7 June 1996

Genus report says top CI herds are competitive with B&Ws

TOP Channel Island herds are competitive with black-and-whites, according to a report compiled by Genus for Quality Milk Producers, the English Guernsey and the Jersey Cattle Societies.

Genus national business manager Tony Evans claims that the return on capital investment for the top 10% of Jersey herds is 2-3% higher than for black-and-whites.

"The top Jersey herds show good profits because they use less land, due to higher stocking rates, and have a low cow value, which compensates for a higher quota cost," he says.

The report shows that Jerseys are keeping pace with the yield improvements seen in black-and-white herds. Genetic improvements are being assisted by the Jersey societys bull selection programme.

But the bottom 10% of Jersey herds use forage less efficiently with lower stocking rates and still feed high levels of concentrates, so reducing profit, claims Mr Evans. "If these Jersey producers are keen to stay in milk they must tighten stocking rates," he says. Optimum stocking rate would benefit grass growth and ensure efficient concentrate use.

Guernsey cows can also be competitive, he adds, but need to improve milk quality and volume in line with that of other breeds.

"Most Guernsey herds have low concentrate use and achieve a reasonable yield from forage," he says. "So cow producers may do best by improving nutrition and maintaining genetic progress." &#42


Top 10% comparisons of Genus Milkminder

B&WJerseyGuernsey

Stocking rate

(LSU/ha)2.393.483.36

Yield a cow7,4795,1804,737

Milk price

(p/litre)25.831.1327.23

Margin over purchased feed

£ a cow1,6101,2811,071

£/ha3,7564,3893,549

Profit from the top 10% of Jersey herds is higher than that for black-and-whites, says the Genus report.