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World Jersey Cattle Bureau

Report of the Vice President, North American Region


June, 2014


Jersey breed growth and improvement accelerated across North America during 2013.


Jersey Canada (Kathryn Kyle, Executive Secretary-General Manager)


2013 was another record-breaking year at Jersey Canada: a total of 9,257 Jerseys were registered.  This is the most registrations processed in 46 years. There were 1,078 members of the association.


Effective marketing of the Jersey breed, combined with timely support for new owners of Jerseys has resulted in notable expansion all across Canada – not only in the number of Jerseys registered, but also in the number of herds milking Jerseys.  CanWest DHI and Valacta report that in 2013, 16.3% of herds (almost 1 in 6) enrolled in milk recording included at least one Jersey in the milking herd.  This represents explosive growth since 2000, when 1 in 30 herds on test had a least one Jersey.  Each of Jersey Canada’s marketing channels have helped us to promote the efficiencies and profitability of the Jersey breed to dairy producers across the country.


Owning a Jersey requires some unique management practices, compared to other breeds.  We have found that the best way to turn new owners into long-term breeders is to ensure they get off on the right foot, including a herd visit from a representative of a Regional Association or Jersey Canada.  During 2013, Jersey Canada’s Extension Agent completed 337 herd visits in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.  That is a 5.6% increase in the number of visits over 2012.  An effective extension work program is also a first-hand way to demonstrate the accessibility and openness of our Association.  In the summer of 2013, I had the pleasure of touring 21 Jersey farms in the Fraser and Okanagan Valleys of British Columbia. 


A key component of our strategic plan, “Jersey Impact,” is to focus on the profitability that results from owning a Jersey.  In early 2014, a team of researchers from the University of Guelph completed a study titled “Economic Analysis of Dairy Breeds.”  The study found that Jerseys require 3-10% lower fixed asset investments than other breeds to fill 90kg of quota, lower operating expenses (resulting from fewer difficult calvings, better conception, and less feed), and the best operating income with a 32% margin.  The study concludes that, “Jerseys overall are the calculated superior breed due to the overall higher profit, all generated on lower investment.  It is this superior financial performance that should be the significant factor when comparing performance between breeds and when seeking financial investment in a dairy operation.”



American Jersey Cattle Association (Neal Smith, Executive Secretary & Chief Executive Officer)


The sustained performance by U.S. Jerseys during 2013 reflects unrelenting pursuit of our primary organizational objectives:


  To improve the productive capacity and profitability of Jersey cows in all operations,

  To promote the advantages of the Jersey breed everywhere, and

  To increase the demand for and add to the value of Jersey milk, Jersey cattle and Jersey genetics.


2013 went into the record books as the best in history for the AJCA:


   112,265 registrations, a gain of 8.6% from 2012 and the second consecutive year over 100,000 animals recorded;

   157,697 cows enrolled in all AJCA performance programs, driven by a 5.7% increase in REAP enrollment to 153,758 cowsundefinedthe first time either tally has exceeded 150,000; and

   100,714 scores assigned in the linear type evaluation program, the first time ever over the 100,000 mark.

   The association processed 6% more lactation records than it did in 2012, 105,913 in total, setting new records at 19,278 lbs. milk, 932 lbs. fat and 702 lbs. protein (305-day, 2x, m.e.) and 2,391 lbs. on a cheese yield basis.

   At December 31, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding reported 57,894 Jersey genotypes (46,179 females and 11,715 males) were on file for use in genetic evaluations, an increase of 76% from the previous year. For 2013, 51% of calves registered by the AJCA were sired by current or former genomic young sires. The number of genomic young sires entering service during 2013 increased by 17% to 158 bulls. Their average PTA for Cheese Merit was $515, 14% greater than the G-code bulls entering in 2012.


For the fourteenth time in 15 years, the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) reported a new record for total marketings of Jersey semen: 4,331,433 units in 2013, an increase of 5.9% over the previous year. The driver was domestic sales, which grew 9.6% to end the year at 2,775,688 units. Jersey’s market share increased another 1.2% and is now 12.0%.


In the 2013 analysis of national culling trends by the National Dairy Herd Information Association (DHIA), Jerseys were identified as the breed most likely to stay in production from one lactation to another. The overall rate of 75.1% was 7.5% greater than the average of all other breeds combined. Looking at this the other way, the national Jersey culling rate is 7.5% lower than “all other cows.” No single reason separated Jerseys from the other groups, just incremental differences in higher fertility, less mastitis, and fewer feet and leg problems adding up to a significantly lower rate of exiting the herd.


The talk of the year was how “brown” dairy herds across the U.S. are becoming. Taking into account information from both National DHIA and NAAB, we estimate that Jerseys now account for 10% of the U.S. dairy cow population, with Jersey-sired animals adding 3% to 5% more of the cows in production. Jersey cows are producing milk in one of every four U.S. dairy operations.


The growth trajectory will undoubtedly continue, as economic analyses continue to demonstrate the Jersey profitability advantage. As reported by Dennis Halladay, Western editor of Hoard’s Dairyman, Genske, Mulder & Co. LLC, the largest dairy accounting firm in the U.S., reported that its Jersey clients made 45.7% more net profit per cow in 2013 compared to all other herds:


All herds


Average cows milked



Average lbs/cow/day



Average fat test



Average protein test



Average turnover rate



Milk price per cwt.



Total income per cwt.



Total feed cost per cwt.



Replacement cost per cwt.



Production cost per cwt.



Profit (loss) per head




Downloaded 7/15/2014 from http://www.hoards.com/blog_brown-is-color-of-money

Respectfully submitted

Dr Cherie Bayer

WJCB Vice President for North America

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