The Fodder and Dairy Productions Research Centre (CRA-FLC) of Lodi comes from the aggregation into one single institution of three experimental Institutes belonging to the Italian Ministry of Agriculture: the Experimental Institute for Fodder Crops (located in Lodi); the Experimental Institute for Dairy Products (located in Lodi); and the Experimental Institute for Dairy Livestock (located in Cremona). The origin of the ISCF dates back to 1923, when a group of local institutions and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture established in Lodi the Grassland Experimental Station. The Experimental Institute for Dairy Livestock originated from the Istituto Sperimentale Agrario Cremonese-Fondazione G. Robbiani established in Cremona on 1922 thanks to the contribution of different local subjects concerned with progress and social welfare in agriculture. The origin of the ISLC dates back to 1871, when it was established by Royal decree to join together science and practical cheese-making skills. In 1923 the Institute bought a farm to carry out research in the whole filer from milk to cheese.
The mission of CRA-FLC is focused on the zootechnical-dairy sector, especially on the breeding of the dairy cattle, with reference to the livestock and forage systems for the sustainable improvement of crops for animal feeding and to the breeding techniques and their effects on physiology and animal wellness. The mission is also addressed to the improvement of the quality and safety of milk and dairy products, the study of the industrial processing and the valorization of by-products and micro-organisms in the dairy industry.
In the area of dairy livestock research activity is aimed at: increasing efficiency, quality and safety of milk; improving animal welfare of young and lactating cattle; reducing environmental impact of livestock farms and achieving good quality status of air and water in intensive animal production areas; promoting, testing, validating, and applying new technologies to improve animal productivity, efficiency, and welfare; human welfare and safety in dairy farms. Feeding trials address the following topics: precision of feeding to reduce the environmental impact of livestock production and metabolic problems in growing and lactating dairy cows; effects of feeding young animals on their development and productivity as adults; animal metabolic programming; effect of feeding on milk quality; reduction of mycotoxins in feedstuffs and milk; evaluation of innovative cropping systems adapted to climate changes.
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