Poor udder quality in many New Zealand cows contributes to them being culled in their first and second lactations, imposing an unsustainable cost, says a visiting expert.
The Government’s Zero Carbon Bill calls for dairy cow numbers to be drastically reduced to meet the ten year and 30 year targets.
“Kiwi farmers are among the most progressive in the world,” says Hank Lina, general manager of international genetics firm World Wide Sires.
“They constantly achieve the seemingly impossible in all aspects of farming. The prospect of reducing cow numbers by even 10% in as many years is a scary one if they continue to milk the same cows.
“The only solution is to start today to breed a cow which will outperform today’s contemporaries so farmers can milk fewer cows and maintain or increase their production. It is possible, but they need a plan. And that plan starts now.”
Lina cites the old adage ‘if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got’.
“New Zealand’s Breeding Worth (BW) evaluation tool was introduced decades ago, its legacy evident in a national herd which averages 380kgMS cow.
“At Fieldays we will promote how farmers can move from a per cow average of 380kgMS to cows which consistently and over a long time produce 550kg plus per year.”
Lina said WWS has genetically advanced bulls selected specifically for NZ’s grazing environment. These produce highly productive, fertile, moderate size cows with udders and feet which will last in the herd.
World Wide Sires will be at site PC12 at Fieldays.