Project500

Posted in Category(ies):  Dairy

Project500 looks at how cattle breeding can be used to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from dairy production. The aim should be to produce an excellent quality product for the minimum GHG impact.

As one of the biggest emissions from dairy farming comes in the form of methane from rumen fermentation a key target is to get as much output from each cow as possible. However, this needs to be done using the minimum imported meal and silage, both of which have a higher GHG footprint than grazed grass. The keys to achieving this high output is a cow capable of calving early in the spring, having a long and productive lactation and going back in calf easily for next year. This is the essence of a high EBI cow.

The good news for farmers is the cows that are best from a GHG viewpoint are also best for profitability. Calving early, producing high volumes of fat and protein and staying in the herd.

The study below shows herds achieving this pattern of high output from fertility and grazed grass to have the lowest carbon footprint.

 

Another study by Teagasc has shown that with the increase in EBI over the past number of years the GHG per Kg output is reducing.

 

 

 

Project500 takes these principles and sets targets for Irish farms which start with excellent fertility and create the potential to increase national average output per cow from 410kg milk solids up to 500kg.

 

The System: grass based, simple, profitable and sustainable

The Targets: 90% 6 week calving rate & a mature herd

The cow: Fertile, productive, high EBI

The genetics: targets below

 

Sample bull team that meets targets:

Code Name EBI Rel Prod Fert Milk Fat Prot Fat % Prot %
FR4513 (IG) BALLYGOWN ALBERT €325 51 €131 €126 148 24.2 15.9 +0.31 +0.19
FR4515 (IG) WATERWHEEL WINSTON €313 49 €73 €149 218 12.1 11.6 +0.06 +0.07
FR2460 (IG) NEXTGEN PHC EIMER 557 €312 63 €96 €158 35 15.0 11.6 +0.23 +0.18
FR4337 (IG) GABRIEL ZORO €310 52 €114 €138 102 14.7 15.8 +0.18 +0.21
FR4338 (IG) CRAIGTOWN TORNADO €308 51 €93 €140 155 14.6 13.1 +0.14 +0.14
FR2239 (IG) DIAMOND ANTON €306 67 €103 €133 279 19.4 15.0 +0.14 +0.09
FR4540 (IG) CLOONEYBEAG EXCEED €301 56 €105 €128 348 10.0 19.6 -0.06 +0.13
FR2298 (IG) OLCASTLETOWN RONALDO €296 66 €101 €138 175 12.9 15.2 +0.10 +0.16
FR4545 (IG) BALLYDOOGAN TEMPLE €294 60 €107 €118 581 15.6 21.5 -0.12 +0.03
FR4339 (IG) LEACHTNEILL DARBY €293 59 €64 €151 60 7.9 9.1 +0.09 +0.12
  Team Average  €306 57 €99 €138 210 14.6 14.8 +0.11 +0.13

 Dam of Winston

Posted on Monday, 4 February 2019  |  By Progressive Genetics
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