Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Törlan combines top genetics and ProCROSS

Bengt Svensson & Ulf Person own and run the Törlan herd in Sweden. They do cross breeding for a part of their Holstein top herd with VikingRed and Montbeliarde. This fits well to the conditions for the farm with much pasture. Besides the milk production, they also breed bullocks and lambs.

Törlan made a strategy plan with focus on increased profitability. A part of this strategy is to inseminate the 10-15% poorest animals with Limousine and the next 30% with VikingRed (VR) and Montbeliarde (MO). The rest 55-60% purebred animals are inseminated with the best Holstein bulls. In this way the genetic progress in the farm is much higher and the profitability increased.

They do genomic test for all heifers, and based on the results of these, it is decided which animals to be used in the purebred breeding scheme, and which to be crossed with VR/MO in the ProCROSS concept.

First cross heifers calve in December 
The first ProCROSS animals (HOL x VR and HOL x MO) will calve by the end of the year. The animals will then be inseminated with the third breed on the ProCROSS concept. All heifers that are inseminated with Montbeliarde, will be inseminated with sexed semen to avoid too large calves. The 3-way crosses will be good as a buffer. If they have surplus of heifers, they can be fed up for slaughter, and if not they will be part of the milk production.

Top genetics from many years’ breeding work
Switching over to 100% ProCROSS will be relevant for the herd. “We have always been interested in breeding and will continue with that. But taking this step will give us even better animals for breeding in future since we only use the very best for recruiting”. At Törlan they also work with ET and have just had the flush contract for the third heifer. “A flush contract is necessary to do flushing”, Bengt says.

Select bulls by NTM
Every two months a new breeding plan is prepared in order to always use the newest bulls. When selecting the bulls for the purebred animals, it is first and foremost NTM that is important. “If they have high NTM then they are also good for health, and that is important”, Bengt says.

It will be interesting to follow the development at the Törlan herd – it will not be slow! On the wall in the lunch room is a board with the goals motivating the herd:

  • We will have fun
  • We will make money
  • We will have our vacation
  • We want to create an attractive workplace

Actually, the goals are pretty obvious and simple, but when they are visible, you will be reminded about them every single day…

Facts Törlan

  • 270 Holstein cows
  • 12,135 kg ECM 
  • Calving age 24 months
  • Calving interval 12.2 months

Bengt Svensson crosses a part of his Holstein top herd Törlan with VikingRed and Montbeliarde.

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