In late December 2017, K&K Impact Olga became the second Jersey in U.S. history to complete a record in excess of 50,000 lbs. milk and 1,700 lbs. protein.
The Excellent-90% daughter of Dutch Hollow Impact-ET, GJPI +24, is owned by Jason Luttropp of Lost Elm Jerseys, Berlin, Wis. She produced 52,080 lbs. milk, 1,964 lbs. fat, 1,788 lbs. protein and 5,622 cheese yield in 365 days at 5-0. This second only to Mainstream Barkly Jubilee with her record of 55,590 lbs. milk, 2,550 lbs. fat, 1,796 lbs. protein and 6,201 cheese yield.
“Olga” also completed the highest 305-day production record in 2017 for milk, protein and cheese yield. Calving in December 2016, she finished her 305-day record with 44,820 lbs. milk, 1,702 lbs. fat and 1,502 lbs. protein (an rBST-free record).
“Olga’s” dam, K&K Oasis 2144 2592 Very Good-86%, was purchased by Jason at the K&K Jerseys Complete Dispersal, Newton, Wis., in 2011 and “Olga” was born at Lost Elm in December of 2011.
“Olga” has always been a solid production cow and it was after her last lactation where she produced 36,170 lbs. milk, 1,749 lbs. fat and 1,304 lbs. protein that Jason suspected she could be capable of making a big record.
“She started out strong, but after she became pregnant she started dropping in milk production fast,” explained Jason. “This lactation we held off on breeding her and she was able to maintain her high production for longer. She was milking so heavily three to four months into her lactation and was so skinny that my nutritionist had me top dress her feed with calf grain.”
“Olga” is due back in July 2018 to River Valley Spice Showdown, GJPI +29, and has had three heifer calves at Lost Elm, two of which were sold to other herds in Wisconsin and Montana. “Olga’s” December 2016 calf, Lost-Elm Dimension Oasis, is still at Lost Elm and sired by Sunset Canyon Dimension-ET, GJPI +152.
No Stranger to Success
Lost Elm Jerseys has been known for show ring success earning Premier Exhibitor and Breeder banners at Wisconsin State Jersey Show in 2016 and 2017. They have bred and exhibited numerous class winners and champions at state and national-level shows with the most notable recent accomplishment being Lost Elm Tequila Petunia. A Very Good-88% daughter of Tower Vue Prime Tequila-ET, GJPI -125, “Petunia” was named Junior Champion at both the All American Jersey Show and International Jersey Show in 2016 and returned to the show ring with a fourth place finish in the milking yearling class at the International Jersey Show in 2017.
Jerseys have not always been the featured breed at Lost Elm, however. The herd started as an Ayrshire herd in 1972 when Jason’s parents, Jerry and Phyllis, purchased the farm. The original barn had 29 tie stalls and over time the barn has grown to 101 stalls. After a time with Holsteins in the barn, the Luttropps bred and developed a well-known Brown Swiss herd. They have bred active A.I. sires in both the Holstein and Brown Swiss breeds and Lost Elm Prelude Pixy ET “2E93” is still the current Brown Swiss record holder for milk and protein with a record of 65,430 lbs. milk, 3,557 lbs. fat and 2,031 lbs. protein.
The first Jersey was added to the Lost Elm herd in 2000 at the Wisconsin All-Breeds Convention Sale. They purchased Valhalla Bonus Lulu as a Christmas bonus for Jason, who joined the farm full-time in 1996 after two years at University of Wisconsin-Madison Farm and Industry Shortcourse and working on other farms. “Lulu” was the All American Junior Yearling in 1999 and still has descendants in the herd. It was after the Luttropp family dispersed their Brown Swiss in 2010 that the herd transitioned to Jerseys.
“We knew when we sold the Brown Swiss that going with Jerseys was the plan,” said Jason. “Jerseys last so long, breed back and have heifer calves.”
It was after selling the Brown Swiss that Jason took over ownership of the farm and they attended Jersey sales, including Allen and Bonnie Kracht’s herd dispersal of K&K Jerseys, to build their Jersey herd and fill the stalls in the barn. They purchased eight cows in the sale, including “Olga’s” dam, two of which are still in the herd today. Five of the eight have been scored Excellent, with the other three Very Good.
“We went to the sale and picked out the cows with the best udders,” explained Jerry. “We knew they were bred to milk so we tried to pick out the best cows for type. They have been money-makers; good sound cows that know how to work.”
Today, 81 appraised cows average 89.5% with 45 Excellent cows and 36 appraised Very Good. The 2017 AJCA lactation average on 71 cows is 21,109M 975F and 778P.
Focus on Cow Comfort
Jason believes strongly in cow comfort being the key to high milk production and longevity. Last summer he replaced all the mattresses in the barn and has noticed the cows lay down more often and for longer periods of time.
Luttropps feed a one-group TMR (Total Mixed Ration) and have not used rBST in years. They focus on harvesting high-quality forages to feed to the entire herd, from calves up to the milking herd.
All heifers are bred to sexed semen on the first and second service which has allowed them to build heifer inventory over time. Because of this growth in recent years, Lost Elm has been able to offer high-quality animals for sale to supplement the farm’s income. In the last three years they have sold 45 head through Jersey Marketing Service and an additional 101 through other private and public sales. “Olga” has been priced several times to sell with a group through Jersey Marketing Service, however she wasn’t chosen for the final sale and stayed at Lost Elm to produce her outstanding record.
Editor’s note—This story was compiled and written by AJCA-NAJ Area Representative Danielle Brown.