The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) announced that new records for production by Registered Jersey cows were established in 2011.
The official Jersey lactation average increased to 18,633 lbs. milk, 889 lbs. fat, and 676 lbs. protein. On a Cheddar cheese equivalent basis, average yield was 2,294 pounds. All are new category records.
A record 91,028 lactations were processed by the AJCA, an increase of 51.4% 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 Sciencethat 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 that Jersey cows required 20% less total feedstuffs by weight and 32% 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% less than that of Holstein.
Commented Erick Metzger, general manager of National All-Jersey Inc., “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.”