German Genetics successful in Sweden
Our partners of GGI Sweden had the opportunity to do a farm report we do not want to hide from you.
The farm Sonarp in Ydre, South Sweden, is managed by family Nilsson and one employee. The herd consists of 105 dairy cows at the moment being milked three times a day.
During milk recording in June, the herd had an ongoing average of 14,000 kg ECM with 4.2 % fat and 3.6 % protein as well as an average cell score of 80,000 to 90,000 cells. This achievement is impressive and is probably based on Ann Nilsson’s philosophy that heifers should be rather heavier and, therefore, older when they calve for the first time.
So age of first calving is at 27 months, the heifers should be able to ingest more feed to realize high milk production due to age and higher weight.
Setting the calving interval to 14 months is an intentional decision because the highly efficient animals are inseminated later so that they do not already have to be dried up after 10 months of lactation.
Cows are fed with TMR of grass silage, straw, whole-plant wheat and pea silage, nixtamalized wheat, some concentrated feed, soy, minerals, salt and chalk. In addition, dried up cows get a trace element bolus. At this point, Ann emphasizes that it is so important that the animals have sufficient energy intake. The cows have a daily feed intake of approx. 28 kg of dry matter.
Asking Ann for her breeding goal she tells us that the primary goal is breeding healthy cows being in the herd for a long period of time showing good functionality. Decisive for this are of course good udders and feet & legs as well as calm temperament and willpower.
When selecting bulls, Ann is looking for breeding values and pedigree trying to imagine – using her experience – what type of heifer the bull may breed. So she chooses the bulls fitting her breeding philosophy best and also looks at the aAa codes.
The Nilsson family has been using German bulls since 2000 and the predominant part of the herd has German pedigrees by now. Asking why the Nilssons decided on this and keep doing until today they told us that German bulls breed good cows characterized by longevity, good conformation and good functionality.
Since using German bulls, Ann sees a clear breeding progress of her herd. Cows do have significantly better feet & legs, udders and their milking temperament improved enormously, too. They have better milkability without letting milk go.
There is also enhanced vitality. Cows move a lot more and better having calm temperament with strong willpower. Ann started to use the aAa code as additional selection tool four years ago. Her cows progressively show more strength and robustness. They eat more and give more milk. In the meantime, Ann has two 100,000 liter cows with German pedigree, one Ramos daughter and one Jefferson daughter.
Three cow families dominate the herd. The Pölan family is characterized by functional cows with high longevity and strong will to milk. This family has several productive cows with a lifetime production of 100,000 liters.
The Gertrud family breeds strong, healthy cows with high productions and high components, especially lots of fat. They have somewhat more temperament while the Amalia family has calm and functional cows with good milk production and correct conformation.
At the moment the bulls Kingston, Chanel, Trend, Presto, Cipe, Philo and Boss are used among the Nilsson herd. According to Ann they are good bulls mated easily with her cows. Her goal is to have 5-7 cow calves from approx. 15 doses per bulls. When they have calved as heifers, Ann again uses 15 doses of the bulls that had the best results. Mainly genomic, but also daughter proven bulls are used though.
We would like to express our thanks to family Nilsson and GGI Sweden and we wish lots of success with Genetics Made in Germany in future!
Heifer of Snowflake x Shotgun. In this picture, 46 days in milk with a production of so far 2,329 kg milk and a current daily production of 55 kg with 4.7 % fat and 3.4 % protein. She became second of the heifer class at the show in Elmia in 2015.