Our breeding goal is: ‘Easy to manage and efficient cows’
It will lead to improvement of production and longevity; lower culling rates, which means fewer replacements, which will have a positive effect on income and consumer acceptance. To support farmers in selecting the specific bulls they want, we have developed the Better Life Figrues. Selecting the highest ‘Better Life Health’ bulls will lead to easier to manage (healthier) cows and selecting the highest ‘Better Life Efficiency’ bulls will lead to higher lifetime productions without an increase of health issues. This overall-breeding goal results in cows with a sustainable, efficient lifetime production.
For the selection of bull dams and sires of sons, CRV selects for production, longevity, udder health, fertility, udder, feet & legs and calving ease, whereby a lot of weight is put upon production, longevity and health and type:
|Production||Longevity and Health||Type|
Structure of the NVI breeding program
To achieve the goal set for the breeding programme, CRV in The Netherlands operates two separate breeding programmes: Delta Nucleus and Euro Donor.
With help of the Genomic Selection technique CRV selects the best Holstein bulls for the breeding program. Every year 2,000 bull calves from the Delta Nucleus, 1,000 bull calves from the Eurodonor program (contracted bull dams in Europe) are used. this gives 3,000 high level calves. 1 out of 60 bull calves, resulting in about 60 bulls, become selected InSire bulls. In the end, these InSire bulls are meant to become daughter proven bulls. The structure of the breeding program can be seen in the above figure.
Click here for information about NVI, the total merit index that is used in the Netherlands and Flanders for ranking bulls.
Since the ’70s, North America has been a major supplier of genetics. CRV has a very successful breeding program in the USA. As a result, the best American bulls with the highest breeding values are available for our clients.
In the USA, CRV is looking for bulls and bull dams that are interesting for the international market. Genetic material of our American bulls is tested for markers. To compare these bulls with the bulls of the Delta and Eurodonor breeding program, the American bulls are also tested on NVI base, next to their international TPI base. On top of the 60 bulls that are tested in Europe, CRV is also selecting about 25 bulls per year in the USA. Most of these bulls are from the Peak program.
Collaboration with Alta
Within the American breeding program CRV is working together with Alta Genetics. By joint breeding and selecting we share the high costs of the breeding program and it provides a larger and more varied offer of bulls.