals of higher quality were kept
(8). Most animals receive much individual handling and care causing
them to be generally docile and easily managed (24). Thai cattle
generally develop late in terms of sexual maturity but they are long-
lived and remain fertile for a long time (19).

Numbers of cattle and buffalo have been quite steady over the past 35
years as shown by the following table (6,14,16,22,24):


Number of Cattle and Buffalo

Year Buffalo Cattle Goats

1937 5,433,424 5,617,016 -----
1952 5,402,225 5,548,734 ----
1958 6,316,727 5,856,959 ----
1965 6,691,103 5,103,854 22,780
1967 7,060,868 5,172,661 14,281
1970 6,941,000 5,263,000 34,000







- 14 -


The consistency in numbers from 1937 to 1952 is best explained by
World War II which decimated many cattle and buffalo, keeping
populations low.

In 1960 Bhannasiri estimated that approximately .13% of the total
cattle population was being used primarily for dairy purposes,
averaging 909 kg/animal/year; .033% of the buffalo population served
the same purpose, producing an average of 331 kg/animal/year. The
following table shows estimated numbers of cattle and buffalo used
primarily for dairy purposes (22).


Year Milk Cows Milk Buffalo
1954 5627 1860
1958 6558 2096
1961 6890 2247
1965 7100 2300
1970 6850 2300


The 1965 and 1970 estimates are extremely conservative, being based
on Bhannasiri's estimated percentages. These probably have increased
over the last 12 years since the Thai Government has encouraged
growth of the dairy industry during this period.

Trends in monetary value of these livestock over the past 80 years
are given as follows (11,13,22), (price in Baht; 20 Baht = $1 at
1970 exchange rate).



Year Buffalo Bullocks (cattle)
1890 40-50 15-32
1895 --- 30
1902 ---- 64
1905 70-120 70-80
1925-28 74 64
1937-40 41 32
1961-65 1100 600


These values are averages for the whole country. Though somewhat
erratic, they show trends in value, the most important of which is
the present and historic superiority with which buffalo are regarded
over cattle or bullocks. The terms bullocks and cattle seem to be
synonymous in the Thai literature, just as buffalo are sometimes
classified as cattle. This superiority is attributable primarily to
the buffalo's working ability, especially in rice culture. Thus in
placing values on dairy cattle and buffalo, the above table may be
of little value since the frame of reference would no longer be
working but milking ability. The table values are for mature







- 15 -


animals. Values for calves and young stock would be about one-half;
a heifer calf would be worth about 300 baht or $15 (11).

Value of Products

The unit value of dairy products has declined over the past 10 years
following initiation of government programs to improve dairy cattle.
Fresh milk in Bangkok now costs about 8 baht ($.40)/liter. In 1959,
fresh milk was more scarce; condensed milk at that time cost 20 baht
($1)/liter (23). In 1958 the value of annual per capital milk
consumption was around 60-90 baht ($3-$4.50)/year whereas in 1970 it
was around 50 baht ($2.50). Value per person declined but volume per
person increased. In 1958 Thailand imported $18.2 million in dairy
products. The 1970 figure (including dairy, honey and eggs) was
$34.6 million. The 1958 per capital value of imported dairy products
was 36.4 baht ($1.82) whereas it was about 20 baht ($1) in 1970
(5,16). The trend in dairy imports on an absolute basis is increasing
but decreasing on a per capital basis.

Investment and Returns

Fiscal relations within Thai agriculture are strong. A 1953 survey
indicated that average farm debt was low, being about 2% of the total
farm assets and 18% of the net farm income (8). Overall farm income
increased at a rate of 10% annually from 1954 to 1960, from 10.596
billion baht to 17.014 billion baht (2). Investment in native cattle
ranged around 300-500 baht ($15-$25) for young stock and around 600-
1000 baht ($30-$50) for mature animals (11,23). For buffalo, the
investment was around 1100 baht ($55) for a mature animal (22).

Commercial dairy processing operations should have a good future in
Thailand. Foreign investment is high (2). Starting in the early
1960's, industry began making substantial investments in milk
reconstitution plants around the country (22). This has an
especially bright future along with condensed milk in areas where
fresh milk cooling and transportation facilities are poor.


