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Jersey cows attract top prices

Jersey cows attract top prices at Jersey Pride Elite Jersey sale

Top sale price of $10,000 reached at the national Jersey Pride Elite Jersey Sale in Wellington
Average sale price of Jersey reaches $5,364
Value of Jersey genetics being realised despite low sales figures nationally through the autumn

Top quality Jersey cows attracted an average sale price of $5,364 at the Jersey Pride Elite Jersey Sale in Wellington.

Sponsored by LIC, the Jersey Pride sale attracted 11 entries of elite registered Jersey females. Two averaged $9,250, four in-calf heifers averaged $4,150 and five yearling heifers averaged $4,780. The top price cow was sold for $10,000.

Jersey NZ president Alison Gibb says the sale of high-index, Jersey genetics supports the organisation’s national breeding objective and enhances the rate of genetic gain for the Jersey breed.

“Our call to all Jersey farmers is to make Jersey number one,” says Gibb. “Clearly the value of top quality Jersey genetics is being realised despite low sales figures nationally through the autumn sales period.”

Gibbs says there are environmental and financial benefits to Jersey herds. “Jersey is the fastest growing breed internationally, and is number one for feed efficiency, fertility, heat tolerance, milk quality and milk value. Jerseys produce 13% more milk solids than other breeds, and have the lowest environmental footprint.”

The vendors included a number of well-known Jersey breeders from throughout New Zealand including the Okura stud, Luke and Lyna Beehre, Hikurangi; Lynbrook Jerseys, Steve and Nina Ireland, Temuka; and Willand Jerseys, Gavin and Rosemary Fleming, Otorohanga.

Okura and Lynbrook Jerseys have supplied more than 250 bulls to sire proving programmes. Two sires from these studs, Okura Manhattan and Lynbrook Terrific, have offspring milking on almost every farm where Jersey genetics are milked.

“Many of these breeders have bred proven bulls for the New Zealand dairy industry, and several lots in the sale were carrying contract matings to major artificial insemination companies,” says Gibb.

First time vendors Hamish and Charlotte O’Donnell from Baldrick Farms, who recently moved to their first farm in Rai Valley in the Marlborough region, have purchased top Jerseys in recent years through elite cattle sales.

“The purchase of quality genetics gives us an opportunity to breed bulls for the industry and a chance to meet and share ideas and information with like-minded breeders and others in the genetic industry,” says Hamish O’Donnell.

The Jersey Pride sale also hosted the sale of straws of some of the top Jersey bulls in New Zealand, supplied by LIC. Semen sold for up to $82 per straw, reflecting the popularity and high genetic merit of the bulls.

The Jersey Pride sale topped off a succession of Jersey sales through the autumn period. Highlights over autumn include the Jersey Power Sale in Otorohanga where Just Jerseys Ltd vendors, Nigel and Julie Riddell, averaged $2,235 for 30 in-calf heifers with a top price of $4,600; and the Waikato Valley Jersey Sale where Ngatea vendors Stuart and Heather Fowlie (Fynreath Jerseys) averaged $5,680 for five in-calf heifers and an overall sale average of $2,232 for 27 lots.

ENDS

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