DAMASCUS, Ohio — Cold Run Jerseys, of Salem; Lowmiller Farms, of Minerva; and Smith Vale Farm, of Homeworth, earned the top milk production awards at the Columbiana-Mahoning DHI awards banquet March 22.
All three dairy farms also earned statewide DHI Elite awards for all three components — milk, butterfat and protein — for 2018 production numbers in the top 5 percent of the state herds on test.
Lowmiller Farms received the top herd award for milk production, with an average of 32,668 pounds on 149 head. The Holstein herd also averaged 1,211 pounds of fat and 969 pounds of protein, milking three times a day.
Cold Run Jerseys, David and Jim Herron, earned the two counties’ top fat production award, at 1,377 pounds. The Herrons’ 300-head herd, which is ranked No. 1 in the state for the breed, also averaged production per cow of 1,377 pounds fat and 867 pounds protein, with an energy corrected milk average of 32,108 pounds, milking three times a day.
Smith Vale Farm received the top protein award, with an average production of 1,016 pounds. The 134-head Holstein herd also averaged 32,455 pounds of milk and 1,231 pounds butterfat, with an energy corrected milk average of 34,320 pounds to top the two counties.
Statewide, for energy corrected milk, Smith Vale Farm ranks fourth and Lowmiller Farms ranks sixth.
Russ Kiko Farms also earned state DHI Elite awards for its milk and protein production of 31,654 and 986 pounds, respectively, on 3x milking.
Nature View Farms, Jay Herron, earned an Elite award for protein production, at 739 pounds. The farm is ranked sixth in the state, among Jersey herds.
Energy corrected milk determines the amount of milk produced and adjusted to 3.5 percent fat and 3.2 percent protein, and makes it easier to compare all breeds’ productivity.
Doug Weaver earned both the most improved herd award, for an increase of 304 pounds, and the top quality herd award, with an average somatic cell count of 104,000.
Individual cow production
In the individual breed, individual cow production category, a cow in the Cold Run Jerseys herd produced 49,490 pounds (ECM).
Topping the Holstein production, was a cow in the herd of Whiteleather Farms with ECM of 47,026 pounds.
The top cow in the “mixed breed” classification was from Martig Farms, with milk production of 34,053 pounds. The top Brown Swiss was in the herd of Doug and Marty Dye, which produced 24,710 pounds, and the top Milking Shorthorn came from the Honey Creek Farms herd, producing 23,800 pounds.
The two counties partner to honor individual local milk producers who are members of the DHI Cooperative for Dairy Herd Improvement services and records.
Ohio dairy cow enrollment (all breeds, both official and management test plans) in DHI, as of Jan. 1, 2019, was 105,471 head, in 589 herds, according to a report from the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding. That’s down from the 2018 average numbers of 113,000 cows (on test/month) on 618 herds.
And, according to a report from board member Elton Lowmiller, 2018 was a “pretty tough year, with numbers down roughly 20,000 cows and 60 herds from the previous year.
Lowmiller also gave a rundown of individual herd sizes, nationally, that are on test and the size trend — a substantial drop in small and medium-sized herds, and an increase in large (1,000+ head) herds.
The bottom line, he said, “we’re not really losing cows, we’re losing herds.”
Earlier this year, the local DHI group presented two $750 scholarships, to Jarod Herron and Kelly Ginnetti.
In the directors’ election, Joel Smith and Austen Shoemaker were each re-elected two new terms on the board.
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