ProCROSS driving up profitability 

The use of three-way cross breeding in dairy operations is a popular topic at present. With more farmers using the system, the results of adopting this strategy are now starting to bear fruit. 
Andy Williamson and his father run a herd of more than 600 cows on a 360-hectare dairy farm (194 hectares owned, and the rest rented) near Nantwich, Cheshire. 

Williamson is a fourth generation dairy farmer, and his predecessors were one of the first farming families to introduce North American Holstein cows into the area.
Five years ago, health problems were becoming unsustainable. “We were facing problems with feet and legs and high culling rates, which was jeopardising the efficiency of the whole operation,” says Andy. 

In their search for more efficient and healthier cows, they were introduced to the only scientifically proven crossbreed, ProCROSS, which is a combination of VikingRed, Montbeliarde and VikingHolstein. 

After using ProCROSS, the genetics of 50% of the herd are from three-way crossbreeding and the plan is to extend this to the whole herd. 

The Williamsons work closely with VikingGenetics United Kingdom and the family are improving health, fertility and longevity in the herd. “The culling rate was reduced from 34% to 28%”, Andy explains, before adding that they are achieving high in-calf rates with an average production of 9,500 Kg ECM, with 3.9% milkfat and 3.4% protein. 
A scientifically proven combination 

A 10-year study by the University of Minnesota in the United States, showed that the three-breed cross of Holstein, VikingRed and Montbeliarde produces lifetime profits 33% greater than those from pure Holstein. 

The financial advantage of ProCROSS was proven to come from a wide range of factors including greater lifetime weights of fat and protein, better fertility, fewer health treatments, higher calf and cull values, and improved rates of survival.
 

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