WORLD JERSEY CATTLE BUREAU
FOR THE 2013 COUNCIL MEETING IN AUSTRALIA
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR OCEANIA
By Peter Ness (Australia)
Milk prices and climatic conditions, are the barometer of a dairy farmer’s confidence. With depressed world prices for dairy commodities over the last year, and a dry summer & autumn causing a slight decrease in milk production in Australia and New Zealand, that confidence is waning. In the last couple of months we have seen the spot price for dairy commodities rise quite sharply, so hopefully this will see a rise in the coming year’s milk price for dairy farmers.
Memberships in Jersey NZ, have increased slightly this year, but registrations have decreased marginally. A new incentive scheme has been put in place to try to bring about more registrations in the near future. Jerseys in NZ represent just over 12% of the national dairy herd and Jersey NZ are in the process of implementing a strategic plan to lift the jersey breed to 25% by 2025.
Jersey Genome Program – a joint venture between Jersey NZ & CRV AMBreed – is starting to deliver results. Each year more heifers and bulls are nominated. The Dairy Industry Good Animal Database – DIGAD, is in the process of being set up. The present national database is managed by LIC, but will now be managed by Dairy NZ. As with any new venture, there have been a few teething problems in making the transition.
Okura Manhatten ET is retiring after more than a decade of service to the NZ and international dairy industry. He has over 37,600 daughters currently in milk in the national dairy herd in NZ, and has sold over 670,000 straws of semen – of which 294,000 were in export sales. A further 18,000 straws remain in stock.
The All New Zealand Jersey Show, held at Fielding in January, was judged by Ashley Flemming from Ireland. Supreme In-Milk Champion was Ferdon Comerica Viyella, bred and owned by Ferdon Genetics.
Jersey Australia has had an exceptional year financially. The formation of a national body a couple of years ago, has payed dividends this year.
Jersey Australia has seen a slight decrease in membership but registrations were up nearly 7,000. The office processed 22,941 registrations – a new record. Classification of members cows was down marginally, but classifications of progeny daughters was well up this year.
The demand for jerseys is increasing. The jersey breed is 13% of the national dairy herd, but 15% of semen sold over the past year was jersey. The average sale price of registered jerseys through Dairy Livestock Services, from 1/3/12 to 28/2/13, was $3930/head, up from $2234/head. Top price paid was $16,500 – achieved twice. These sales generated $1,422,780 of gross income for our members.
The export of jersey cattle has grown, with orders of over 3,000 head going to China this year. The Middle East, Pakistan and Russia are also showing interest in importing jersey cattle.
Australian jersey semen is gaining popularity worldwide and Genetic Australia announced recently that over 100,000 doses of Beulah Tananak Badger had been sold in South Africa.
August 2012, saw the first official release of genomic results for jerseys in Australia. This would not have happened without the support of members, through the collection of 4000 cow tail hair and donation of semen straws for testing through the DNA Project.
At the International Dairy Week, held in January at Tatura in Victoria, Johannes van Eeden from South Africa, judged Riverside Country Lollypop bred by Riverside Jerseys, to be the Champion Female. Premier Breeder was Brunchilli Farming Trust along with Brian & Vicki Wilson & family as winners of the Premier Exhibitor.
Jersey enthusiasts in the Oceania Region would like to pass on their condolences to the Perchard family on the passing of Ann, Patron of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau.