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Consistent high yield with a 100% ProCROSS herd

Skråmered farm currently has around 340 ProCROSS cows and produces over 14,000 kg ECM (Energy Corrected Milk) per cow/year. The farm has recently won a prize for being an example for both high yield and good animal health in Sweden.

Skråmered is in Halland in a landscape bordering between forests and plains. The Nilsson family is the third generation on the farm and focuses on milk production.

The farm is a pioneer in implementing the ProCROSS crossbreeding system in Sweden.

Managing major challenges

Jan Eriksson, manager of the farm, says that the performance of the farm has not always been as good as it is now.

“When I started to work here in 2011, we were not so happy with the cows, they could have been healthier and provided us with better profit”, he says.

Facing fertility problems to generate the necessary replacements to run a profitable operation, they started to look for a sustainable solution.

“Back then, we read that there was a study in the US that had very good results. In this study, one starts by crossing with VikingRed and continues with Montbeliarde”, Jan recalls.

Science-based decision

The study Jan is referring to is the one carried out by the University of Minnesota, USA. This 10-year study compared the ProCROSS three-breed rotational crossbreeding program (Holstein, VikingRed and Coopex Montbéliarde) with their pure Holstein herd mates.

The research began in 2008 and continued until 2017, but in this period information was always provided on the progress made in the different areas of study.

“We didn’t have any doubts implementing ProCROSS, and we did so with the whole herd. We don’t regret anything. And if there is one thing we regret, it is that we didn’t start with ProCROSS earlier”, says Anders Nilsson, owner of Skråmered farm.

A top-class dairy operation

The Nilsson family and employees have developed a top-class company after the implementation of the crossbreeding system.

In 2019 Skråmered farm exported over 100 pregnant ProCROSS heifers to the UK and it is also an important show-herd for other dairy farmers from different countries. They come to this dairy farm to see the excellent results of the switch from pure Holstein to ProCROSS.

"Of course, to see these results gives us an extra impetus to work on the goals we set. It is the joint work within the family and with the staff that has made it possible to get to where we are today", Nilsson states.

These 333 ProCROSS cows are producing an average of 14,012 kg ECM with 4.1% fat and 3.6% protein. The conception rate for the herd is 1.9 inseminations per pregnancy on average, including the use of 60% sexed semen.

“It’s a game-changer for the calves. Sustainable, healthy animals are everyone's goal, and at the same time we can make a profit”, he adds.

 

Farm facts:

  • 333 cows (100% ProCROSS)
  • Owner Anders Nilsson 
  • Herd manager Jan Eriksson
  • Production: 14,012kg ECM, 4.1% fat and 3.6% protein
  • Fertility: 1.9 inseminations / pregnancy
  • No. 3 for production in Sweden
  • Age at 1st calving: 24.8 months
  • Replacement rate: 20%
  • System: conventional
Read more about ProCROSS