27 September 1996

Higher index cows to perform best always

BREEDING cows to give 10,000 litres may be the ideal but producers should manage cows to the farms most limiting resource.

Genuss Steve Amies told a Spotlight on Profit Forum that these limiting resources could be quota, land area or efficiency of forage use.

"Irrespective of these measures the same cow will do the job in all management systems," he said. "Higher genetic index cows managed on any regime will deliver more money."

However UK breeding remained behind the US, Holland and France. Dutch and French cows would produce 600 litres more and US cows 900 litres more than UK cows under the same management system. This would give them an extra £100-150 a cow in margin over purchased feed.

At the current rate of progress of £6 a cow a year PIN it would take six to seven years for our national herd to catch up with where other countries were now.

Steve Amies of Genus says that high index cows managed on any regime will give more money.