Swedish farmers inspiring international dairymen with vikingred and procross

A group of dairymen from the United Kingdom and Germany had a very busy trip to Halland in Sweden last week. They were introduced to Swedish farmers using pure VikingRed as well as ProCROSS, the only proven crossbreeding concept in the world, which is using VikingRed, VikingHolstein and Montbeliarde in a three breed rotation cross.  

Farmers from UK and Germany together with the owners of Skråmared farm in Southern Halland, Sweden
“The reason we were in Sweden is because we wanted to show them not only ProCROSS but also pure VikingRed herds with very high production. The group got to know, by first hand, that our Swedish VikingRed farmers have produced a very healthy cow with high lifetime production”, ProCROSS manager, Sven Johnsson states. 

The international farmers visited, among others, Lyngens gård in Hasslöv. The owner, Magnus Ulhin, along with his family have 110 VikingRed cows. Their herd were elected as the Dairy Farm of the Year in 2015.  

“I´m not the one looking for production indexes, I know that if my cows are healthy, then they will also produce”, he explained to the visitors that included four people from Germany and four from the UK. Ulhin´s farm has a strong focus on breeding, and his VikingRed cows are top-class when it comes to health and fertility.  

VikingRed cows from Hasslöv farm owned by Magnus Ulhin
“He doesn´t have any mastitis, just one milk fever a year, and still such high production! That is really amazing!.” Jon Perret from Bourkne Farm in the United Kingdom said. Perret has a farm with 145 cows of different kind of crosses. “One thing that really caught my eye, was that the cows were really uniform, almost same size all of them. And very nice to look at as well”, he says.

The milk production on Ulhin´s  farm is 12,300 Kg ECM, 4.4% fat and 3.7% protein. 

When was the first time you heard about ProCROSS? 

Ralf Langmaack from Germany was impressed of how the ProCROSS system works in the practice. “I heard about ProCROSS six years ago, but I was afraid that the milk production would go down. That is what was natural to think; but I can say for sure that, what we have seen, that is not the case. The milk production is actually increasing”, he says.

Jon Perret from the UK talking with Jan Eriksson from Skråmared ProCROSS farm
Langmaack has a farm with 80 Holstein cows and 90 beef bulls. He started to make crosses with different breeds, but came to the point where he understood the benefit of using the best bulls from the breeds included in ProCROSS.
 
“I really got the idea of how the circle works with the right breeds, and the combination of health and production was very attractive. Now I really believe in crossing with the best breeds”, he states after the final visit they made, this time to a 100% ProCROSS herd own by Anders Nilsson in Skråmered in the south of Halland.
 
Dairymen from UK and Germany at Hasslöv farm in Halland
Nilsson´s farm is a pioneer ProCROSS farm in Sweden. They started in 2011, and the invested time and work has paid off the effort: 350 ProCROSS cows with 13,300 Kg ECM, 4.1% of fat and 3.6% protein. 

We started in 2011 when we had mostly Holstein and were unsatisfied with them. There were a lot of feet & leg problems and they were very big. We read articles from the United States and the University of Minnesota trials, we looked at it, and trusted them”, Jan Eriksson, manager of the farm explains.
 
The ProCROSS concept was born after many studies to find out how to tackle problems caused by inbreeding in Holstein population in the US. The three breeds crossing gets cows with better fertility, increased lifetime production, lower veterinarian costs and less work and problems at the farm.
 

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