The least valuable component of milk in the marketplace is water. The most important input on which production is predicated is reproduction. Why then does the AI genetics industry continue to promote milk volume over milk value, confuse cow fertility with sire conception rates, and ignore the second income stream that easier reproduction from sound, physically healthy cows with eye appeal type makes possible?
The second largest breed in the USA is now “crossbreed” (Jerseys are in third place) but you never see discussions of this outside of grazing periodicals. As a result, no one has explained the crossbreeding options in a “big picture” context that enhances both income and expense sides of the decision. Many who have tried it feel the experiment failed.
The last breed to enter the USA as an alternative breed—Fleckveih—may prove to be the one that actually accomplishes what has been sought by so many for so long. In spite of their appearance (similar to our perceptions of beef cattle) the Fleckveih is successful in bridging feed efficient milk production and fertility with premium salvage value.
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