Ranger and Rosebud most used bulls
In the 2018-2019 financial year, most inseminations in the Netherlands were carried out with genomic bulls. For Black & White, Double W Ranger (by Reflector) is leader of the list, for Red & White it is Delta Rosebud (by Filou).
The genomic bulls are popular. It takes a long time after Ranger for the next bull to appear, - Ranger’s share is that great. Delta Magister (by Whatsapp) is in 2nd place, followed by Delta Lendor, Delta Lunar and Weelder Empire. All of them young bulls with genomic breeding values. The first daughter-proven sire is Bouw Rocky in 7th place. With Red & White it is no different. Rosebud is followed at some distance by Delta Moutard, Delta Goal and Kingfarm Holsteins Anreli.
Another striking trend: The number of inseminations with Belgian Blue beef bulls is declining. The share fell by a few tenths of a percentage to 25.4. That means that livestock farmers are trying to make one in four cows pregnant from a beef bull. Black & White still accounts for 51.9%, Red & White for 13.9%.
Addison daughters in top list for lifetime production
The Rith Nora 265 is leading the list of cows with the highest lifetime production in the 2018-2019 financial year. Nora is owned by Adrion and Lisette van Beek, from Teteringen, and is an 88-point Addison daughter. She produced 195,124 kg of milk with an average of 4.03% fat and 3.30% protein. Second is also an Addison daughter: Metje 668 from dairy farm Mandeveld at Bakkeveen. Metje produced almost 180,000 kg milk, however she is no longer at the farm.
Most points for Koba and Jose
Last year, Bons-Holsteins Koba 219 (by Lauthority) received the highest score from the inspectors: 94 points, with no less than 95 points for udder. With Red & White, the place of honor in the top list for type was captured by Twente Dairies Jose 421 (by Wisconsin). She received 93 points.
Koba is owned by Nico and Lianne Bons from Ottoland, who also achieved the highest average type score with their herd: 87.3 points. A special achievement of Jose and Koba: the two stable mates were the general champions at NRM 2019. Twente Dairies Apple Jose 2 (by Big Apple) is also in the Twente Dairies herd and received 92 points for type. Bons-Holsteins Ella 192 (by Seaver) received the highest honor with the Black & Whites during the National Show, she received a 93-point overall rating.
Breeding for a robot-suitable herd
The daughters of some bulls are more suitable for automatic milking than the daughters of others. Marijke Van Looveren and Katleen Geerinckx from dairy cattle testing company Hooibeekhoeve in Flanders (Belgium) have 15 years of experience with robotic milking. Breeding plays an important role in the pursuit of a robot-suitable herd.
Difference between bulls
Extremely strong central ligaments, with inwardly placed and crossed rear teats as a result, make it difficult for the robot to connect the teats. Short teats, and rear teats placed close to each other also cause problems for the robot. For Van Looveren and Geerinckx udder traits are an important criterion when selecting bulls. They also take the process of adjustment to the robot into account. "The daughters of some bulls need more time to get used to the robot than the daughters of other bulls," Van Looveren gives as an example. Bulls with the "robot-suitable" stamp are therefore preferred.
The complete herd of 90 cows (with almost 11,000 kg milk on average) has been tested for genetic markers. That makes determining the ideal combination even more reliable. The Hooibeekhoeve uses SAP, the sire advice program, for this. In addition to udder traits, feet & legs and milkability are also heavily weighted. "Good feet & legs are essential for a good walk on the robot, and with a higher milking speed the capacity of the robot is also higher."
More grazing for Dutch cow
For the third year in a row the number of Dutch companies that use grazing has increased. In the year 2018, 80% of the dairy farms turned the cows out to grass, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
For a number of years now, pasture has been firmly on the agenda of the dairy sector and dairy industry. That attention is paying off, also thanks to the bonus of between one and two cents per kg milk that dairy processors pay farmers. When dairy products are sold, the packaging mentions that the basis is ‘pasture milk’. Consumers associate this with better animal welfare and a more natural behavior of cows.
Protein in ration of cows can go to 15%
The raw protein content in rations of dairy cows can easily go up to 15% without consequences for the milk production, according to research by Schothorst Feed Research.
Usually, the crude protein content in rations of dairy cows is around 16.5%, 165 grams per kg of dry matter. This brings the urea content in the tank milk to an average of 22. The utilization of nitrogen (N) is then around 300%. A reduction from 16.5 to 15% is very well possible, according to animal nutritionist Wilfried van Straalen. "With that you have better use of nitrogen, to around 37%, and the ammonia emission also decreases, by 7%."
However, a ration with 15% crude protein also requires optimum fine-tuning of the digestion rate of protein and carbohydrates. "Also consider the availability of amino acids and the presence of glucogenic energy." A further decrease of the crude protein content is possible. "But then you talk about precision nutrition, or: a ration and concentrate composition for each cow individually."
CRV bulls: new stars and proven chart toppers