Is there a way to avoid the problems of seasonal variation?

Yes, through proper herd management. It is possible to maintain a consistent balance in a dairy herd of the numbers of cows at all stages of the lactation cycle by practicing what is known as “herd rotation” – at any time during the 12 month calendar year, the same number of cows are at all stages of lactation, resulting in a consistent composition of milk coming from that herd.

The farmer/partners of Idaho Milk Products are not seasonal dairy farmers. The dairies that supply our milk “rotate” their herds so that roughly the same number of cows are calving and lactating throughout the year and milk production remains relatively constant. The resultant milk used in our factory therefore remains relatively constant in composition. The advantage for you, the end user, is that you will receive an IdaPro MPC/MPI with the same functional properties in January, June and November. Your production will proceed with fewer problems and your product quality will be consistent at the levels you desire throughout the year.

True rotation of herds is only possible, however, when the cows are fed the same feed supply throughout the year. Of all of the dairy regions of the world, the only region that practices wide scale formula feeding of the dairy herds is the Western USA. Throughout the North Central and Eastern USA as well as in Europe and in Oceania, cows are pasture grazed. The pastures are not always ideal for grazing during certain times of the year. This is when farmers in these regions usually let their cows “dry up”. Have you heard other milk protein vendors talk about the “new season” or “next season”? They are actually talking about the seasonality of their milk supply. In every country other than the US, manufacture of milk proteins has a definite season. In Europe the season begins in March and extends to November. In Oceania, the season begins in October and extends to April/ May, depending on how fast the cows start drying up. Throughout the 8 or so months that these regions milk their cows for the manufacture of proteins, the composition of their milk changes. As we have seen above, changes in milk composition result in production problems for manufacturers.