The gold rush

Coming from a gold-rich country in Africa, I associate gold with quality and high value.

Nowadays, here in New Zealand, my best ‘day in the office’ is driving through green farmland and seeing the golden coats of Jersey cows across Aotearoa.

And it has been another great year for Jerseys. The demand for quality Jersey cows is good, and this is backed-up by recent sales results, with cows regularly fetching prices of more than $8,000, with the elite selling for more than $20,000! I regularly see Jersey cows producing more milk solids than their liveweight. Jerseys produce 13% more fat per kg of liveweight, 9% more milk solids per kg liveweight, and 18% better feed conversion than other breeds.

Other Jersey advantages include the fact 66% of the Jersey cow population carries the A2A2 gene, and if you are thinking about once-a-day (OAD) milking, the Jersey breed is extremely well-suited to this milking regime.

The golden girls also excel in fertility and good udders, as indicated by the average current cow BVs in New Zealand.

What tools do we use for breeding the best Jersey Premier Siresteams?

Genomic selection assists LIC in identifying the best bull calves to enter the breeding programme, and the use of genomics allows for rapid acceleration of genetic gain (i.e. by cutting the generation interval).The new Single Step Animal Model (SSAM), implemented in February gives us a state-of-the-art model to realise those rapid genetic gains. Using these tools, together with a focus on good solid cow families, gives LIC’s livestock selection team the ability to breed high-performing bulls, a select few of which will ultimately be PremierSires.

The 2020 Jersey Premier SiresForward Pack team offers farmers LIC’s best-of-the-best: A combination of the best daughter proven bulls; genomically selected bulls, and; the best new graduates.

Adoption of the powerful team approach is aimed at driving the necessary genetic gain in farmers’ herds.

See pages 18&19 of The Bulletin for a detailed look at the likely Jersey Forward Pack team to be utilised this spring. The table highlighting the young stars, and commentary below, is part of my highlight package.

Jersey table

This Jersey team ticks all the boxes with high gBW, excellent production, favourable liveweight, great capacity, and good udder overall gBV’s.

Focusing on a few bulls that makeup this impressive team:

Dam of Glanton Desi Banff

Dam of 318021 Glanton Desi Banff

318021 - GLANTON DESI BANFF. From the Glanton stud in Taranaki, and out of the Glanton B family with his dam having a ProductionWorth (PW) of more than 500 and Lactation Worth (LW) consistently hitting more than 600. He’s an exciting young bull with high gBW and very low somatics.

319019 - GLENUI BT LIBERATION-ET. From the Glenui stud in Taranaki, and bred from the well-known high producing Glenui L family which has multiple sons awaiting proofs. This bull is a production and type champion. Exceptional high protein and fat, combined with great capacity and good live weight.

Lynbrook King Quadrant

318012 - LYNBROOK KING QUADRANT. From the reputable Lynbrook stud in Tokoroa, a true all-rounder out of the Q-family with the Goldie dam, who is a high production cow. If you’re looking for good capacity, strong udders, and robust dairy conformation, this bull adds it all and is a major pillar in this powerful Premier Sires team.

WHAT ABOUT THE 17-CODES? Bred out of impressive cow families to get their first daughter proofs, we’re getting closer to the exciting time of the year where results of the 17-born bulls flow through. And there’s some kind of anticipation, expectation and excitement ahead! They’re part of a range of sons by exceptional sires such as Trigger, Terrific, Goldie, Strider and Hall-of-Fame inductee Integrity.

Danie Swart, LIC bull acquisition manager