VEEpro news April 2020

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The outbreak of coronavirus is severely affecting our daily lives. But despite this, the bulls have been allocated their new breeding values ‘as usual’.

The five-yearly baseline base change has also been implemented and show that herds have made enormous genetic progress. Especially for all health traits and longevity the progress was higher compared to any other country. An achievement that the Dutch and Flemish cattle breeding sector can be immensely proud of! CRV is also proud that popular genomic bulls are living up to their expectations as breeding bulls. Together with farmers, we like to work in harmony to create healthy and efficient herds.



The five-yearly baseline adjustment means that cows born in 2015 will form the baseline to determine the zero point (for absolute breeding values) or the 100-point (for relative breeding values). Before the adjustment, cows born in 2010 were used. The shift apparent in the breeding values reveals the enormous genetic progress that has been achieved, including for CRV’s Better Life Health and Efficiency values. So, herds in the Netherlands and Flanders have increased their levels of health and efficiency.



Delta Bodyguard (s. Bolt) is the most notable newcomer in the list of daughter proven bulls. He thanks his high ranking to the combination of impressive milk production (+1151 kg) with neutral components (-0.06% fat and +0.02% protein). Bodyguard is also a strong contender for type with 107 for overall conformation and 107 for udders and feet and legs. This bull will join our portfolio in the coming months. Another striking name is Peak Hotline. This son by Hotrod from the Peak breeding programme in the USA has an excellent conformation score (109) with sublime udders (110) and is listed in the top 5 TPI in America. He combines abundant milk (+1100 kg) with a very positive plus for fat (+ 0.34%). Hotline’s daughters are delivering impressive performances worldwide.




Delta Magister (s. Whatsapp) appears on the bull chart as a new proven bull with more than 1200 proven daughters. His daughters are solid and robust. In practice they show that these all-round, sturdy cows can easily manage a high production. They are also well balanced (aAa code 156) with a nice chest width (102). They produce plenty of milk (+463 kg) with a great score for protein (+0.18%). Delta Jupiler is a former InSire talent who is living up to the potential of his genomic breeding values. This Amigo son scores exceedingly well, particularly in terms of health (+ 7% health). His daughters are very fertile (107) and excel in udder (104) and hoof health (107). The most widely used bull in the red-and-white segment in recent years is Delta Rosebud (s. Filou). And for good reason! He is listed as a daughter proven bull with more than 1,000 lactating daughters. He combines high milk production (+854 kg) with a great score for protein (+0.02%). Farmers describe Rosebud heifers as robust animals with a bit more muscularity. Rosebud’s progeny will inherit excellent udders (112) and will be very healthy (+ 8%) and fertile (105).


Noteworthy names in this index are the descendants of Delta Jacuzzi (s. Livington). The top three positions in the red-and-white segment are occupied by his sons Delta Nominator, Delta Novak P and Drouner Altitude. His sons all score more than 10% in terms of efficiency; a combination of production, longevity and feed intake. Another Jacuzzi son, Delta Eloy, is equally making a name for himself, but in the black-and-white league instead. He combines production (+1163 kg) with a protein percentage of +0.11% and overall conformation of 110.





Already mentioned above, Delta Novak P is the first polled son by Jacuzzi. His great component percentages (+0.40% fat and +0.17% protein) and robust profile mean this bull will certainly appeal to breeders. The most compelling black-and-white, genomic tested bull is Nippon P (s. Hotspot). With plenty of milk (+947 kg), good components (+0.11% fat and +0.28% protein) and very healthy daughters (+9%) he is a promising bull. These bulls show that the quality of polled bulls is improving.



CRV’s portfolio of bulls presents a wide diversity of pedigrees. Delta Podcast (s.Simba) is a true production champion (+1009 kg) with positive bonuses for fat (+0.30%) and protein (+0.13%) and an excellent score for longevity (+498 days). A real star in efficient production with a Better Life Efficiency score of +11%. His all-round profile with good health (Better Life Health +8%) perfectly matches current market demands. Similarly, the bulls Delta Trevor (s.Javino) and Lowlands Blessing (s Jethro) both match the same profile. Trevor passes on +1220 kg milk with +0.16% protein. In addition, his daughters will be very fertile (106) with healthy udders(104) and hoofs(104). Blessing has a comparable performance with + 937 kg milk and +0.23% protein and a score of 7% for health.



Cows from the traditional Dutch breed MRIJ are robust, fertile animals that give milk with a high percentage of protein. This dual purpose breed produces good meat, and also has outstanding scores for efficiency, health and rich milk. Heading the list for MRIJ is Vinkenhof 69 Dirk (Buster x Daniël) with a ranking of 139 NVI. His daughters offer high components (+0.24% fat and +0.09% protein) and great longevity (393 days). New in the range is Jochem (Bernard x Dos 4), an attractive red-and-white bull with striking components (+0.13% fat and +0.16% protein). Jochem has a true MRIJ profile, which is particularly evident in high scores for body composition traits.




The range has a bull to suit everyone, whether your ideal is rich, component rich milk, polled traits, a different pedigree or a daughter proven or genomic bull. We are happy to work with you to create healthy and efficient herds.

