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Stackyard News Jan 05
news index     NMR

Yield drop, but IOM herd stays at top

Results just published in NMR's Annual Production Report for the year ending September 2004 show Andrew and Sue Sanders' Holstein herd in top place for the second year running, despite a drop in fat and protein yield of 57kg and nearly 600kg of milk. Average production for the 240 cows from the Isle of Man is 13,061kg of milk and 889kg of fat and protein on three times a day milking.

Moving up five places to second position is the Newman's 198-cow herd from Dorset with 866kg of fat and protein and 12,469kg of milk, also on three times a day milking.

New to first place in the Ayrshire production ranking is the Tinkler's herd from Yorkshire. The 104-cow herd yielded 663kg of fat and protein and 8,623kg of milk. The Cimarron Partnership's Shorthorn herd remains top of its breed ranking with 634kg of fat and protein and 8,934kg of milk.

Also staying in top place of their breed production ranking is the Martel's Guernsey herd from Guernsey with 665kg of fat and protein and 7,695kg of milk. And the Mahon's Jersey herd from Norfolk has moved up one place to top with 650kg of fat and protein and 7,436kg of milk.

Genetic order The MOET Nucleus herd based in Cheshire adds £1 of PIN to its average, which is now £56, and stays top of NMR's genetic ranking. Closely behind is Cogent Breeding's herd with a PIN of £55.

Breed averages NMR production data, which includes lactation information from more than 50% of British dairy cows, shows a fall in milk quality for all the major dairy breeds for the year ending September 2004 compared with the previous year.

Only the Shorthorn, Island Jersey and Montbeliarde, each of which has less than 1% of the total NMR-recorded lactations, show an increase in either fat or protein per cent.

Taking the total number of NMR recorded lactations, of which the Holstein breed represents 92.8%, average milk yield has increased by 2.9% to 7,943kg, but fat has dropped for the seventh year running, from 4.10% in 1996/7 to 3.85%, and protein has fallen to 3.23% from 3.29% in 2001/02.

After year-on-year increases since 1998/99, average somatic cell counts have now dropped slightly; by 1,000 to 187,000 cells/ml. Of the pure dairy breeds, the Shorthorn, with 160,000 cells/ml, and the Montbeliarde, with 140,000 cells/ml, have the lowest average cell counts.

Breeds with more than 1% of total lactations include the Holstein, Jersey, Ayrshire and Guernsey. All four breeds have recorded an increase in milk and fat and protein yields. The Ayrshire average milk yield has increased by 3.4% to 6,298kg with 458kg of fat and protein, and the Holsteins by 3.2% taking them to an average of 8,106kg of milk with 571kg of fat and protein.

A full list of all breed averages, including the British Friesian with 0.9% of lactations and now listed separately from the Holstein, can be seen on the NMR web site - at

Customers can get access to national and their county rankings by contacting NMR on 08457 660236 for their unique PIN number. Farmers without access to the Internet can request a simple printed format of national tables and their county.

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