VikingNews Global 2-2019 FINAL - Page 14



ProCROSS driving up
profitability
The use of three-way cross breeding in dairy operations is a popular topic
at present. With more farmers using the system, the results of adopting
this strategy are now starting to bear fruit.
The Williamson family are improving
health, fertility and longevity in the herd.
Andy Williamson.
A
ndy Williamson and his father
run a herd of more than 600
cows on a 360-hectare dairy
farm (194 hectares owned, and the rest
rented) near Nantwich, Cheshire.
Williamson is a fourth generation dairy
farmer, and his predecessors were one
of the first farming families to introduce North American Holstein cows
into the area.
Five years ago, health problems were
becoming unsustainable. “We were facing problems with feet and legs and high
culling rates, which was jeopardising
the efficiency of the whole operation,”
says Andy.
In their search for more efficient
and healthier cows, they were introduced to the only scientifically proven
crossbreed, ProCROSS, which is a
combination of VikingRed, Montbeliarde and VikingHolstein.
14
vikingnews | November 2019
After using ProCROSS, the genetics
of 50% of the herd are from three-way
crossbreeding and the plan is to extend
this to the whole herd.
The Williamsons work closely with
VikingGenetics United Kingdom and the
family are improving health, fertility and
longevity in the herd. “The culling rate
was reduced from 34% to 28%”, Andy
explains, before adding that they are
achieving high in-calf rates with an
average production of 9,500 Kg ECM,
with 3.9% milkfat and 3.4% protein.
A scientifically proven combination
A 10-year study by the University of
Minnesota in the United States, showed
that the three-breed cross of Holstein,
VikingRed and Montbeliarde produces
lifetime profits 33% greater than those
from pure Holstein.
The financial advantage of ProCROSS
was proven to come from a wide range of
factors including greater lifetime weights
of fat and protein, better fertility, fewer
health treatments, higher calf and cull
values, and improved rates of survival.

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