19 April 1996

National herd lags

GENETIC merit of the national dairy herd is still lagging behind in international terms, says Genus.

It cites a comparison with the Dutch and North American Hol-stein poulations which shows the average genetic value of UK heifers calving down in 1995 was still only one-third of that of comparable heifers in those two countries.

Average PIN value of heifers calving down in the UK was £17 in 1995, compared with £53 in Holland and £50 in the US "At an average PIN for heifers of £17, the ADC confirms the average PIN of the national herd, as a whole, is only PIN £1," says Genuss John Berry.

"But, given UK dairy farmers have only had unlimited access to semen from the US, Holland and France since the early 90s, genetic progress made between 1992 and 1994 has been encouraging." &#42