7 January 2000

Breeding goals need a change

BROADER breeding goals are required if Jerseys are to have any hope of overtaking Holsteins on profitability.

That is the message from SACs Mike Coffey. "It is unlikely Jerseys will compete with Holsteins on output/cow in the near future.

"However, specialist milk markets and production systems such as organic may confer advantages to Jerseys in terms of product quality or efficiency of production. But broader breeding goals are needed."

Including longevity, mastitis resistance, and fertility traits in indexes will increase return on investment by more than simply breeding for production, he said.

"Changing Jersey breeding goals to a PLI equivalent immediately and pursuing genetic progress aggressively would offer an opportunity for Jerseys to overtake Holsteins on profitability."