Jersey Milk Continues to Increase Cheese Yield

The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) reports that the official lactation average for the Jersey breed is now 20,009 lbs. milk, 969 lbs. fat and 742 lbs. protein on a standardized mature equivalent (m.e.) basis. On a Cheddar cheese yield basis, average production is 2,520 lbs. The number of records included in the breed average for 2019 is 100,904.

The announcement is a mixed bag of news for the Jersey industry. The good news is that cheese yield per hundredweight of Jersey milk continues to rise. Yield now stands at 12.59 lbs., up from 12.58 in 2018.

In terms of volume, protein essentially held its own, while yield for milk, fat and cheese declined, along with the number of records in the breed average. The 2019 lactation average represents an increase of 1 lbs. protein and a decrease of 39 lbs. milk, 8 lbs. fat and 1 lbs. cheese as compared to 2018.

The breed average for actual production for 2019 is 17,528 lbs. milk, 854 lbs. fat, 649 lbs. protein and 2,207 lbs. cheese yield. These measures are down 102 lbs. milk, 9 lbs. fat, 1 lbs. protein and 8 lbs. cheese yield versus 2018. Jersey production peaked in 2017 at 20,150 lbs. milk, 985 lbs. fat and 743 lbs. protein on an m.e. basis. Actual production was 17,666 lbs. milk, 867 lbs. fat and 650 lbs. protein.

The number of records included in the 2019 average ranks fifth high in breed history, down 862 herds from 2018. The number of cows included in the breed lactation average peaked in 2015 at 113,897 and has declined slightly with the implementation of Generation Count qualifications.

Because profitability is determined by more than milk yield alone, and, because dairy producers have managed their herds in less-than-ideal conditions in recent years, Jersey breeders should be mindful of the numbers but not swayed by them. Ultimately, goals are being met and the Jersey breed is growing and moving forward.

What these numbers tell us is that Jersey milk is getting more nutrient-dense every year, especially in terms of protein, one of milk’s most valuable nutrients. This is promising news. In its recently released export report for 2019, the International Dairy Foods Association notes U.S. dairy exports surged to $5.93 billion, up 8% from 2018 and on par with the high-water mark for 2014. At the top of the list were milk concentrated powders, cheese and curds and whey—not fluids. Exports to our two closest neighbors, Mexico and Canada, were up 11% and 4%, respectively.

This component advantage makes Jersey milk an easy choice for export products and for processors. It also makes Jerseys an easy choice for dairy farmers who are paid fairly for the components in their milk. Though the component advantage may be what gets her foot in the door of other-breed herds, it is other advantages, like feed efficiency, reproductive efficiency and longer herd life, that enable her to prove herself to her caretaker. While mixed-breed herds accounted for just 2% of the herds in 1998, they now represent nearly 11% of domestic dairy herds. Jersey semen sales—our greatest key indicator of future growth—accounted for 5.4% of market share two decades ago and now represent 15% of dairy cattle semen sales.

To keep its competitive advantage, the Jersey breed needs to increase production, maintain (or improve) components and maintain optimum cow size for efficiency and health as identified by the Capper Cady environmental impact study (Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 95, Issue 1).

Based on statistics of the previous 10 years, the breed lactation average is projected to reach 21,157 lbs. milk, 1,058 lbs. fat and 796 lbs. protein by 2025, with a cheese yield equivalent of 2,707 lbs. Cheese makers are projected to be able to make 12.80 lbs. of product per hundredweight of Jersey milk by 2025.

In this annual production summary, the Jersey Journal includes lactation averages for individual herds calculated on a standardized 305-day, twice daily milking, m.e. basis and an actual basis. Production is included for lactations meeting the registry minimum of Generation Count 4 and higher. Records included in the average have data collection ratings of 85 or higher. Herds identified in the rankings have a minimum of 10 cows.

Editorial Note

Please refer to the rankings posted here for the correct version. The Jersey Journal staff sincerely apologizes for an error in the printed version of the magazine where the rankings from one year ago were published. Click here to view the corrected article in its entirety.

Top 10 Herds By Protein (M.E.)
Owner Records Protein Milk Fat
1. John and Edwin Maxwell, Donahue, Iowa 185 1,014 26,768 1,254
2. D & D Jerseys, Newton, Wis. 61 941 24,959 1,252
3. Joseph and Debra Brant, Cuba City, Wis. 18 936 25,854 1,214
4. Cold Run Jerseys LLC, Salem, Ohio 243 908 24,437 1,428
5. David L. Hogan, Tillamook, Ore. 2,052 888 23,293 1,132
6. Ahlem Foothill Farms, Turlock, Calif. 2,163 873 24,149 1,149
7. Den Kel Jerseys LLC. Byron, N.Y. 69 865 23,267 1,243
8. Brian J. Moore, Mount Ulla, N.C. 38 865 23,168 1,081
9. Merle Lawton, Newark Valley, N.Y. 62 860 23,058 1,095
10. North Carolina State University Raleigh, N.C. 50 857 23,450 1,058

 