TRANSPORTATION

The transportation system in a developing area is extremely important
to the dairy industry because of the perishable nature of the products.
By American standards, transportation facilities (roads, rivers,
canals and railroads) are poor, but by Southeast Asian standards
they are well above average. These facilities affect size and
location of markets and prices which farmers receive for their
products. Highway, water and rail facilities showed great improve-
ment in the 1950's due to government programs designed to extend and
improve existing systems (2).

Water is the primary mode of transportation by which commerce moves;
it accounts for 75% of the nations commercial traffic especially







- 16 -


along the Choa Phya River in Central Thailand. Man-made canals tie
the rivers of the Central Plain together and allow for coordination
and efficiency of transportation planning (20). Rivers of the
Khorat Plateau in the Northeast flow east into the Mekong River and
provide inexpensive transportation to Cambodia and the Republic of
Vietnam (20).

Rail transportation is efficient and faster than water. However,
the total mileage of railroad track in Thailand is only 2300 miles
(20). This rather limited system is quite strategic and effectively
serves the various regions of Thailand, especially drawing the
peripheral regions closer to the heavily populated market areas of
the Central Plain (Fig.1 ). Bangkok is central to the railroad
system having four main lines radiating from it. One line moves
north to Chiengmai; a second reaches northeast to Nakorn
Ratchasima branching to Nongha (opposite Vientiane, Laos) and to
Ubol. A third line extends east into Cambodia around Phom Penh and
the fourth line from Bangkok moves south into the Peninsula and
ties in with the Malayan railroad system (20).

There are few hard surfaced roads in the kingdom. Dirt roads and
trails serve their purposes quite efficiently during the dry
season but tend to wash out during the wet season. They are then
relatively undependable when rapid transport of perishable dairy
products is required. Efforts toward development of a modern
highway system have been fairly recent. In 1958 the Saraburi-Khorat
road ("Friendship Highway") was completed and opened much of the
Northeastern part of the country. Road construction, especially in
mountainous areas, is hindered by numerous streams and canals (20).

The internal air service of Thailand is good, but is a relatively
costly mode of transportation and not particularly economically
feasible for shipment of most dairy products (20).


DISEASES

Important diseases having a major economic impact on the dairy
industry include Foot and Mouth, Rinderpest, Haemorrhagic septicaemis,
Anaplasmosis, Piroplasmosis, Brucellosis, Tuberculosis and Anthrax
(10,11).

Foot and Mouth

This disease is perhaps the most important (10). It is acute,
extremely communicable, viral and generally affects cattle to a
greater extent than buffalo (21). Young, well fed, healthy animals
are most susceptible. Symptoms include vesicle eruption in the
mouth and on the feet. These eruptions are usually accompanied by
fever and various degrees of incomplete or complete anorexia (22).
The disease seldom causes death (less than 5% of the time) but
leaves the animal open to secondary bacterial infections when the






- 17 -


1060

-200--


THAILAND
Railroad ..
Highways-


6-


98







- 18 -


vesicles burst (1,21). Control is effected by use of a 50 cc subcut-
aneous vaccine or a 2 cc intradermal vaccine (10,21). Segregation,
quarantine and slaughter also are control methods.

Rinderpest

Rinderpest is the second major disease of cattle and buffalo which,
although not as extensive as foot and mouth, causes greater rates
of mortality. It is a viral, acute, febrile, very contagious
disease which may affect some buffalo breeds more than cattle and
seldom affects goats (21). The disease causes inflammation,
hemorrhage, erosion and necrosis of the digestive tract mucous
membrances and is accompanied by diarrhea, fever, nasal and lacrimal
discharge with anorexia, thirst, decreased rumination and photophobia
also being manifested. Control is effected by means of immunization
through use of attenuated (lapinized) or killed lyophilisedd) vaccine
(1). Antibiotics and sulfa drugs can be used to prevent secondary
infection until the illness subsides. During this period, segre-
gation and quarantine of infected animals is necessary (10,21).

Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Hemmorrhagic septicemia (shipping fever) affects cattle which are in a
stressed condition. It is an acute or subacute disease usually
associated with the Pasteurella genus of bacteria. Symptoms include
fever of up to 107 degrees, septicemia, cough, incomplete and
complete anorexia, a mucous nasal discharge which advances to a
mucopurulent exudate. Mortality rate varies. Mortality usually
results from pneumonia and septicemia. An antiserum vaccine can be
used in preventive management, injected at a rate of 40-50 cc per
animal. Therapy can be carried out by use of sulfa drugs, good
nutrition and shelter, segregation and quarantine (10,21).

