About one month ago, two new farms has become a CRV test farm. It are the farms of Arjan and Saskia van Erp (Midwolda) and family Van Berkum (Elahuizen). CRV has now 9 test farms in total.
On the CRV test farms the Delta heifers show CRV’s breeding program in practice. Due to the new phosphate regulations in the Netherlands it was more difficult for CRV to place 130 test heifers per year at the current test farms. ‘Therefore we searched for new test farms’, says Pieter van Goor, breeding specialist of CRV. He is also involvend in the selection of new test farms.
‘For the regional spread of all test farms, we have been looking for farms in Groningen and Friesland (in the North of the Netherlands),’ explains Pieter. ‘In this way al our members have the possibility to visit a test farm and see test heifers. Both new test farms are well managed farms, and on such farms you can see our top-level genetics even better.’
Elagaaster breeding farm of the family Van Berkum in Elahuizen is well known for CRV. ‘Last year we have bought here a very good heifer calf of Riverboy with red factor and 340 NVI’, says Pieter. On the moment they are milking 260 cows in a rotary milking system. The cows are fed by an automatic feeding system.
Also Arjan and Saskia van Erp are very active with breeding. Last year they reached the final of the contest ‘Best herd of the Netherlands’. Their breeded bull Midwolder Goldmar has long been on the sire card of CRV. They are milking 170 cows with 3 milking robots and the cows can also go outside for grazing.
Contribution of top genetics
‘Annually, there are going 10 to 20 test heifers to every test farm,’ says Pieter. ‘Although, test heifers is not a very good name for it. These heifers are already genomically tested when they were a calf. But we want to show our members what it means to have good genetics in your herd. Therefore these heifers go to test farms.’ Pieter therefore gives an example of another test farm. ‘The familiy Peeters in Belgium always said that good management was the most important to have a high production. But now they are a test farm for CRV, they experienced that genetics have also a high contribution to a good milk production. More than they could think about before.’