Jersey Breeders Day at Clandeboye Estate, Northern Ireland
Wednesday 27th February 2019
was an excellent turnout at the Jersey Cattle Society’s inaugural NI Breeders’
Day, held at the Clandeboye Estate near Bangor, County Down in Northern
sponsored by United Feeds, the event attracted breeders and Jersey enthusiasts
from throughout the Province, as well society board members from across the UK.
manager Mark Logan (with Clandeboye Tequila Cookie) is pictured with Dr Keith
Agnew, United Feeds, who is sponsored the NI Jersey Breeders' Day
were welcomed to the County Down venue by Clandeboye’s farm manager and society
director Mark Logan; Jersey Cattle Society president Lena Lewis, and chairman
itinerary for the one-day event included presentations from Gary Watson,
producer services manager, Dale Farm; Holstein UK’s Lizzie Bonsall; Dr Keith
Agnew, managing director Dale Farm Agri Division; and Ashley Fleming, area
manager Cogent UK
Breeder Day, Keynote speakers
L - R: Lizzie Bonsall, Approved Registered Cattle, Dr Keith Agnew, United
Feeds, Ashley Fleming, Cogent UK and Gary Watson, Dale Farm Agri Division
Farm’s Gary Watson outlined the importance of reducing antibiotics in the dairy
herd. “We need to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. While there is
a need for antibiotics, farmers must be proactive and refrain from over
highlighted the benefits of monthly milk recording which gives an accurate picture
of each individual cow, and the Milk Sure Training course which is delivered by
vets and recommended by the Red Tractor scheme. He also stressed the importance
of herd health, as diseases such as Johnes, BVD, IBR and Lepto also have a
negative impact on milk production. "Farmers should adopt a ‘whole farm
approach’ involving herd health, cleanliness and genetics."
(Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture) is focused on reducing the use of
intra mammary antibiotics in dry and lactating cows, and
promoting the increased use of teat sealants at drying off.
of the key approaches is Selective Dry Cow Therapy – managing cows
individually, rather than using a blanket approach across the herd. Farmers should
consult vets and implement parameters suitable for their farm situation. Hygiene
is also critical at drying off. "
continued: "Milk recording is an essential tool, and selective dry cow therapy
represents significant cost savings per cow. It is important to protect healthy
bacteria in the udder, and by reducing antibiotic usage farmers can improve the
effectiveness of necessary medical intervention."
UK’s Lizzie Bonsall outlined the value of pedigree registration which provides
authenticity and traceability for every animal in the herd book.
discussed the Approved Registered Cattle scheme launched in September 2018.
"This optional scheme is available to members of the Jersey Cattle
Society. We can offer members a reduction in the cost of ear tags, coupled with
BVD and DNA testing, as well as competitively priced genomic testing."
savings of up to 28%, the scheme supplies Caisley EID tags specially designed
to eliminate cross contamination of tissue samples. Members can avail of free
applicators, free replacement tags, and all tissue samples are archived and
stored for future reference.
area manager Ashley Fleming told delegates how the company has evolved since it
was established by the Late Duke of Westminster. Cogent was the first AI
company to test UK-bred black and white bulls, and it also introduced sexed
semen to the world market. In twelve months Cogent has witnessed a 43% growth
in its Sexed Ultra 4M semen which is achieving phenomenal results.
is currently the only stud progeny testing UK-bred Jersey bulls," said
Ashley, who compared a number of the popular Jersey sires available worldwide
to the UK bulls marketed by Cogent. "There is a small pool of Jersey sires
available, and the majority of them are negative for traits such as fertility.
is encouraging to see the UK-bred bulls coming through with some very favorable
proofs, especially positive percentages for milk quality, udders and fertility
index. Two of Cogent’s highest ranking UK sires are Grahams Goldtop and Grahams
continued: "Traditionally it takes four years to get a bull proof, but
genomic testing is the future! Progress is phenomenal, and genomic tests can
produce essential information in a matter of weeks. There is a wealth of
information out there and I would urge breeders to use it."
off the one-day event Dr Keith Agnew explained how nutrition in the Clandeboye
Herd has been targeted to avoid excessively high peak yields, improve
compositional quality, and maximise longevity. The Jersey portion of the herd
is currently producing a 305 day average of 6,564
litres at 5.12% butterfat and 4.01% protein.
Agnew has carried out a number of research projects at Clandeboye over the
years, with emphasis on feed analysis, low protein diets, increasing milk protein
content, and dry cow diets. "TMR is hostile to analysis. Chemical
measurement of a ruminant diet and biological worth are not the same thing.
Diets should be formulated so that the rumen will work in a more efficient
protein diets will increase forage intake, increase milk yield and contribute
to a flatter lactation curve, reduce calving interval, and lead content cows
with less change in body condition." Dr Agnew explained that reducing
protein also has environmental benefits, as the amount of ammonia produced by a
cow is reduced. "
Dr Agnew stressed the importance of dry cow management. "Body condition is
king! Diets should include second cut silage with a D value of 67 or 68, mixed
with straw, wholecrop or maize silage. Stemy grass is better, and chop length
is crucial to avoid sorting."
Society chairman John Whitby thanked the panel of speakers for their
interesting and informative presentations. "I would also like to thank the
Clandeboye Estate for the use of its facilities and the excellent hospitality. It’s
encouraging to see such a strong turnout of members and Jersey enthusiasts, and
I hope everyone enjoyed the day. Mr
Whitby presented farm manager Mark Logan with a token of the Society’s
A copy of The Dairy Queen was gifted to Mark Logan, Clandeboye Farm Manager by the Jersey Cattle Society
In the photo L – R: Mark Logan, Clandeboye Farm Manager & JCS Director; Emma Horn, JCS Company Secretary and John Whitby, JCS Chairman.
Click on images to enlarge
- JCS Chairman with Karen Kane, Courtyard Manager at Clandeboye Estate
- Helen Cox, JCS Director and Garey Watson, Dale Farms
- JCS President, Lena Lewis & Mark Davis, JCS Director
- Mark Davis, JCS Director with delegate
- Lunch in the Banqueting Hall
- John Dickinson, JCS Director with event delegates
- Emma Horn, JCS Co Secretary; Becky Hurd, Field Service Officer, Helen Cox, JCS Director
- Event Delegates
- Event Delegates
- Event Delegates
- Ashley Fleming, Cogent UK with event delegate
- Dr Keith Agnew with Linda and David Campbell, JCS members