Foot Rot

This disease is a chronic or acute necrotic infection of hoof tissue
of cattle caused by Sphaerophorus necrophorus (21). Native breeds
of Thai cattle are less susceptible than imported European breeds
(11). Symptoms include edema and hyperemia of the foot tissue
especially around the coronary band and exudative discharge from
infected interphalangeal joints all contributing to an acute
laminitas and impaired locomotion. Milk production may decrease and
death may ensue if the infection spreads to vital organs. Prevention
is attained by removing sharp pointed objects from areas habitated
or worked by cattle, keeping the hoofs dry and soaking them in a
2-5% copper sulfate solution. Treatment with sulfonamides and/or
broad spectrum antibiotics, local antiseptics, oil or ointment and
bandaging is effective (21).

Anaplasmosis and Piroplasmosis

These are two tick borne diseases of cattle and buffalo caused by
Anaplasma marginale and Babesia bigemina, respectively, which
attack the erythrocytes. Both are prevented by control of the







- 19 -


intermediate arthropod host and dipping of cattle and buffalo.
Piroplasmosis immunity can be effected by a subcutaneous injection
of 1-3 cc of blood from immune animals causing a mild infection and
resulting in immunity when administered to animals 6-15 months old
(21). Imported European cattle are more susceptible to both
diseases than native Thai cattle (11).

Symptoms of anaplasmosis include anemia, depression, rapid decline
in milk yield and constipation, but vary with age, being least
severe in young animals and most severe in animals more than 3 years
old. Partial treatment causing inhibition but not elimination of
the effects of A. marginale is effected by use of chlortetracycline,
oxytetracycline and tetracycline (21).

Symptoms of piroplasmosis include fever, anemia, pale and sometimes
icteric mucous membranes, hemoglobinuria (usually) and up to 90%
mortality. The disease is treated using Trypan blue, acriflavine or
quinuronium sulfate (21). Red Danes born in Thailand and infected
with these native diseases as calves suffer less than mature animals
and less than their imported counterparts. Mortality is extremely
low even by European standards (11).

Brucellosis

The disease primarily affects cattle and goats. It is caused by
various species in the genus Brucella resulting in abortion in the
female, some orchitis and infection of accessory sex glands of males
and females, retained placenta in the female and reduced milk yield.
Prevention can be effected by vaccination using Strain 19 Brucella
abortus. 'No effective cure is known since recovered cases become
carriers (21). In Thailand the disease is usually introduced into
purebred imported Bos taurus herds through contact with native
cattle (11).

Tuberculosis

The disease occurs most frequently in older dairy cattle and is
caused by bacteria in the genus Mycobacterium. Lesions of the lymph
nodes and organs occur accompanied by weakness, emaciation and
anorexia. It is spread by coughing by animals with open lung
lesions and therefore may get in feed and water (21). Control is
by test and slaughter or immunization of the young but the disease
can circulate relatively unchecked in wild and domesticated cattle
populations.

Anthrax

Anthrax is an acute, infectious, febrile disease affecting cattle,
buffalo and goats and is caused by Bacillus anthracis resulting in
a highly fatal septicemia. Control is effected by immunization
using sterile anti-anthrax bacterin or by using live spore vaccine.
Treatment is brought about by use of antibiotics such as oxytetra-
cycline and penicillin and by segregation and quarantine of infected
animals (21). Dead animals should be cremated and their stalls







- 20 -


thoroughly disinfected. Effects of this disease on the Thai dairy
industry have been greatly reduced over the last few years to the
point where it is not a major problem today.


Vaccinations (general diseases) (16,22)


% of Total % of Total
Year Cattle Population Buffalo Population

1952 283,739 5.11 411,152 7.61
1958 281,619 4.80 664,030 10.51
1964 450,202 8.82 890,924 13.31


Deaths of cattle resulting from all diseases have decreased from a
high of 2789 in 1956 to 1688 in 1964. Deaths for buffalo declined
from 13,002 in 1958 to 7805 in 1964 (17). Generally the Bos indicus
species is superior to the Bos taurus species in terms of adaptability
and disease resistance (ll).


RESEARCH AND EXTENSION

Research concerning dairy cattle improvement in Thailand was begun
in the 1930's when temperate cattle species were employed to improve
native stock (24). In 1954, 20 Red Sindhi cows and two bulls were
imported from India. These cows lactated and their production was
measured.' Production was well above that of native cattle but not
as high as desired. Various Bos taurus breeds were introduced
before 1962 but they generally performed poorly. Of these imported
breeds American Brown Swiss and Red Danes produced the best (11).

