Breeding and genetics are a long-term game and it’s three years from the time we make the choice around which straw or bull to use, until we really know whether it’s been a smart decision. So, it’s understandable that most farmers are thinking ahead when it comes to their breeding.
Sponsored by LIC, the Jersey Pride sale attracted 11 entries of elite registered Jersey females. Two averaged $9250, four in-calf heifers averaged $4150 and five yearling heifers averaged $4780. The top price cow sold for $10,000.
Jersey New Zealand president Alison Gibb says the sale of high-index, Jersey genetics supports the organisation’s national breeding objective and enhances the rate of genetic gain for the Jersey breed.
“Our call to all Jersey farmers is to make Jersey number one,” says Gibb.
“Clearly the value of top quality Jersey genetics is being realised despite low sales figures nationally through the autumn sales period.”
Gibbs says there are environmental and financial benefits to Jersey herds.
“Jersey is the fastest growing breed internationally, and is number one for feed efficiency, fertility, heat tolerance, milk quality and milk value. Jerseys produce 13% more milk solids than other breeds, and have the lowest environmental footprint.”
The vendors included well-known Jersey breeders Okura stud, Luke and Lyna Beehre, Hikurangi; Lynbrook Jerseys, Steve and Nina Ireland, Temuka; and Willand Jerseys, Gavin and Rosemary Fleming, Otorohanga.
Okura and Lynbrook Jerseys have supplied 250 bulls to sire proving programmes. Two sires from these studs, Okura Manhattan and Lynbrook Terrific, have offspring milking on almost every farm where Jersey genetics are milked.
“Many of these breeders have bred proven bulls for the NZ dairy industry, and several lots in the sale were carrying contract matings to major artificial insemination companies,” says Gibb.
First-time vendors Hamish and Charlotte O’Donnell from Baldrick Farms, who recently moved to their first farm in Rai Valley, Marlborough, have bought top Jerseys in recent years through elite cattle sales.
“The purchase of quality genetics gives us an opportunity to breed bulls for the industry and a chance to meet and share ideas and information with like-minded breeders and others in the genetic industry,” says Hamish O’Donnell.
The Jersey Pride sale also included the sale of straws of some top Jersey bulls, supplied by LIC. Semen sold for up to $82 per straw.
Other Jersey sales in autumn have included the Jersey Power sale in Otorohanga where Just Jerseys Ltd vendors Nigel and Julie Riddell averaged $2235 for 30 in-calf heifers with a top price of $4600; and the Waikato Valley Jersey sale where Ngatea vendors Stuart and Heather Fowlie (Fynreath Jerseys) averaged $5680 for five in-calf heifers and an overall sale average of $2232 for 27 lots.
Top sale price of $10,000 reached at the national Jersey Pride Elite Jersey sale in Wellington
Average sale price of Jersey reaches $5364
Value of Jersey genetics being realised despite low sales figures nationally through autumn.