REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — New records for production by registered Jersey cows were established in 2011, according to the American Jersey Cattle Association.
The official Jersey lactation average increased to 18,633 pounds milk, 889 pounds fat, and 676 pounds protein. On a Cheddar cheese equivalent basis, average yield is 2,294 pounds on a Cheddar cheese equivalent basis. All are new category records.
A record 91,028 lactations were processed by the association, an increase of 51.4 percent in 10 years. The lactation average is calculated on a standardized 305-day, twice daily, mature equivalent (m.e.) basis.
These records for Jersey production come on the heels of a study published in the January 2012 issue of Journal of Dairy Science that documents lower production inputs and reduced environmental impacts of Jersey milk production because of higher component levels and small body mass to be maintained.
Using Jersey and Holstein data from the Dairy Records Management System (DRMS) database in 2009, researchers Jude Capper and Roger Cady determined Jersey cows required 20 percent less total feedstuffs by weight and 32 percent less water to produce the same amount of milkfat and protein as Holstein cows.
Their analysis also documented substantial reductions in land usage, fuel consumption, waste output and greenhouse gas emissions. Per unit of cheese produced, the Jersey carbon footprint (total CO2-equivalents) was 20 percent less than that of Holstein.
“If a dairy can produce a given amount of protein, butterfat and other solids while using less feed, water and fossil fuels, and producing less waste, the cost of producing that amount of milk solids is reduced and yet the revenue realized from the pounds of milk solids produced is the same. The bottom line is more net profit,” said Erick Metzger, general manager of National All-Jersey Inc.