Danish Contract

In the early 1960's the Thai Federal Government began an intensive
program to develop the dairy potential of the country. The year
1962 saw an agreement between Thailand and Denmark involving
establishment of a dairy demonstration and farm center on 370 ha in
Muag Lek (Saraburi province) to serve farmers and agricultural
technicians (11). The Thai Government donated cleared land to the
project while the Danish Government constructed buildings and
furnished a director. The farm concentrated on importing American
Braham, Indian Zebu and some European Bos taurus breeds into the
country and crossing them to native That cattle in order to upgrade
the indigenous stock for dairy purposes and to study the results (11).

In March 1962, 39 Red Dane heifers were imported from Denmark for
the upgrading project and in March 1963 an additional 50 Red Dane
heifers were imported. The Red Dane was chosen because of the good
record which the breed had established in previous tests in the
country. Its coat color was similar to that of the native cattle
which should have reduced culling pressure resulting from undesirable
color patterns. The large size of the Red Dane would also serve







- 21 -


to increase size and growth rate of offspring resulting from crosses
with native cattle. Its docile nature served to depress nervousness
of offspring resulting from crosses with native cattle (11).

Besides these Red Dane crosses, 348 crossbred local milk-type
animals were studied. These animals were the result of native
cattle bred to at least seven other breeds. Thai Government farms
also furnished 100 Red Sindhi X Native crossbred heifers for
research. As a control, 140 native purebred cows and heifers were
tested. By the end of 1964 the farm had 944 animals or 2.55
animals/ha. The 89 imported Red Danes plus the crossbreds were
lactating or had completed lactations (11).

In this tropical environment the animals adapted quite well. Their
growth rate was as good in some cases even better than the growth
rate in Denmark. Offspring of Red Dane males X native female crosses
attained a live weight of 180 kg in 14 months when left to nurse
their dams in the field. This weight was about equal to the dams'
mature weight (11).

Under Thai conditions many breeders feel that it is easier to
select higher milk yield and adapatability from 50% Bos indicus
and 50% Bos taurus animals than it is to select for these traits
among 75% Bos taurus and 25% Bos indicus individuals (11). Future
efforts involving dairy cattle will doubtless concentrate on
importation and study of Holstein cattle. The research farm at
Muag Lek was operated by the Danish for 8 years until 1970 when its
control completely reverted over to the Thai Government (11, 18).

Extension

The role of education and extension in the Thai dairy industry is
extremely important. Since new technology is readily available
from Thai research and from abroad, an efficient extension system
is necessary to get this technology to the milk producer. The
system is good and efficient (2). It is responsible for adaptation
and use of artificial insemination techniques in upgrading native
cattle in many parts of the country. It is responsible for making
imported semen from bulls of high genetic merit available to
farmers.

The four major agricultural schools (such as Kasetsart and Khon Kaen
Universities) train native students offering Bachelor, Masters and
Veterinary degrees. At the research farm at Muag Lek, short
courses for farmers and university students are offered over a 1
year period. They strongly emphasize practical aspects of the
animal sciences (5,11).







- 22 -


THE NORTHEAST

The Northeast has unique importance, both historical and future, in
the cattle and buffalo aspects of the livestock industry. The region
is characterized by a single dominant geologic structure, the Khorat
Plateau, having sandy soils of rather low fertility which support a
sparce grass (savanna) cover (2). It historically has been a cattle
and buffalo export region, primarily supplying work buffalo to the
Central Plain but also supplying these livestock to other nations in
Southeast Asia (1,8). It is located between 15 and 170 north
latitude and is subject to climatic extremes of the monsoons which
along with poor soils tend to give the area a comparative disadvantage
in production of many crops.

Thailand contains 40% of all buffalo and 25% of all cattle in South-
east Asia, about 7,000,000 and 5,500,000 respectively; half of these
are in the Northeast (6,8). This population distribution within the
country is not recent. In the 1930's the 12 major cattle and
buffalo provinces (changvads) in the Northeast averaged around
268,000 cattle and 197,000 buffalo. The combined populations of these
12 changvads were 3,152,000 cattle (56.1% of the total for all of
Thailand) and 2,369,000 buffalo (43.6% of the entire national total)
(24).

