Williamson is a fourth generation dairy farmer, and his predecessors were one of the first farming families to introduce North American Holstein cows into the area.
Five years ago, health problems were becoming unsustainable. “We were facing problems with feet and legs and high culling rates, which was jeopardising the efficiency of the whole operation,” says Andy.
In their search for more efficient and healthier cows, they were introduced to the only scientifically proven crossbreed, ProCROSS, which is a combination of VikingRed, Montbeliarde from Coopex and VikingHolstein.
After using ProCROSS, the genetics of 50% of the herd are from 3-way crossbreeding and the plan is to extend this to the whole herd.
The Williamsons work closely with VikingGenetics UK and the family are improving health, fertility and longevity in the herd. “The culling rate was reduced from 34% to 28%”, Andy explains, before adding that they are achieving high in-calf rates with an average production of 9,500 Kg ECM, with 3.9% milkfat and 3.4% protein.
The 10-year study by the University of Minnesota in the USA, showed that ProCROSS cows (Holstein, VikingRed and Montbeliarde) get +33% lifetime profits than pure Holstein.
The financial advantage of ProCROSS was proven 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.
More info on 10-year results here