German perspective on dairy cattle breeding
GGI (German Genetics International) is the international export marketing body representing 13 of the most important German cattle breeding organizations which provide mainly Holstein and Red Holstein genetics.
They offer the breeders from all over the world a direct and effortless access to the best bulls from the German breeding programmes. All sires offered are tested with high reliability and accuracy based on the worldwide leading estimation model for breeding values and stand out for widely spread transmission and deep pedigrees. The genetic potential of GGI bulls clearly reflects the German breeding philosophy: High milk performance, good conformation, excellent feet and legs, functional and healthy udders, fertility, and longevity.
GGI’s Jörg Harms recently called in at Ai Services’ Ballycraigy headquarters to brief the company’s sales team on the objectives of the dairy current breeding programmes in Germany and to highlight some young bulls of particular promise.
“GGI is selecting from almost 1.5 million registered Black and White Holsteins and a further 200,000 Red and Whites,” Jorg explained.
“There is also a wide range of production and management systems followed by German milk producers, depending on their location.
“For example, farmers in the North West of the country seek to produce as much milk as possible from grazed grass and forage.”
He continued: “Our current breeding programmes are focussed on producing cows with improved health, fertility and longevity traits. It is crucially important for dairy farmers to get as much milk as possible from a cow over her lifetime.
GGI bulls that have made an impact here and in countries all over the world include Leif, Jardin and Mascol. These renowned sires have both international and UK proofs.
GGI genetics is marketed in the UK through INIMEX. The company’s Nick Kirby also took part in the recent visit to Ballycraigy.
“German bulls have performed tremendously well in Northern Ireland,” he explained.
“Longevity is a key requirement for cows in a modern dairying system. Until recently, it was believed that type was the key factor in determining how long a cow might remain in a herd. However, work carried out by GGI has indicated that longevity is a multi factorial trait, one which must be specifically tested for within a carefully designed breeding programme.”
Jörg Harms went on to stress the key role now played by genomics in assessing young bulls with breeding potential.
“The technology is here to stay,” he commented.
“It certainly allows us to select sires with a unique breeding advantage at a very young age. However, this potential can only be confirmed courtesy of the information generated by daughter proofs.”
Looking to the future Jörg indicated that the young bulls Guarini, Gunnar and Goldday will play a key role in meeting the future herd breeding needs of dairy farmers here in Northern Ireland.
“All three are Goldwyn sons and have a unique potential to deliver on production, components, fertility and health traits.”
Ai Services’ Breeding Services’ manager Ivan Minford confirmed that Guarini and Gunnar are currently available from the company.
“Goldday will be on offer this winter,” he added.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Belfast
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east