Welcome to the World Jersey Cattle Bureau
 

This report can be downloaded as a .pdf from this link: Europe Region - Vice President's Report 2014


Vice-president Report from Europe - 2014

 

The interest in the Jersey breed and the number of Jerseys in Europe keeps increasing. The demand for Jersey heifers is high and new Jersey populations are established. This Year Croatia had their first Jerseys and more of the former Soviet republics and Eastern European countries have introduced Jerseys.

The reasons for the interest are numerous: Milk payment is changing from volume to milk solid based. Milk quota system in EU stops April 2015. More focus on cows with a different type of milk. Feed efficiency is high and green house gas emission is low, compared to other breeds. You can have more cows per hectare and more cows in the current barns.

I believe that the Jersey cow is in a strong position in competition with other dairy breeds. And it will be exciting to follow the development of the breed in Europe without quota restrictions and in Eastern Europe where milk production is increasing rapidly. .

 

UK Jersey

Demand for Jersey cattle is currently very strong in the UK. Two factors have stimulated this situation:-

-          First, the amalgamation of one of our milk co-ops, Milk Link, within Arla of Sweden / Denmark has accelerated the shift in the British dairy industry from a pricing system dominated by liquid (fluid) milk price to one where world trends rule.

Even more importantly for Jersey breeders, Arla currently have a price penalty on their entire UK milk pool until it raises its average butterfat content to 4.2%;

Globalisation is seeing milk being valued more on its components than on its volume, and so favours Jersey genetics.

-          In April 2015 the EU-wide production quota system ends. Not only are many established dairy farmers planning to expand, there is a noticeable level of new start-ups, transferring from beef and sheep systems. The Jersey breeds ease of management and grazing ability makes pure and cross-bred Jersey very attractive.

 

Spring Calving Index - By the time of the WJCB Conference in South Africa, DairyCo – UK farmer levy board – will have launched a new breeding index for low cost grazing systems. Heavily weighted towards component output, fertility, and low cow maintenance, previews suggest this Index will see Jerseys punching way above their weight. The growth in such systems will depend upon how seasonal milk production is priced in the UK market, with processors needing to assess the value of lower cost milk with possible export potential and current capacity limits or additional capacity.        

 

Youth   The Society’s Youth work continues to flourish with a very successful Senior Weekend being held for the first time in April, on Jersey Island. Jersey entries continue to be not far short of 100 top quality calves at the All-Breeds All-Britain Calf Show; furthermore the enthusiasm and skill of the young handlers is a joy to behold.

 

Semen sales - Given the positive trends above, it is no surprise that Jersey semen sales are on the increase, up by 40% in the first half of 2014 alone.

Society cooperation within the Jersey young bull selection within the Cogent Breeding ‘Visions’ programme remains the key route for UK genetics to access the international market. At the same time, maintaining the unique nature of the UK Jersey female herd, based on a diverse range of global bloodlines, is a central plank in becoming a successful global presence.

 

Experiencing it yourself - The WJCB 2016 British Isles Annual Meeting & Regional Conference invitation will be launched in South Africa, and we look forward to many delegates making first-hand friendships with our Jersey breeders.

 

Jerseys in Ireland

Teagasc Moorepark (Irish dairy research institute) has a small nucleus herd of Jersey cows and they are keen to expand and enhance with elite Jersey genetics from around the world. The primary objective of this research is to determine how the highest EBI Jersey genetics will perform in the Irish production system, but also to use the project to promote high EBI Jersey genetics to Irish dairy farmers by way of crossbreeding.

 

Jerseys in France

- There is now 104 herds registered in the French Jersey Cattle Association, “Jersiaise France”

- The number of milk recorded cows increased by 11 % in 2013. There were 4529 milk recorded cows January 1st, 2014. A very high increase of 52% in the last 5 years !

- 900 heifers imported from Denmark during the last year.

- The average production is 5073 Kg milk, 5.56 %fat and 4.03 % protein ( 6014 Kg milk, ME)

- 32 % of cows are in 4 lactation or older

- Sexed semen represent around 25 % of the semen sales

- The most popular bulls in 2013/2014 are DJ ZUMA, DJ BROILER, DJ LIX

- First insemination with jersey increased by 14% this year.

75 % of these inseminations are for pure breeding, the rest is done in on jersey crossbreeds or Holsteins.

- The average classification score is 80.9 in 1st lactation and 83.0 all stages combined.