The Northeast has one other unique agricultural commodity which gives
it a comparative advantage in cattle, goat and buffalo production.
Around 33% of the nation's corn crop is produced in the North and
Northeast (14). The potential complementary effect of corn and high
intensity-livestock operations like dairying cannot be ignored.
Development of irrigation systems by using the rivers in the area
will aid in extending and intensifying corn production. In 1963
there were around 100,000 ha of land under irrigation (8). This
doubtless will be extended and corn-legume rotations introduced in
order to manage the already poor soil for maximum yields. Resourses
and location of this Plateau seem to indicate that trends will be
towards larger and more intensive livestock operations.

CONCLUSIONS

Thailand's dairy industry has made great strides in both improving
total production, production per unit of land and production per
animal. Continued progress will depend on the complementary effects
of improved dairy livestock management, improved genetic merit and
improved nutrition. Improvement of native cattle by grading up to
genetically superior Bos taurus breeds should perhaps continue to
be the primary breeding management tool until better management
techniques are adapted by most Thai dairymen. Only then can maximum
use of pure Bos taurus breeds be achieved. Further work in
improving buffalo milk yields should be undertaken especially
considering the higher quality milk which this species produces,
the easier adaptability of commercial purebred dairy buffalo (Nili/Revi,







- 22 -


THE NORTHEAST

The Northeast has unique importance, both historical and future, in
the cattle and buffalo aspects of the livestock industry. The region
is characterized by a single dominant geologic structure, the Khorat
Plateau, having sandy soils of rather low fertility which support a
sparce grass (savanna) cover (2). It historically has been a cattle
and buffalo export region, primarily supplying work buffalo to the
Central Plain but also supplying these livestock to other nations in
Southeast Asia (1,8). It is located between 15 and 170 north
latitude and is subject to climatic extremes of the monsoons which
along with poor soils tend to give the area a comparative disadvantage
in production of many crops.

Thailand contains 40% of all buffalo and 25% of all cattle in South-
east Asia, about 7,000,000 and 5,500,000 respectively; half of these
are in the Northeast (6,8). This population distribution within the
country is not recent. In the 1930's the 12 major cattle and
buffalo provinces (changvads) in the Northeast averaged around
268,000 cattle and 197,000 buffalo. The combined populations of these
12 changvads were 3,152,000 cattle (56.1% of the total for all of
Thailand) and 2,369,000 buffalo (43.6% of the entire national total)
(24).

The Northeast has one other unique agricultural commodity which gives
it a comparative advantage in cattle, goat and buffalo production.
Around 33% of the nation's corn crop is produced in the North and
Northeast (14). The potential complementary effect of corn and high
intensity-livestock operations like dairying cannot be ignored.
Development of irrigation systems by using the rivers in the area
will aid in extending and intensifying corn production. In 1963
there were around 100,000 ha of land under irrigation (8). This
doubtless will be extended and corn-legume rotations introduced in
order to manage the already poor soil for maximum yields. Resourses
and location of this Plateau seem to indicate that trends will be
towards larger and more intensive livestock operations.

CONCLUSIONS

Thailand's dairy industry has made great strides in both improving
total production, production per unit of land and production per
animal. Continued progress will depend on the complementary effects
of improved dairy livestock management, improved genetic merit and
improved nutrition. Improvement of native cattle by grading up to
genetically superior Bos taurus breeds should perhaps continue to
be the primary breeding management tool until better management
techniques are adapted by most Thai dairymen. Only then can maximum
use of pure Bos taurus breeds be achieved. Further work in
improving buffalo milk yields should be undertaken especially
considering the higher quality milk which this species produces,
the easier adaptability of commercial purebred dairy buffalo (Nili/Revi,







- 23 -


Murrah,Surti, etc.) to tropical environments, and their more
ubiquitous dietary habits. Direct use of pure breeds seems most
appropriate for rapidly increasing buffalo milk yields rather than
grading up the nondescript breeds now predominant in the country.
Economically, however, the small buffalo dairyman will probably best
be able to afford improved genetic merit in his animals by grading up
stock which he already owns. Most commercial buffalo herds are
composed of the major commercial breeds ( Nili/Ravi, Murrah,
etc.).

