Archive Article: 2001/09/07

7 September 2001


USING the complex breeding index system has been no help to the average commercial milk producer, says Rodger Lindsay.

"We have had CGI, and PIN and PLI. These fancy figures were marketing creations of the AI industry. They have no real meaning to most ordinary hard working producers.

"Holstein heifer lactation figures have made some colossal leaps and the figures look great. But these levels of performance are not sustainable in commercial conditions and that is what so many dairy farmers have found to their cost."

He finds it hard to understand why animal breeding experts tell him he is not progressing, when he proposes to use a bull whose dam is bred from three generations of 100t cows because he has a PIN value of -£60.

"In my view the PIN value is unimportant. This is exactly the type of cow we need to be breeding from; these are hard wearing cows that calve in the same month every year, produce up to 8000kg and last up to eight lactations. It is these later lactations that are the most profitable.

"But we have reached a stage where progress in modern breeding terms is judged by how much milk can be got out of a heifer in the first 100 days of lactation. That cant be the right way to go forward." &#42

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