The French jersey National show will be September 6th in Chemillé (Maine et Loire).

We will also be at SPACE in Rennes and SOMMET de l’ELEVAGE in Clermont Ferrand with 12 jerseys at each event in September and October.

Also, the website of Jersiaise France is under renovation and will be soon available at the same address : www.lajersiaise.fr

 

Jerseys in Albania

In 2013, there were app. 100.800 Jersey and crossbreeds in Albania. During 2013, about 25.000 doses of good jersey semen were imported from Cogent-UK and Androgenics-USA (with the assistance of Mr. Derrick Frigot). Early 2014 2.000 doses of jersey semen were imported from Denmark, donated by the danish farmer Mr. Jens Munch. With these importations there is a possibility to fulfil all the needs of the Albanian farmers for jersey semen.

There is an increase in cows serviced by AI Jersey bulls nad also an increase in no of Jersey cows in some of  the big herds. Many small farmers are asking for jersey cows, due to the high economic benefits and rentability provided by Jersey cows. 

A Jersey’s farm near Tirana with more then 100 jersey cows has a good access to Tirana market with quality jersey milk&by products (milk, Yougurt etc). That farm has plans to increase the number of jersey cows through importation and raising their heifers.

 

Jerseys in Germany

No of registered cows in VDJ German Jersey Association: 1517 (plus about 500 registered cows in other regional herdbooks makes a total of 2000 registered cows in Germany.

Average production of registered cows in VDJ: 6168 kg milk,  5.58% and 344 kg fat,   4.02% and 248 kg protein

Highest living lifetime production: 104.713 kg  with 6.00 and  3.95%, by the Barber daughter “Henna”. Owner: Behrend

Highest production record in 2013: 331 days 14928 kg with 7.46 and 3.74%, by the Q Zik daughter “Jessi”. Owner: Heyer

 

Largest registered herd in Germany is Baruther Urstromtal in Baruth, Brandenburg, with 269 cows and 6515 kg milk with 5.30 and 4.11% average.

AI: Most used bulls in 2013 were Valentino (USA) and VJ lure (Denmark)

Percentage of sexed semen: 25%. Percentage polled bulls: 12,5%

 

Shows:

Swiss Expo Lausanne 2014: German cow Kendra, owned by Andrea Uhrig, wins Grand Champion and Best Udder of Show

Highlight will be the Thuringia Jersey Open on September 20, 2014, in Erfurt. An open show for Jerseys and Holsteins. The Jersey Show has the status of the National German Jersey Show.

 

Other activities:

German VDJ delegations will visit both conferences South Africa and Italy (European Jersey Forum) in 2014


New German Board of Directors (L to R): Arno Leurs (Vice President),Josef vor der Landwehr,

Norbert Hartmann, Thomas Scholz, Gebhard Rehberg (President).

 

Isle of Jersey

The information from Jersey Island reflects the effect of opening up the population to international genetics, at many levels.
As most herds were only milking 1st lactation animals sired by international sires in the 2012-13 recording year we do yet see a great change in average production on a whole herd basis though many herds that brought in a good percentage of progeny of international pedigree Jersey bulls are seeing their 1st lactation animals out yielding the rest of the herd on a group average basis!

Table 1, below, sets out the transactions reported through the Jersey Herd Book for the calendar year 2013. 

Year

Pedigree Jersey Bulls Registered

Pedigree Jersey Heifers Registered

Bulls Licensed

Cows Linear Assessed or Classified

2013

35

818

23

1,238

 

 
 During 2013 the number of international Jersey bulls entered since September 2008, and a further seven generations of pedigree detail, reached 125 with all these bulls having been used by the year end. 

 

Breed Development:

Many indicators seem to show that after an initial widening of the genetic base following importation, cattle breeders are expanding yet further a long term local trend of widespread sire usage as shown in table 2 below. In a size restricted population this has always been an important aspect of how Island herds were bred as it helps maintain genetic difference.  There is however the counter argument that by such practice herds are limiting potential gain by not focusing on using just a very elite group of top genetic merit sires.

 Table 2: Sire usage

Year

Number of bulls siring progeny

Number of males registered

Number of females registered

Average number of females per bull used

Number of bulls siring 50% of female progeny

% females from 5 most popular bulls

2003 - 2008

119

36

884

7.5

16

26.0

2009

143

33

965

6.7

21

22.0

2010

131

41

856

6.5

23

27.0

2011

124

33

871

7.0

17

27.8

2012

165

23

852

5.2

22

18.5

2013

164

38

818

5.0

23

20.5

 

 

 The number of bulls siring 2013 registered pedigree Jersey calves and the spread of genetics, in terms of the popularity of the most popular bulls is very similar to 2012. The Society is continuing to monitor the level of use between imported international genetics and that from locally born sires.