Importation and development of high quality forage species and feed
crops which are adapted to a monsoon climate will doubtless continue
to be the foundation of animal nutrition. Culture of complimentary
feed and pasture crops (for the wet and dry season) will be the main
trend in pasture and forage crop management. Research concerning
native legumes, their cultural needs and nutritive values may prove
worthwhile. More extensive use of concentrates, especially corn,
should have beneficial effects in raising milk yield per animal and
total milk production. Government support of use of concentrate
feeds in dairy rations may be necessary since the grain export
market is efficient and extensive in Thailand. Farmers will have to
learn that excess grain can be fed to superior livestock to improve
milk yields above the value of the grain being fed. Silage production,
usually grass or legume, probably will always be necessary in main-
taining milk production of lactating cows and buffalo during the dry
season.

Overall management techniques in intensive livestock operations such
as dairying will have to improve so that animals and feed crops of
high merit- can be adopted by farmers. These techniques will include
better animal shelters, more extensive use of fertilizer, more
extensive use of artificial insemination, irrigation, etc.

Processed dairy products, especially condensed milk, will continue to
be extremely important in the dairy market until better refrigeration
of fresh milk becomes available to consumers. This improvement in
refrigeration is presently occurring throughout the country.
Potential for processing plants is high as is the potential market for
processed dairy products, especially in and around Bangkok. Trans-
portation facilities (although good) will need further improvement
in order to make marketing fresh milk simple and safe. Improved
transportation will allow markets to reflect supply and demand trends
more realistically and remove the complicating effect of shipping
tie ups.

The general population distribution of the country will immediately
benefit establishment of dairy operations in serving a majority of
Thailand's people since most of the nation's 35 million people live
in the Central Plain. They create a large demand for high quality
protein foods. This demand can more easily be met by numerous
small dairies (10 to 25 cattle or buffalo) which can fulfill the
demand quickly each day without necessitating use of extensive
transportation facilities in moving fresh milk.








- 24 -


As milk cooling and transportation facilities improve into the
frontier and sparsely populated areas, the Northeast will probably
maintain and improve its competitive advantage in livestock
production. This area has excellent potential for large scale
milking operations (100 to 500 lactating cows). With an already
well established water transport system in the Northeast, there
exists the prospect of exporting fluid and processed dairy products
to Cambodia and the Republic of Vietnam.

High milk and milk product consumption is traditionally not a part
of the Thai culture, however, Thailand's people have always been
adaptive to new ideas. The success of dairy production intensifi-
cation over the past 10 years is mainly attributable to this
adaptability. People will be consuming more dairy products and thus
creating a greater demand. Farmers will adapt new technology and
management methods and will meet this demand. The prospects for
self-sufficiency and even export of dairy products by Thailand
therefore appear very good.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors gratefully express their appreciation to the staff and
students of Kasetsart University of Bangkok; to Dr. L. R. Humphreys
of the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane Australia;
and to Mr. Borisuthi Panditwongse, director of the Northeast
Agricultural Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

We are grateful also to Drs. W. J. A. Payne, J. H. Conrad, R. B.
Becker and J. W. Carpenter for their suggestions and constructive
comments. We also thank Mr. R. L. Edelstein, Dr. H. H. Van Horn,
Mr. R. W. Adkinson, Mr. J. A. Patterson, Mr. L. W. Whitlow, Mr. J. L.
Kratz, Mr. J. B. White, Mrs. P. A. Strickland and Miss L. J. Buzzerd
for their efforts.


REFERENCES

1. Benya, E. G. 1972. Cattle and Buffalo Production in Vietnam.
Dairy Science Dept., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, Dairy Sci.
Mimeo Report DY72-1.

2. Brown, L. R. 1963. Agricultural Diversification and Economic
Development in Thailand:A Case Study. Economic Research
Service Regional Analysis Division, United States Department of
Agriculture, Washington, D. C. Foreign Agricultural Economic
Report No. 8.

3. Brown, R. E. and W. H. Rufener. 1969. Productivity of Cattle
and Buffalo in Northeast Thailand. J. Dairy Sci., 52:925.

4. Butterworth, M. H. 1967. The Digestibility of Tropical Grasses.
Nutr. Abstr. Rev., 37:349.








- 24 -


As milk cooling and transportation facilities improve into the
frontier and sparsely populated areas, the Northeast will probably
maintain and improve its competitive advantage in livestock
production. This area has excellent potential for large scale
milking operations (100 to 500 lactating cows). With an already
well established water transport system in the Northeast, there
exists the prospect of exporting fluid and processed dairy products
to Cambodia and the Republic of Vietnam.

