ProCROSS Advantages

ProCROSS cows have six major strengths: Fertility, Health, Cull Value, Efficiency, Longevity and Lifetime Profit.

These six advantages were identified in the most important scientific study into crossbreeding dairy cattle yet undertaken. It was led by Professor Les Hansen from the University of Minnesota and its results were published in July 2019. Its conclusions included the following:

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Lifetime profit
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Feed efficiency
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Cull value
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Health treatment costs
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Daily Profit
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Open days

Fertility

The ProCROSS cows have +9 to +10 points higher first service conception rate than Holstein in 2nd & 3rd lactations. The higher conception rate, fewer days open and fewer times bred for the ProCROSS cows reduced their cost of insemination compared with their Holstein herdmates, & also led to longer herd life for the ProCROSS cows compared with Holstein. Finally, you get a much fertile cow, easy to live with & more profitable. These results followed the last article of the Journal of Dairy Science, on the 10-year study leads by University of Minnesota, reviewed & updates. This update includes new data from the last generation of ProCROSS cows (Generation 3, Holstein sired).

Health

The ProCROSS cow is a much stronger cow than the pure Holstein. This is thanks to the Montbéliarde breed, which offers plenty of strength and excellent feet and legs, and the VikingRed, with its excellent genetics for health across a range of traits. In addition to the benefits from each of these ProCROSS breeds is the benefit of heterosis. Also known as hybrid vigour, heterosis gives the crossbred animal better performance than the average of its parents. It has been proven that heterosis has a positive influence on most health traits and research has shown that veterinary costs go down by 26% in the second and third lactations.

Cull Value

In the 10-year study, ProCROSS crossbred cows had a 14% higher cull value than their Holstein herd mates.

Efficiency

ProCROSS cows have a more stable body weight than the Holstein during lactation. The Holstein cow often starts her lactation with too much body condition and uses energy to convert her bodyfat into milk. By the end of lactation, the Holstein is often too frail. With their more stable metabolism, ProCROSS cows can produce milk more efficiently, directly from the feed they eat rather than ‘off their backs’. As a result, research has shown their feed efficiency to be 8% greater than the Holstein’s. In other words, they produce more milk solids per kg of dry matter intake.

Longevity

One of the most important conclusions of the University of Minnesota study is that ProCROSS cows remain in the herd for 147 more days than their Holstein herd mates. Longevity is a good indicator of profitability for commercial dairy farms and an extra 147 days means 147 more days of production.

Lifetime Profit

Open Days

The 3-breed ProCROSS cows have -15 to -20 fewer days open during their first three lactations compared with their Holstein herdmates The higher conception rate, fewer days open and fewer times bred for the ProCROSS cows reduced their cost of insemination compared with their Holstein herdmates, & also led to longer herd life for the ProCROSS cows compared with Holstein. To conclude, you get a more fertile cow, easy to live with & more profitable. These results followed the last article of the Journal of Dairy Science, on the 10-year study leads by University of Minnesota, reviewed & updates. This update includes new data from the last generation of ProCROSS cows (Generation 3, Holstein sired).

Daily Profit

Holstein, VikingRed and Montbeliarde produces daily profits which are on average, 9-13%, greater than those from pure Holstein. The financial advantage was demonstrated to come from a wide range of factors including greater lifetime weights of fat and protein, better fertility, fewer health treatments, higher calf and cull values, and improved rates of survival.

Fat & Protein %

Higher Fat% + Prot % for all generations ProCROSS cows compared to Holstein. For protein %, increase of +.10 up to +.22 points across all generations of ProCROSS. For fat%, increase of +.10 up to +.20 points across all generations of ProCROSS. The higher conception rate, fewer days open and fewer times bred for the ProCROSS cows reduced their cost of insemination compared with their Holstein herdmates, & also led to longer herd life for the ProCROSS cows compared with Holstein. Across generations, ProCROSS cows produce as much as their Holstein herdmates, in terms of fat & protein production with higher fat & protein percentages.

When all the benefits are combined, the ProCROSS cow delivers 33% more profit than the pure Holstein in her lifetime. This is because she is easier to manage and costs less to keep for the same level of performance. When looking at lifetime production, the ProCROSS is the kind of cow farmers want in their herds!