The importance of milk recording can never be over-emphasised.
It is indeed one of the most important factors that can influence the
profitability of a dairy farming enterprise.
It is, in fact, an interesting task and presents the producer
with a wealth of information that enables him to keep his finger on the pulse of
Milk recording scheme data not only facilitate better herd
management and planning but benefit the entire dairy industry.
Remember, the higher the number of herds on milk recording, the
more accurate the information so generated with greater benefits for all.
Furthermore, participation does not require exceptional skills.
As a matter of fact, milk recording is such a simple task. The farmer only needs
to keep very basic records such as event dates. Test day milk weights of each
cow in a participating herd are measured and milk samples taken, every five
weeks, throughout the lactation. The samples are taken to a central collection
point, from where they are transported to the laboratory. At the laboratory, the
samples are analysed for butterfat and protein. The results are electronically
merged with the milk weights, various calculations are carried out and
production reports are produced and sent to the farmer. It is as easy as that
and well worth the cost. The farmer pays for the delivery and testing of the samples,
control and maintenance of standards and processing of the data.
Livestock Manager Programme
Importance of Active Milk Reporting
The application of advanced interactive Management Reports in INTERGIS, based on official milk performance recording
The application of reproduction reports in INTERGIS, based on official milk performance recording
Milk recording is of immense value, not only to the individual
farmer, but the entire dairy industry. It actually yields benefits of national
interest. In terms of gross value, the dairy industry is the fourth
largest contributor to agricultural output in South Africa. With more benefits
getting realised from milk recording, the industry can grow even larger. Indeed,
milk recording has wide scope for development, even beyond the country's
The efficient production of milk and high quality dairy
products, which result from the use of milk recording information, will make our
country more competitive on the international market. Milk recording can also
contribute indirectly to the meat market, if it results in more animals being
culled. In addition to improved product quality, the dairy industry is also in a
better position to plan effectively from information generated through the milk
The actual production per lactation of milk, butterfat and
protein is established for each cow, thus providing essential quantitative and
The genetic potential of animals is determined through estimated BLUP
Herd genetic trends over years are determined, which gives an indication of
the herd's genetic progress.
Environmental trends, established through BLUP analyses, can also be used as
an aid to management.
By utilising breeding values and genetic trends, a planned
breeding policy can be followed, in order to meet market requirements.
Problems within the herd are pin-pointed. For example, somatic cell counts
indicate udder health status.
The general management of the farm, herd and dairy is improved.
The farmer can aim for and accomplish more accurate record keeping.
Accurate selection will, in time, raise the standard of herds and the
In addition, producers who join the Milk Recording Scheme get:
An increase in the value of their animalsBuyers are inclined to pay more for animals where additional
information such as performance test results and breeding values is
To join is simple:All that needs to be done is apply to ARC Animal Improvement
Institute for participation. One prerequisite is that you need to be a member of
either Taurus Co-op or National Independent Quality Laboratories. Once
application is approved, the farmer receives training on how to conduct a milk
recording test from ARC technicians. After this, he is included in the normal
ARC technicians can do the test for you.Not all farmers can afford the time and/or manpower to do milk
recording tests. ARC technicians would be more than glad to do the test for you.
In such a case, you will have to pay a fee for the service, plus the mileage
How quickly are results obtained?Should the farmer have e-mail facilities, results may be sent
to him electronically, as soon as they are produced.
Test-day results are posted within two weeks and production
certificates within a month from test day. Breeding values are produced
A summary of lactations completed within a specific test year
are printed and sent to the respective herd owner, at the end of the test year.
Breed and herd averages are published and made available to the industry
The ARC Animal Improvement Institute has six regional offices,
namely Stellenbosch, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Irene, Cedara and Vryburg.
These offices serve participants in their respective regions.
The Milk Producers Organisation
Elsenburg Analytical Lab
(Jersey SA Breed Society; SA Holstein Breed Society; SA Guernsey Breed Society and the Ayrshire Breed Society of SA)
Jakkie du Toit, Tel +27 (0)21 809 3515 / +2782 348 7147; Email: DToitJ@arc.agric.za
Tsoeu, Tel +27 (0) 012 672 9242, Fax +27 (0) 12 665 1605, E mail: TsoeuL@arc.agric.za
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