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Stackyard News Mar 07

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    NMR Report Shows Milk Quality Improvements

The latest NMR Annual Production Report, for the year ending September 2006, shows an improvement in average fat percentage, and a stabilising of protein percentage, after a period of decline in milk constituents.


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In the Holstein breed, which represents 92% of NMR recorded lactations, average fat is now 3.87% – back to the 01/02 level. Although only a small proportion of recorded herds, Island Jerseys show the largest increase in fat during the past 12 months with an increase of 0.08 to 5.14%, followed by 0.03 increases in Jerseys and British Friesians, bringing their levels to 5.32% and 4.09% respectively.

Average protein in the Ayrshire, Montbeliarde and Meuse Rhine Issel have increased by 0.01, 0.03 and 0.01 respectively with all other breeds holding their 2004/05 levels except the Guernsey, where average protein has dropped by 0.03.

Milk yields have continued to increase with the biggest improvement seen in the Jersey breed where the average has risen by 100kg to 5,481kg – a rise of 1.9%. The Holstein average has increased by 0.7% to 8,270kg. The second highest yielding breed is the Brown Swiss with an average of 7,225kg – an increase of 70kg on the previous year.

There has been a significant increase in the number of Jerseys recorded with NMR –up from 2.3% to 2.5%. There is also an increase in Brown Swiss, MRI and Montbeliarde, all of which included crossbreds.

The somatic cell count average for all NMR recorded herds increases for the second year running and is now 197,000 cells/ml. In the main dairy breeds, with 0.5% or more of recorded lactations, average somatic cell counts have increased in the Holsteins, now averaging 198,000, Jerseys and Shorthorns, whereas drops have been recorded in the Ayrshires, Guernseys, British Friesian and Island Jerseys. The lowest average among these breeds is the Ayrshire with 173,000 cells/ml.

Customers can get access to national and their county rankings by contacting NMR on 0870 1622547 for their unique PIN number. Producers without access to the Internet can request a simple printed format of national tables and their county.

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