23 February 1996

Investment in top genetics is well worth it

By Jessica Buss

TOP genetics can earn milk producers at least an extra £90 a cow a year over average merit contemporaries on both low and high concentrate diets.

This was the message from director of Genus Management, Tom Kelly, at the Royal Bath and West of England Societys Milk and the Market conference.

He cited the Scottish Agricultural Colleges Langhill studies on genetics and feeding and added typical costs for quota and concentrates to prove high PIN bulls pay off (see table).

His figures showed that the highest genetic cows produced a litre of milk for each 1.16kg of concentrates fed above 1t a year, but average merit cows required 1.67kg of concentrates for each extra litre.

"Good genetics are vital if you intend to stay in milk," he said. "Better use of forage and top genetics is the best way to justify extra quota.

"Use the highest PIN bull that you can afford to get the extra milk production at least cost." He reminded producers that from tomorrow they would be breeding for the next century. A heifer calf from a cow served today will complete its first lactation in December 1999.

"Investing in dairy cow genetics today will take you forward into the new millennium."


Response to extra concentrates or better genetics*

HIGH CONCSLOW CONCS

Best GeneticsAverageBest GeneticsAverage

Yield (litres)8051690666836070

Concs/cow (t)2.62.41.01.0

Milk value (£)2013172616711367

Concentrate cost (£)390360150150

MOC (£)1623136615211367

Cost of extra

silage (£15/t)NILNIL5151

Quota Cost (£)805690668607

Margin (£)818676802709

* Based on SAC Langhill research.

Will each cow in your herd have the genetic potential to safeguard profit into the next century?

Tom Kelly:Use the highest PINbull that you can afford.