Friday, February 26, 2021

The latest word on milk digestibility from measuring Beta Casein


CONCEPTIONS   Dairy Route Newsletter                Summer 2019


Another research validates that A2 Beta Casein milk is better

It started in New Zealand, and was suppressed by Fonterra, the monopoly Kiwi milk cooperative who lo-ball markets powdered milk all over Asia.   Just like we hear about whenever certain ideas about milk production or content go public, “We cannot allow that!    It might make someone not want to drink milk!!”  the Kiwi dairy industry challenged the first research into differences in Beta Caseins. Later the World Health Organization repeated the research in Eastern Europe and found the same results.    Still the dairy cooperatives and processors ignored the implications and continued a policy of pooled supplies and volume pricing favors to the biggest milk producers.    But people now often choose not to drink milk, otherwise why all the hype for Almond and Soy “milk substitutes”?    One of the key issues big dairy has ignored is those many people whose digestion is upset by lactose (milk sugar) and the newly identified issue of A1 Beta Casein allergy, as documented in these researches.     Dairymen looking to the future began to DNA test their cows, identifying the gene locus for Beta Casein, discovering that breeds and bloodlines differ in their possession of A2 (desired) vs A1 (undesired) variants.

The latest research findings come from China (after smaller studies in Germany and in Oregon that were specific to lactose intolerance vs A1 allergic reaction) and are printed in the “Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition”.    In this study of pre-school children it was found that A1 Beta Casein has negative effects on both digestion (affecting growth) and cognitive performance (intelligence).  In other words, you can expect that there will be increasing attention to the value of A2 milk over “generic” milk from pediatricians and general health professionals.

Gaining the ear of milk marketers and geneticists

The problem of milk marketing being based on “pooling” (one milk truck picks up everybody) rather than “differentiating” (keeping unique milk supplies separate all the way to processing and labelling) must be solved, and to this date, it is the smaller handlers with close communication to their members who are able to get products like “A2A2” milk to the market.    As more consumers find these labels, it recovers customers who had given up on generic jug milk.    These consumers are paying a 100% premium over the basic retail price of commodity milk.

Today, you have a wealth of information on Beta Casein (digestibility and flavor), Kappa Casein (cheese yield), butterfat %, protein %, somatic cell scores, as well as recessives (eg, “fishy flavor” found in Ayrshire and Skandinavian Red breeds) that all combine to determine the potential premium value your milk could earn as the future milk market evolves.     You will find our latest price lists sort for “values”.

The future “premium milk” genetic package

The “ideal” genetic composition for a sire to breed you the cows of the future may look like this:    A2A2 Beta Casein;  BB Kappa Casein;  + % butterfat;  + % protein; not only + DPR but from a cow line demonstrating multiple calvings over a longer lifetime as verification of strong natural fertility.    These are the key traits that can align your cow herd with the key desires of the enlightened consumer and reduce to a minimum the costs of transportation and processing on the way to the store.


Just as you have seen famous, nationally and internationally recognized AI studs be absorbed into mergers during this period of milk price setbacks and oversupply you may also begin to see realignment and mergers of milk cooperatives and milk bottling brands suffering from the same declines in the price of their products and the cash flows generated.     More dairymen lost their milk market to older plants closing and milk haulers retiring than to any real desire by consumers to buy milk from bigger farms rather than smaller farms.

Producing what consumers are willing to pay for remains the long-term answer to success in food production just as is true in any other industry.    Choose sires  that add value to the milk makes more sense than continuing down the road that has led to financial misery for all dairy farms, large or small.    We will do our best to provide information for you to make profitable choices in genetic selection.  

Mich Livestock Service, Inc    “For the Best in Bulls”    ph (989) 834-2661

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