“For us VikingGenetics means trust and security”

Marianne Jansson, co-owner of Noltorp farm in Sweden 
“We feel safe with VikingGenetics. Viking works with the goal that we like; high focus on health and production,” says Marianne Jansson, one of the owners of Noltorp Farm in Skara, Sweden. 
As an organic farm, Noltorp’s cows need to spend five months out on pasture and at least 50% of their daily intake must be grass. The farm is located in an area with plenty of natural pasture land and the soil is perfect for growing grass. The farm is owned and managed by Anders and Marianne Jansson.   
In 2014, they built a new barn. “We are happy that we invested in a new barn, even though we are not that young anymore,” says Marianne and laughs. “We love our cows and our work, and to have a nice environment for us and our cows means a lot,” she adds. 
Anders and Marianne Jansson, owners of Noltorp farm, Sweden

Marianne worked as an advisor in Växa for 20 years and as a teacher in an agricultural college for 13 years. Today she works full time with their cows. “I take care of the paperwork to follow up on production results and see where we can improve. Anders works more with the cows and out in the fields. We complement each other in a good way,” she says while looking at Anders with a smile.
“VikingGenetics and NTM have always meant “trust” and “security” to us,” Marianne adds.  “We know that NAV (The Nordic Genetic Cattle Evaluation) is improving its models and data continuously, and they have long experience and the expertise to do so. I don’t need to worry about that,” she says. 
Health and high NTM in focus
A healthy herd is important for the Janssons; they have always chosen bulls with high NTM. A quick look at the results shows that the heifers at Noltorp are five to six NTM index units above the average in the population. “I am not at all surprised that the Nordic countries use the lowest amount of antibiotics in Europe,” says Marianne. 
Marianne Jansson with one of her VikingJerseys
“We have been breeding for health traits for 40 years, and it is so strongly connected with animal welfare,” she adds. “Our strict veterinary rules where antibiotics are only available on veterinarian prescription makes me feel proud, and we are far ahead in the way we think about antibiotic resistance,” she stresses.
Health traits come naturally when using Viking bulls and the owners of the Noltorp farm know that.
“High NTM means good health. We don’t have any big health issues in our herd. Last year we only had five cases of clinical mastitis in our cows and 10 other disease incidences,” she says. The Noltorp farm uses breeding advice from Växa (a Swedish cooperative that owns VikingGenetics) four times a year. The couple knows that the genetic potential of their cows is very good, which leads to the next decision: “Now it is up to Anders and me to take advantage of that, and manage to get the most out of the cows,” Marianne says.
Besides excellent health and good temperament, medium-size cows are also appreciated by the Janssons. “Since we invested in the robot, udder conformation is more important than ever,” she adds.
They have regular meetings with production advisors where they follow up all data regarding their cows. The data collected at farm level are the heart of the unique registration system that dairy farmers in the Nordic countries have. “Some people think it is frustrating with all this data entry, but I see it as a huge treasure trove. We can follow up on all details in production. If you use the results you get, it is worth all the time it takes to enter the data,” Marianne says.
Warm and confident are two words to spring to mind when describing the couple who makes breeding work sound so easy. They have been using Viking bulls since 1988 and VikingGenetics has given them reason to believe that they do not need to think about health issues. Instead of taking care of sick cows, the Janssons can use this time to manage and improve their business.

Fact box

Noltorp Farm in Sweden
Anders and Marianne Jansson own and work on the farm
80 ha
70 milking cows, 40 VikingHolstein, 20 VikingRed, 10 VikingJersey
Production; 11,148 kg milk, 4.3% fat, 3.5% protein. Organic milk.
New barn in 2014 with one robot.
Calving interval; 12.1 months

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