Edward Morgan, chairman of the Jersey Cattle Society of the UK,
proclaims that recent increases in world market prices for dairy
products, plus the on-going drive for environmental and welfare
improvements all point towards an increased role for the Jersey
Jerseys live longer and are back in-calf quicker than other breeds
according to research in the USA.
The trend to Jersey is being seen on a world-wide basis and
the fact that dairy product markets require higher milk components,
rather than volume, is expected to increase the pace of change.
“It has been accepted for donkeys’ years that Jerseys
convert feed most efficiently, and this includes making best
use of homegrown forage,” continues
Mr Morgan. “It is not only the spring calving herds which
can benefit from the reduced impact which Jerseys have on soil
Longevity and fertility are exceptionally important benefits
which Jerseys bring to dairy farmers. In the USA, in particular,
there have been inter-breed comparisons of longevity for a number
of years. Jerseys have an absolute advantage in living longer,
and Mr Morgan looks forward to the MDC Breedingplus Lifespan
Score reflecting such facts.
NMR data in the UK highlights that Jerseys have a shorter Calving
Interval than Holsteins, Guernseys or Ayrshires, yet they produce
the second highest combined weight of fat and protein – producing
over 85 per cent of the Holstein total, yet with only 75 per
cent of the body weight to maintain.
Bringing all these factors together gives Jersey herds a compelling
combination where they have more productive animals, fewer costly
replacements, overall cost savings and higher milk value sales.
“Fertile is not in the farmers’ imagination when
keeping Jerseys,” exclaimed Mr Morgan, “it’s
a fact which the cows prove.”
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