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New Zealand

New Zealand has the largest population of Jerseys in the world with some 800,000 Jerseys of all ages. At June 2005 there are 580,000 milking Jersey cows in the national herd of 3.9 million milking cows (15%). In addition there is another 1.1 million Jersey cross milking cows, some 28% of the national herd. Approximately 130 young Jersey bulls are progeny tested each year.

Over 360,000 Jerseys are performance tested each year for production and 25,000 assessed for traits other than production. The registered Jersey subset comprises 70,000 cows that are current in the national herd and performance tested for production.

The New Zealand dairy industry is one of the lowest cost producers of high quality milk in the world and is a major exporter of dairy products. Pasture based production systems are used in conjunction with seasonal calving.

The New Zealand animal evaluation system ranks cows and bulls for the net profit made from a unit of feed and is called Breeding Worth (BW) – an economic index. A cross section of traits affecting production and costs are used in the BW evaluations. Production traits include milkfat, protein and the costs associated with milk volume for our predominantly manufacturing industry. The net cost of maintenance measured via liveweight (after allowance for beef returns) is also included as are many functional traits including longevity (which incorporates udder and conformation traits), somatic cells and fertility.

Breed averages for BW rank Jerseys ahead of the other breeds and crosses. Farm trials have shown that in grazing systems New Zealand Jerseys are about 5% more profitable than Holstein Friesians. New Zealand is an exporter of Jersey cattle, semen and embryos.

Newstead, R D 4, Hamilton 3284, New Zealand

Contact: Tel: +64-7-8560731 Fax: +64-7-8560623 Email: info@jersey.org.nz

Website: www.jersey.org.nz

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