Herd competitions are organised by the different Jersey Clubs in South Africa on an annual base. It has been very popular throughout the years and a lot of emphasis is put on especially type. This year the Overberg region’s competition in the Southern Cape, was held from the 24th to the 26th of September.
Eleven herds participated and two judges, Wouter Rabie from Worcester, and John Terblanche from Jersey SA, drove from farm to farm along with farmers and representatives of companies involved in the dairy industry.
Every farmer had to select a group of 20% of his first, second and 3rd lactation and older cows. Three cows older than eight years as well as a mother and her two daughters were two more groups. A sire group of at least five daughters in milk, was the 6th group that was judged.
This year Willie van Niekerk from “Van Niekerk Boerdery” in the Caledon region did exceptionally well and won the overall competition. His first and second lactation group took the honours! Further more his sire group, a group of Husky daughters in their first and second lactations, came first as well!
Willie and his son Wimpy are responsible for the dairy farming and Eben, the older brother and his son Niekie, for the fruit production. They now milk 380 Jerseys and the average daily production is 23 kg of milk per cow with a butter fat percentage of 5.6% and 4.1% protein. They have been clients of Genimex since 1997 and have been using VikingJersey bulls severely throughout these years.
All the cows from calving up to hundred days in milk are on a total mixed ration and the rest of the herd on clover and grass pastures.
“I use the NTM from Viking as my breeding strategy and have huge success especially with my solids and udder health” says Willie. The Husky’s are an example of what we want in the herd, strong deep bodied cows with very functional udders and excellent protein production”.