Genomic tests help us discover a lot of information about the genetic merit of cattle at a young age. The current batch of bull dams and the other Delta donors at the Dairy Breeding Center do not have any recorded performances yet, but will prove their worth when they are older. A couple of great examples of successful cows are evidence that CRV’s breeding programme aimed at high lifetime production is certainly paying off.
Thanks to genomic selection we already know as much about the genetic value of a young calf as about a cow with three lactations. CRV therefore uses a high number of maiden heifers in the breeding programme, although it seems to go against grain of our goal of high lifetime production. Numerous former donors (often bull dams) demonstrate the opposite effect: they realise amazing lifetime production with figures exceeding 100,000 kg of milk and more. Just take the example of the excellent Delta Alana (granddam of breeding bull Hedra Allround): at the Delta test farm run by the Vernooij family she has already produced almost 115,000 kg of milk.
100-tonners from the Renate dynasty
As the dam of Atlantic and granddam of Vitesse, Solero, Danno and Saxobeat, Etazon Renate is a familiar name to many farmers. Renate’s descendants also have an above average, positive inheritance pattern and prove the success of selection based on healthy lifetime production. Two relatives of Etazon Renate recently achieved the significant milestone of 100,000 kg of milk production. Shottle daughter Delta Renate 1 smashed this barrier at the Knoef family farm in Geesteren (Netherlands). The former donor did this just before being dried off to give birth to her seventh calf. Jos Knoef praises Renate 1 for the ease with which she produces. She has a typical broad ‘Renate rump’ and the later maturity he likes to see in his herd. As a heifer Renate 1 was awarded 84 points, reached 85 point on her second calf and rose further in the ratings in her fourth lactation to achieve 87 points.
Successful sister of Renate
Etazon Rianne, a full sister of Etazon Renate, produced on the old Delta test farm in Kollummerpomp. Five years ago, the Roelofsen partnership from Ressen acquired the entire herd from the test farm. Johan Roelofsen remembers O Man daughter Etazon Rianne (85) as a medium-sized, strong cow with correct udders. In 2016 she achieved the milestone of 100,000 kg of milk and when she finally left the farm she had the respectable figure of 111,227 kg lifetime production to her name.
Even more 100-tonners from Delta
As well as Etazon Rianne, more former donors from the herd at the old Delta test farm have also produced more than 100,000 kg of milk. These include Delta Blanca (s. Jocko), a half-sister of breeding bull Delta NY Yankee and Haafs Cashon 5314 (s. Canvas). Johan Roelofsen still speaks of her in superlatives. Descendants of her family are still widely used in the breeding programme resulting in, for example, InSire bull Haafs Cashier (s. Danno) and a red-and-white grandson (s. Maroon), who is one of the best red-and-white calves we are currently rearing.
The most recent former donor to smash the 100,000 kg barrier on this farm is Delta Linda (s. Win395). ‘Linda is a lovely cow who has not had a single udder problem in the five years we have owned her’, says Roelofsen. ‘She is pregnant again now, and still has a bright future ahead.’ Linda’s family also produced InSire Top bulls like Het Meer Bravo and Delta Topgear.