Top 10 Herds By Milk (M.E.)
Owner Records Milk Protein Fat
1. John and Edwin Maxwell, Donahue, Iowa 185 26,768 1,014 1,254
2. Joseph and Debra Brant, Cuba City, Wis. 18 25,854 936 1,214
3. D & D Jerseys, Newton, Wis. 61 24,959 941 1,252
4. Cold Run Jerseys LLC, Salem, Ohio 243 24,437 908 1,428
5. Ahlem Foothill Farms, Turlock, Calif. 2,163 24,149 873 1,149
6. North Carolina State University Raleigh, N.C. 50 23,450 857 1,058
7. James Ahlem, Hilmar, Calif. 2,250 23,440 846 1,066
8. True Farms Perry, N.Y. 12 23,393 843 1,297
9. David L. Hogan, Tillamook, Ore. 2,052 23,293 888 1,132
10. Den Kel Jerseys LLC Byron, N.Y. 69 23,267 865 1,243

 

Top 10 Herds By Fat (M.E.)
Owner Records Fat Milk Protein
1. Cold Run Jerseys LLC, Salem, Ohio 243 1,428 24,437 908
2. True Farms Perry, N.Y. 12 1,297 23,393 843
3. John and Edwin Maxwell, Donahue, Iowa 185 1,254 26,768 1,014
4. D & D Jerseys, Newton, Wis. 61 1,252 24,959 941
5. Woodmohr Jerseys, Bloomer, Wis. 26 1,251 22,411 816
6. Den Kel Jerseys LLC, Byron, N.Y. 69 1,243 23,267 865
7. Pamela H. Moser, Middletown, Md. 19 1,217 20,225 734
8. Joseph and Debra Brant, Cuba City, Wis. 18 1,214 25,854 936
9. Crosswind Jerseys, Elkton, S.D. 831 1,180 20,759 792
10. Cantendo Acres-Grazeland Jerseys, Wooster, Ohio 53 1,172 21,834 812

 

Top 10 Herds By Protein (Actual)
Owner Records Protein Milk Fat
1. John and Edwin Maxwell, Donahue, Iowa 185 899 23,710 1,119
2. D & D Jerseys, Newton, Wis. 61 842 22,389 1,136
3. Merle Lawton, Newark Valley, N.Y. 62 804 21,576 1,026
4. Joseph and Debra Brant, Cuba City, Wis. 18 801 21,877 1,043
5. Cold Run Jerseys LLC, Salem, Ohio 243 798 21,495 1,260
6. True Farms Perry, N.Y. 12 791 22,621 1,218
7. Den Kel Jerseys LLC, Byron, N.Y. 69 789 21,278 1,142
8. Sand Creek Dairy LLC, Hastings, Mich. 270 784 20,762 1,080
9. Benjamin P. Colopy, Perry, N.Y. 22 772 21,135 1,045
10. Doug Fairbanks, Anamosa, Iowa 54 767 20,737 1,129

 

Top 10 Herds By Milk (Actual)
Owner Records Milk Protein Fat
1. John and Edwin Maxwell, Donahue, Iowa 185 23,710 899 1,119
2. True Farms, Perry, N.Y. 12 22,621 791 1,218
3. D & D Jerseys, Newton, Wis. 61 22,389 842 1,136
4. Joseph and Debra Brant, Cuba City, Wis. 18 21,877 801 1,043
5. Merle Lawton, Newark Valley, N.Y. 62 21,576 804 1,026
6. Cold Run Jerseys LLC, Salem, Ohio 243 21,495 798 1,260
7. Den Kel Jerseys LLC, Byron, N.Y. 69 21,278 789 1,142
8. Benjamin P. Colopy, Perry, N.Y. 22 21,135 772 1,045
9. Kylie Margaret Lehr, Canastota, N.Y. 14 20,802 738 1,056
10. Sand Creek Dairy LLC, Hastings, Mich. 270 20,762 784 1,080
      Brian J. Moore, Mount Ulla, N.C. 38 20,762 757 954

 

Top 10 Herds By Fat (Actual)
Owner Records Fat Milk Protein
1. Cold Run Jerseys LLC, Salem, Ohio 243 1,260 21,495 798
2. True Farms, Perry, N.Y. 12 1,218 22,621 791
3. Den Kel Jerseys LLC, Byron, N.Y. 69 1,142 21,278 789
4. D & D Jerseys, Newton, Wis. 61 1,136 22,389 842
5. Woodmohr Jerseys, Bloomer, Wis. 26 1,135 20,274 740
6. Doug Fairbanks, Anamosa, Iowa 54 1,129 20,737 767
7. Pamela H. Moser, Middletown, Md. 19 1,120 18,407 667
8. John and Edwin Maxwell, Donahue, Iowa 185 1,119 23,710 899
9. Crosswind Jerseys, Elkton, S.D. 831 1,102 19,736 740
10. Logan and Autumn Courtney, Chouteau, Okla. 65 1,093 19,542 754

 

The updated rankings broken down by herd size, along with the full story, can be viewed here.  Please contact the Jersey Journal staff with any concerns.

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