 Table 3: Source of sires


 

Females registered

Year

Number of females registered

Number of bulls siring females

Average number of females per bull used

Number of bulls siring 50% of female progeny

% females from most popular bull

% females from 5 most popular bulls

Sired by

international

bulls

2010

546

52

10.5

6

14.5

42.3

2011

569

60

9.5

8

13.7

42.5

2012

468

67

7.0

9

7.5

32.9

2013

495

82

6.0

11

10.1

32.7

Sired by

 locally born 

bulls

2010

310

77

4.0

14

5.8

25.5

2011

302

84

3.6

15

5.0

22.5

2012

384

98

3.9

16

7.8

26.0

2013

323

82

3.9

16

7.7

25.0

 

 

18% of females registered in 2013 still contain solely island genetics but the number of milking herds with no international influence continue to reduce. 

 

Table 4: Analysis of locally born sires


 

Females registered from locally born sires

Year

Number of females registered

Number of

males registered

Number of bulls siring all progeny

Average number of progeny per bull

Sired by bulls with no international bloodlines in pedigree

2013

150

12

51

3.2

Sired by bulls with international bloodlines in pedigree

2013

173

1

31

5.6

 

 
Generally the use of genomics globally in identifying the next generation of top genetic value animals, both bull dams and the next generation of bulls themselves, is rapidly gaining pace.  

 

Cattle Health Scheme:

Jersey Island Genetics Ltd continues to oversee the management of the island wide cattle health scheme.  With both considerably reduced levels of testing, due to the success of the scheme in proving the absence of disease, the programme continues to screen the island herd for three important cattle diseases which have a serious impact on animal health and productivity elsewhere.  France has previously introduced an Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) eradication programme across Brittany and areas of the UK are now testing for and introducing eradication programmes for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), so it is very important that Jersey continues to test and prove freedom from these and other diseases.  

Cattle Shows:

The Agricultural Department arranged two cattle shows in the year, each as part of the wider Society Spring and Autumn shows. 

 

Show Ring Ethics

During 2013 it became apparent that for the benefit of both exhibitors and spectators alike it was necessary to set out a schedule of suitable and relevant show ring ethics for use at Society cattle shows.  With more exhibiting herds taking advantage of offers of assistance in exhibiting their cattle from contacts both from the UK and further afield, these handlers were exposing both other herds and spectators to practices common in the UK.  It must be recorded that none of those seen on the island to date are in any way detrimental to the animal’s welfare and wellbeing.  However, there were incidences in the UK of inappropriate practices at some major shows during 2012 and 2013 and it was decided that for both these reasons it was necessary for the Society to take the lead locally. 

 

Spring Show summary & results

The increasing impact of international Jersey genetics continued to show through at this year’s Royal Jersey Agricultural & Horticultural Society’s Spring Cattle Show.

Leading the heifer in milk class was a very stylish daughter of the Canadian bull Valleystream Julian from Paul Houze’s Lodge Farm herd in St Saviour.  Judge for the weekend, Mr Mike Stiles (Waverley Farm, Clear Brook, Virginia, USA) found his eventual Grand Champion in Prides Julian Alicia, the winner of this class. ‘Alicia’, who placed as Heifer Champion at this event in 2012, also went home with the Best Uddered Champion and Exhibitor Bred Champion awards

 

Autumn Show summary & results

The task of judging the 2013 Autumn Island Cattle Show fell this year to Derrick Frigot, past President of the RJA&HS and current President of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau.

The Houze family from Lodge Farm, St Saviour took home much of the silverware over the weekend with Paul Houze’s Young Cow Prides Action Blondeville being named Grand, Best Uddered and Exhibitor-bred Champion on Saturday and his father Marcel Houze’s ’s 18-27mth heifer, Olindas Exciting Sybil, from the Sunday show being named Open and Exhibitor-bred Heifer Champion.

 

Provision of Professional Services to the Dairy Industry: 

The Society was contracted for a further two years, 2014 & 2015, to continue with the provision of Herd Recording, Artificial Insemination, and other services to the industry.  These services are operated through Jersey Island Genetics. 

