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Stackyard News Oct 07

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The Case for Jerseys Becomes Stronger

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 breed.

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 structure, too.”

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.”    

link Alternative Semen Company to Widen Cross Breeding Options
link Northern Expo Holstein Show Goes Ahead
link 2008 Semex Dairy Conference

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jersey cattle society
Jersey Cattle Society