Ask any dairy farmer, anywhere in the world, to describe their breeding goals and irrespective of the breed of cattle, the answers will be very similar. The nuances of their breeding strategy and choices differ marginally, determined by the local market and the production conditions. But high on every farmer’s wish list is a cow that produces effortlessly and converts feed efficiently into milk.
Numerous breeding values have been developed in recent years to facilitate a targeted breeding strategy that accommodates a range of traits. CRV clearly summarises all these…read more ›
‘Breeding with an emphasis on conformation is still an important factor’, according to Emiel Willems, stock manager at the Abbink dairy farm in Vriezenveen. ‘Cows with balanced conformation perform better across the board and have a longer productive life’, he explains. Classification, SireMatch and HerdOptimizer are tools that help farmers to work effectively on their breeding goals.
Take a cow like Wilskracht Warsi 879. Emiel Willems’ enthusiasm for her knows no bounds. She is one of his favourite cows in the 300-head dairy herd at the Abbink farm in Vriezenveen, …read more ›
De Rith Nora 265 smashed the barrier of 200,000 kg of milk today. The Addison daughter, who is owned by Adrion and Lisette van Beek from Breda, is the fourth cow in the Netherlands to achieve this amazing milestone.
Nora is much cleverer than her herd mates
Nora will be 19 years old this month. She has clocked up 12 milk yield records and took a total of 5457 days to reach the magic figure of 200,000 kg of milk. Nora was bred by Jos Peeters, Lisette van Beek’s father. She has spent her entire life at the De Rith dairy farm. Measuring just 143 cm in height, she is now…
Just a minor improvement in the milk yield from a kilo of feed has a significant impact on a farm’s financial results. So it’s hardly surprising that the feed sector and the breeding world are both investing heavily in efforts to boost feed efficiency per farm and at cow level. This series of three articles in Veeteelt outlines the developments. This is part 3: In practice.
Are Jersey cows more efficient at converting feed than Holsteins and is there a variance in the feed efficiency rates of h…read more ›
Recently, 30 feeders were installed at Gerard Meerkerk’s farm in Emmer-Compascuum. These feeders are used by CRV to measure the individual feed intake of the 200-head herd on the dairy farm. This data is vitally important in revealing the genetic variation in feed efficiency and further improving breeding values. In the words of Gerard Meerkerk: ‘Being economical with feed has never been so important’.
Two cents lower feed costs
Meerkerk’s farm is the fifth location where feed intake is being measured by CRV. Together with four other farms in the Netherland…