2013-05-24   facebook twitter rss
Good Genetics and Management: A Golden Combination

A policy of matching the right nutrition and management with the right genetics has paid off for the Miller family who won the 2012 RABDF and NMR Gold Cup. They are now inviting dairy farmers to see and buy their cows at an open day on their farm on the 31st May.

The Millers moved to Evesham in Worcestershire from Somerset in the 1990s and established the Shanael Herd, named after mother Shan and father Michael. Now they run the farm with sons Steve and Paul. Since then they have built the herd up from 45 to 350 cows averaging 12,100 litres a cow a year on 3.75% fat and 3.15% protein.

Paul, Mike, Shan and Steve Miller

Paul, Mike, Shan and Steve Miller

Bullsemen.com genetics have featured on the farm for a number of years and two of the cows in the open day sale are in calf to the outcross sire Sudan, a bull who scored +£160 in the April PLI listings with excellent type ratings. Massey, judged to be the world’s top outcross sire in 2012, has another firm place in the Shanael herd with 60 cows in calf to him this year.

Paul explains that as well as well proven bulls, the farm is using genomics to speed up the development of the herd.

“Around half of the cows are in-calf to genomic bulls as we seek to improve the genetics of the herd as rapidly as possible. One genomic bull that has featured strongly this year is Galaxy.”

Galaxy had a PLI of +£251 in the April proofs scoring +0.5 for Lifespan and Daughter Fertility and 3.10 for Type Merit.

With such a high yielding herd, type is a very important to maximise the number of lactations and keep the cattle healthy. Meanwhile, there has been a significant recent investment in the parlour and in housing with cattle fed on a Total Mixed Ration of maize, grass and Lucerne.

“As well as being a four million litre herd, we wanting to build our pedigree sales and the open day gives us an ideal opportunity to showcase our cows. There will be 14 milking cows, 12 stock bulls and 34 top breeding heifers.”

The Golden Celebration Sale and open day will take place at Greville Hall Farm near Evesham in Worcestershire on the 31st May. Farmers wishing to attend the free event should register at www.rabdf.co.uk/gold-cup-registration

The day will see presentations by Steve and Paul Miller as well as speakers from NMR, RABDF, Holstein UK and Kite Consulting. Representatives from Bullsemen.com will also be exhibiting and on hand to discuss genetics needs.

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