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World Jersey Cattle Bureau

Report of the Vice President, North American Region

May 5, 2012

 The demand for high quality milk components, efficiently and sustainably produced, drove growth of the Jersey populations across North America in 2011.

 Jersey Canada (Kathryn Kyle, Executive Secretary-General Manager)

  • The current population of registered and recorded Jerseys in Canada stands at over 35,000 head. Over 90% of the Jerseys in Canada are registered or recorded with Jersey Canada.
  • 2011 registrations (8,445) were at the highest level since 1968.
  • Number of Jersey start-up herds and existing herds adding Jerseys is increasing.
  • Strategic plan, “Jersey Impact,” adopted in 2011 to guide organizational activities through 2013. Goals are:
    • Identify and target specific markets to increase the number of Jersey owners and Jersey products.
      • Marketing brochure was created and distributed to every dairy producer in Canada.
      • ET calves accounted for 5.02% of all registrations.
      • Jersey Canada is gaining visibility in the dairy product community by sponsoring national cheese competitions.
    • Aggressively advance Jersey genetic improvement to meet the changing needs of the dairy industry.
      • In 2011, Semex sampled 14 young sires. Goal for 2013 is 30 per year.
      • As of the end of 2011, 821 Jersey females were genomically tested. 2013 goal is 25%.
    • Invest in the development of future dairy and Jersey leaders through education and peer guidance.
    • Access, create and apply Jersey research results.
    • Address the structure and governance of Canadian Jersey organizations to optimize efficiency of operations.
  • At the March 2012 AGM, members approved an amendment to bylaw 19 to clearly define what Jersey Canada considers “purebred” to mean. An animal must be at least 31/32 or, 96.87% registered Jersey in order to be called purebred in the Canadian herdbook. All imported animals are subject to the grading-up and registration rules outlined in its existing grade-up program:
    • An animal with unknown parentage or a dam of another breed is 0%.
    • Daughters of a 0% recorded dam registered as 50% when sired by a registered Jersey sire.
    • Daughters of a 50% dam registered as 75% when sired by a registered Jersey sire.
    • Daughters of a 75% dam registered as 87.5% when sired by a registered Jersey sire.
    • Daughters of an 87.5% dam registered as 93.7% when sired by a registered Jersey sire.
    • Daughters of a 93.7% dam registered as 100% when sired by a registered Jersey sire.
    • Jersey males will be registered in the Jersey Canada herdbook only when they are sons of a 100% Jersey dam and sire.

 American Jersey Cattle Association (Neal Smith, Executive Secretary & CEO)

  • Jersey population estimated at approximately 750,000 cows, or 8.1% of total U.S. milk cow population. Total registered population estimated at 535,000 animals (all ages).
  • Jersey semen sales in 2011 (record-setting 2.2 million units) accounted for 9.7% of U.S. dairy semen sales.
  • Registrations set a new record for the third time in the last four years at 96,174. Cows enrolled on performance programs (137,999) and cows scored (94,045) also were new records. 40% of cows on AJCA programs are in herds of 1,000 or more cows.
  • Production per cow on official programs increased to 18,633 lbs. milk (8449 kg), 889 lbs. fat (403 kg) and 676 lbs. protein (307 kg). Genetic trends for birth years 2000 to 2009 are 150 lbs. milk (68 kg), 9.3 lbs. fat (4.2 kg) and 6.9 lbs. protein (3.1 kg) and exceed the genetic trend for U.S. Holsteins across the same period.
  • Analysis of genetic trend across functional type traits shows continual improvement since birth year 1990. Table shows trends in key udder traits for cows born in the years 2000 to 2009.

  • The impact of genomics during 2011:
    • 5,759 females were genotyped in 2011, bringing the historical total for females to 11,488 (962 owners). Historical total for males was 5,364.
    • Genomically evaluated bulls with no daughter proofs (in progeny test programs, designated by marketing code G) sired 22% of animals registered by AJCA in 2011.
    • At year-end the number of code G bulls (154) exceeded proven bulls (134), as did the group’s average genetic merit across production, longevity and fertility traits.
    • Two national sales featured a 100% genotyped offering. The National Heifer Sale (72 lots) averaged US$ 4,247.92, with all proceeds designated for national youth programs and Jersey Youth Academy. The Pot O’Gold Sale (33 lots) averaged US$ 4,568.18 and was the second-high averaging sale of 2011. Top sale of 2011 was The All American Jersey Sale (US$ 6,474.62, 65 lots). In that sale, the six females with the highest genomic JPIs ranked in the top eight by sale price.
    • Genomic research identified an undesirable genetic factor affecting fertility. Jersey Haplotype 1 (JH1) status determined by 6K or higher genotyping now published on official animal reports, including Jersey Genetic Summary.
  • Jersey sustainability-carbon footprint study accepted for publication in peer-reviewed Journal of Dairy Science (January 2012).


Respectfully submitted,

Cherie L. Bayer, Ph.D.


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