High milk and milk product consumption is traditionally not a part
of the Thai culture, however, Thailand's people have always been
adaptive to new ideas. The success of dairy production intensifi-
cation over the past 10 years is mainly attributable to this
adaptability. People will be consuming more dairy products and thus
creating a greater demand. Farmers will adapt new technology and
management methods and will meet this demand. The prospects for
self-sufficiency and even export of dairy products by Thailand
therefore appear very good.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors gratefully express their appreciation to the staff and
students of Kasetsart University of Bangkok; to Dr. L. R. Humphreys
of the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane Australia;
and to Mr. Borisuthi Panditwongse, director of the Northeast
Agricultural Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

We are grateful also to Drs. W. J. A. Payne, J. H. Conrad, R. B.
Becker and J. W. Carpenter for their suggestions and constructive
comments. We also thank Mr. R. L. Edelstein, Dr. H. H. Van Horn,
Mr. R. W. Adkinson, Mr. J. A. Patterson, Mr. L. W. Whitlow, Mr. J. L.
Kratz, Mr. J. B. White, Mrs. P. A. Strickland and Miss L. J. Buzzerd
for their efforts.


REFERENCES

1. Benya, E. G. 1972. Cattle and Buffalo Production in Vietnam.
Dairy Science Dept., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, Dairy Sci.
Mimeo Report DY72-1.

2. Brown, L. R. 1963. Agricultural Diversification and Economic
Development in Thailand:A Case Study. Economic Research
Service Regional Analysis Division, United States Department of
Agriculture, Washington, D. C. Foreign Agricultural Economic
Report No. 8.

3. Brown, R. E. and W. H. Rufener. 1969. Productivity of Cattle
and Buffalo in Northeast Thailand. J. Dairy Sci., 52:925.

4. Butterworth, M. H. 1967. The Digestibility of Tropical Grasses.
Nutr. Abstr. Rev., 37:349.








- 25 -


5. Economic Research Service Regional Analysis Division. 1961. An
Economic Analysis of Far Eastern Agriculture. USDA, Washington,
D. C. Foreign Agricultural Economic Report No. 2.

6. F.A.O. 1970. Production Yearbook. Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations. Rome, Vol. 24.

7. Fisher, H. 1971. Information on Indigenous Cattle in Thailand
by using Chromosome Analysis. Zutschrift fur Tierzuchtung
und Zuchtungsbiologie, 88:215.

8. Fryer, D. W. 1970. Emerging Southeast Asia a Study in Growth
and Stagnation. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

9. Government of Thailand. 1965. Thailand Official Year Book 1965.
Government House Printing Office, Bangkok.

10. Government of Thailand. 1968. Thailand Official Year Book.1968.
Government House Printing Office, Bangkok.

11. Gunnar, S. 1965. A Modern Dairy Farm in Thailand. SPAN 8(3):
155.

12. Humphreys, L. R. 1972. Personal communication.

13. Ingram, J. C. 1955. Economic Change in Thailand Since 1950.
Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, California.

14. Ministry of National Development. 1965. Thailand Facts and
Figures. Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation,
Bangkok, Thailand.

15. Morrison, F. B. 1959. Feeds and Feeding, 22nd ed. The Morrison
Publishing Company, Clinton, Iowa.

16. National Statistical Office. 1971. Office of the Prime Minister,
Bangkok, Thailand, 19:2.

17. National Statistical Office. 1965. Statistical Yearbook
Thailand. Office of the Prime Minister, Bangkok, Thailand.

18. Panditwongse, B. 1972. Personal communication.

19. Payne, W. J. A. 1970. Cattle Production in the Tropics, Vol.
I. General Introduction and Breeds and Breeding. Longman
Group Limited, London.

20. Robinson, H. 1967. Monsoon Asia: A Geographical Survey.
Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, New York.

21. Siegmund, 0. H. (editor). 1961. The Merck Veterinary Manual.
2nd ed., Merck & Co. Inc., Rahway, New Jersey.








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22. Smith, H. D. 1963. Agricultural Production and Consumption
Patterns Market Potential in Thailand. Univ. of Maryland
Agricultural Economics Misc. Publ. No. 490.

23. Van Roy, E. 1971. Economic Systems of Northern Thailand
Structure and Change. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York.

24. Villegas, V. 1939. Live Stock Industries of Cochin China,
Cambodia, Siam, and Malaya. The Philippine Agriculturist,
27:693.




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