FOR PRODUCTIVE LIFE, NONE BETTER THAN JERSEYS
Reynoldsburg, Ohio, February 18, 2008—Based on the January, 2008 USDA genetic summaries, Jersey remains first for Productive Life (PL) among the six dairy breeds evaluated in the United States.
Data published by the USDA Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory (AIPL) show that for cows born in the years 1997 through 2001, Jerseys have the longest productive life of 33.7 months, or 1,028 days. A total of 196,708 Jersey cows were included in the evaluations.
By comparison, the weighted average Productive Life for 3,264,120 cows of the other five breeds (Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein and Milking Shorthorn) and born in the same five-year period was 27.7 months, or 844 days.
The difference in favor of Jerseys is 184 days, or six months of herd life.
The trait of Productive Life is defined as “time in the milking herd before removal by voluntary culling, involuntary culling, or death.” Its evaluation combines information from direct longevity, measured by DHI data on calving dates, disposal dates, reasons for disposal and lactation lengths, with correlated traits.
Cows having opportunity to reach eight (8) years of age are considered a completed observation, yet they can continue to add credits for productive life after this point. Cows with multiple lactations get more total credit than cows with just one long lactation. As a cow's lactation is extended, the value credited to her production is diminished.
Productive Life is a key component of the USDA Net Merit functions. For Jerseys, it receives 18% of total emphasis for Net Merit dollars (NM$) and Fluid Merit dollars (FM$), and 14% for Cheese Merit dollars (CM$). In Jersey Performance Index™, Productive Life is weighted at 12%.
The American Jersey Cattle Association, organized in 1868, compiles and maintains animal identification and performance data on Jersey cattle and provides services that support genetic improvement and greater profitability through increasing the value of and demand for Registered Jersey™ cattle and genetics.
Its flagship program is REAP, a comprehensive service package that includes registration, Equity milk marketing support, type appraisal, and performance testing. More than 120,000 cows are currently enrolled on all AJCA performance evaluation programs.
For more information on USJersey services designed to increase commercial profitability with Jersey cattle, call 614/863-3636 or visit the web site at www.USJersey.com.
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