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.
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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.