Popular bulls meet expectations as breeding bulls
The outbreak of coronavirus is severely affecting our daily lives. But despite this, the bulls have been allocated their new breeding values ‘as usual’.

New indexes for health and position of the front legs
With the April index release, CRV has added two new health indexes to the breeding value estimate. Herewith farmers are given tools to breed for healthy, fertile cows.

The Reproduction Disorders Index includes five disorders: retained placenta, white lining, uteritis, cystic ovaries and inactive ovaries. In the metabolic disorders, milk fever, clinical ketosis and subclinical ketosis come together. These breeding values ​​help dairy farmers work towards less inflammation of the uterus and less ketosis. A breeding value for the position of the front legs has also been introduced in April. For three years, inspectors have been scoring this characteristic during the herd inspection. The difference in front leg position between cows is considerable, they have observed. It is partly hereditary and therefore it is possible to do something about it through breeding.

Fertility is improving
The fertility of Dutch livestock is improving. During the index release of April 2020 a basic adjustment was made, and it appears that in 5 years’ time the black-and-white cows have gained two points for fertility.

Improvement is also visible for production and type. The B&W and R&W cows improved by about 300 kg of milk. More than 200 days were added for longevity. Total type went up three points, just like udder.

Roza 465: MRIJ Cow of the Year 2019
The 4th-calver Roza 465 (by Remco) was elected MRIJ Cow of the Year 2019. Herewith she follows in the footsteps of her great-great-granddam Roza 28. This daughter of Beltman 18 was proclaimed MRIJ Cow of the Year in 2004, fifteen years ago.

According to the jury, Roza 465 best shows the typical MRIJ properties. In her lifetime, she produced 30,000 kg of milk with 4.74% fat and 3.94% protein. In the stable of the Groot Koerkamp family in Lettele, this brings her to an average lactation value of 120. Her type score is 86 points, with 87 points for both udder and legs.

All-in-all-out reduces infection pressure
Housing calves in fixed groups of the same age reduces infection pressure. This in turn reduces the risk of diseases.

All-in-all-out means that calves stay together in a group and are moved all at the same time. This reduces stress and ensures that the housing can be cleaned properly, and preferably also be left empty for drying. Pathogens thus have less chance and animals are also less susceptible to them. It is important that the calves in such a group are about the same age. The calves should not come into contact with older animals to prevent the transmission of diseases.

Higher feed efficiency, lower costs
"Feed costs at our farm represent more than half of the costs, because we buy a lot of feed. If we could save 5 to 10 percent on feed in the future with a more efficient cow, that would make a big difference for our herd moneywise.” Together with his family and employees, Wilco Vroege milks about 800 cows. He has 80 special feeding troughs installed in the barn, which enables him to calculate the feed efficiency of different cows each time.

Data collection
The current feed efficiency of the total herd fluctuates between 1.45 and 1.55 kg milk per 1 kg dry matter. They hope to improve this further with breeding. "It is important for breeding that data are being collected and we want to contribute to that. Since the beginning we have also been a FokkerijData Plus participant, the genomics of all our animals have been examined. This helps us to make even faster progress with the best animals."

Breeding helps
The 70 percent genetically highest heifers are inseminated with sexed semen, the others with conventional semen. With the milking animals that percentage is five. In the meantime, the dairymen have supplied a number of AI bulls as well: Bentehoek Andorra, Bentehoek Faithful, Bentehoek Andy and Bentehoek Fashion." We know that 80 percent of the animal's performance comes from management and only 20 percent from breeding, but we simply enjoy breeding too," says Aart, Wilco's father. "We want to make efficient use of the scarce raw materials in this world and the trial with the feeding troughs helps us with that."

As a result of the Corona virus, mid-March our systems have come to a screeching halt. Due to the current global situation, many feel that this confrontation makes them reflect on what really matters and what will become important. To start with, their home base, family, and friends. And whether for example enough food will be available in the near future. And secondly they will start to think about the situation, what will the world look like later on?

For, who would have thought this a few weeks ago? It seems we have all ended up in a science fiction film; a deadly and contagious virus that spreads all over the world and requires the implementation of serious, restrictive measures.  And let's get one thing straight right away, these measures are of the utmost importance.

The situation with regard to the Corona virus is serious, and  each country is dealing  with it in its own way. In the Netherlands, new rules of conduct are added every week.

Also in the international livestock trade usually a number of people get together, such as breeding cattle exporters, transporters and buyers. Under the current measures this is not prohibited in the Netherlands, and should continue. However, it is important that all parties involved strictly adhere to the preventive measures against the Corona virus. In the interest of the society, the sector and everyone's health.

And when the journey is taking the cattle transport outside our national borders, the trip is prepared extra well, with the transporters being fully aware of all measures that apply in the countries through which they will pass. For example: Is an additional official statement or vignette required for this specific country? In advance the waiting times for the borders are closely monitored and planned in. Also there has been close contact with the halting-places. Everyone in the Netherlands concerned with cattle or logistics is fully aware that these journeys are made with quality live animals for which they bear the responsibility.

The future will tell: “Are we living an era of change? Or a change of era?"

Lianne van Dongen
Veterinary Director

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