Multivariate analysis relating milk production, milk composition, and seasons of the year


An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.




Abstract Our objective was to quantify the relationship between seasons of the year, milk production, and milk composition of a dairy farm based on data for 48 consecutive months, using multivariate statistical analyses. The dataset contained information on productive indexes and milk composition from the bulk tank milk, which was measured from milk samples, collected monthly and used to determine the total dry extract and defatted dry extract, lactose, fat, protein, somatic cell count, and total bacterial count. Seasons of the year and milk production/hectare were also considered. Factor, cluster, and discriminant analysis were used to study the relationships between the above-mentioned variables. A positive relationship was noted between season and total dry extract, defatted dry extract, milk fat, and protein, with higher values being observed in winter and spring. Similarly, a positive relationship was noted between season and milk production/hectare, lactose content, with an increase in milk production and lactose content in winter and spring, which was negatively related to the somatic cell count and total bacterial count. Milk production and composition varied mainly with seasons. Multivariate analyses facilitated a better understanding of the relationship between milk production and composition on this dairy farm.

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