A family business
André is a fifth-generation farmer in Rantrum, a small village of 1,800 inhabitants, in Germany. He has been a full-time farmer at his home farm for eight years.
In 1996, there came the move to a farm slightly further from the village centre and in 2019 the family constructed a new barn. Since this move, André keeps his cows on pasture; and after dairy, the biogas plant has become the family's second source of income.
ProCROSS for 8 years
André’s father had Holstein cattle only; and André felt the need to reconsider. Having listened to a lecture on ProCROSS, he determined that he would look more closely at the breeding programme. In 2012, after an in-depth investigation, he came to a decision: he would start using ProCROSS. “My father, who had run the farm for a long time, agreed with the decision”, says the farmer.
In the early stages of changing to this breeding programme, he used VikingRed bulls.
In order to achieve optimal results in his breeding aims, André chose bulls according to key factors which were: milk components, fertility, maternal calving ease and performance, so he initially chose the R Balfa and A Linne bulls.
André has now progressed to adding Montbeliarde to the mix, too. He purchased an additional 80 ProCROSS animals and 40 VikingHolsteins from Denmark.
When we visit, he has only positive words for the follow-on generation, “They're very fit, and fertility and hooves particularly good. What’s more, the calves are much quieter and more relaxed, in general easier to handle.”
Going around the farm together, we asked André about his wishes and expectations for the future.
He stated that it was his intention to extend the farm complex, adding a new calving housing facility, more room for dry cattle and a concrete surface for storing feed.
In terms of breeding, he plans to increase the stock to around 300 cows (+40). In general, his aim is around 9,500 - 9,800 kg output with the same constituents and an average of 50,000 kg lifetime performance.
His breeding objectives continue to feature a concentration on milk components, calving ease, daughter fertility and of course performance. Currently he is implementing his plans by using VR Elektro, VR Boris and VR Fanof P bulls, as well as the Montbeliarde bulls Neutrino (N°1 bull for ProCROSS in Germany, with 608 PCRs) and Manhattan.
Thanks to ProCROSS crossbreeding concept, André is now prepare to face new challenges.