 

Industry representation, promotion of local produce and business development:

The Department continued to provide standing representation for the farming industry and livestock producers in a range of situations.

David Hambrook presented a paper at the annual Jersey Farming Conference on the impact of international genetics following the importation of semen in 2008.  The key points highlighted were the noticeable improvements in both type assessment and production performance in the initial progeny of sires used through imported semen. The production details for the animals calving for the 1st time in 2011-2012 and the type data for animals inspected in 2013 are noted below:

 

Sire Source

No. records

Milk Kgs

BF%

Kgs F+P

SCC

J.I. (100%)

 

485

4,375

5.20

390

117

North America

175

5,041

(+15%)

5.46

(+5%)

461

(+18%)

119

(-2%)

Denmark

55

5,240

(+20%)

5.53

(+6%)

478

(+23%)

88

(+33%)

 

Sire source

Final Score

Mammary

Legs & Feet

Dairy Strength

Body Conformation

No. Inspections

UK

79

81

81

81

80

19

Denmark

79

81

81

80

80

131

J. Island

77

80

78

78

78

257

N. America

81

82

82

81

81

413

 

Combined groups

International

80

82

81

81

81

563

J. Island

77

81

78

78

78

257

 

 Jerseys in Sweden

The Swedish Jersey Cattle Association, “Svensk Jersey” has 101 members.

1925 pure breed Jerseys are milk recorded (0.7% of all cows in Sweden).

Average production is 6753 kg milk, 5.85% and 395 kg fat, 4.04% and 273 kg protein.

The interest in the breed is very high, but it is not possible to import live animals into Sweden due to very strict veterinarian regulations. Due to that there is an increasing interest in flushing and import of embryos.

 

Jerseys in Norway

During the past 10 years the Jersey breed has grown in Norway especially after the introduction of sexed semen in 2004. 39% of the semen used is sexed, partly due to the fact the breed association “Norsk Jersey” subsidies sexed semen. Today 1,500 Jerseys are milk recorded.

After a change of the milk price formula in favor of fat, the demand and price on Jersey animals has increased. As it is not possible to import live animals, embryo import has started and the interest in flushing has increased.  

 

Jerseys in Italy

Italian Jersey breeders will host the European Jersey Forum meeting in October 2014. The European Jersey meeting will be held in connection to the Cremona Show. At the meeting, October 27th,  Jersey Milk will be in focus.

 

Jerseys in Croatia

A Jersey population has been established in Croatia, during the last year. A 1800 cow Holstein herd has imported 95 Jersey heifers from Denmark.

 

Jerseys in Russia

Different projects in Russia has imported heifers from Denmark over the last years. One farm has bought 220 heifers during the last year and another has bought 1000 Jersey heifers and 1800 Montbeliard heifers for a project focusing on cheese production.

 

Jerseys in Denmark

The Jersey breed keeps expanding. Now 13.5% of all cows in Denmark are Jerseys. The total no of pure breed and milk recorded cows are 70,000. Average herd size is 179 cows, 25 cows more than in Holstein herds.

Production increase is the highest ever with +19 kg of fat and + 18 kg of protein, last 12 months! Average production is 7067 kg milk, 5.87% and 415 kg fat, 4.13% and 292 kg protein.

 

In the breeding program Genomic selection plays a major role. All animals involved are genomically tested. App 500 bulls are tested each year and approx. 60 are sampled as young sires. The big challenge has been to increase reliabilities on genomic breeding values. It was very pleasing that our agreement with the North Americans on exchange of genotypes started early this year, adding extra reliability to breeding values and extra pedigree information to our reference group. Later this year we have included data from 7000 cows to our reference, resulting in an even higher increase in reliability. Right now we are testing 3000 females more and we will follow up testing another 4000 later this year. The effects are that we can act more like Holsteins, focusing more and more on the youngest genetics and increasing genetic gain.

 

45 genomic tested bulls are leaving Denmark in October, for India. The bulls will be involved in a state owned project and distributed to most of the 51 government owned bull stations in India.

 

During the last year more than 4000 Jersey heifers has been exported to 15 different European Jersey populations.

 

European Jersey Forum, EJF

The European Jersey Cattle Association, EJF,  is gaining more and more support from European Jersey Associations. The annual meetings have been very popular with app. 50 delegates at the 4 day long meetings and tours. The 2013 meeting was held in Switzerland in November and the 2014 meeting will be held in Italy.

 

Anders Levring

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