There has been considerable discussion of late as to what kind of cow would be the most profitable if higher costs for protein and energy were to stay with us for and extended period of time. We decided to ask an expert, so we posed the question to Tom Lawlor, Geneticist for the Holstein Association.
Here is Tom's response and we thank him for putting this together for us:
"Under today’s tough economy, every aspect of dairy management needs to be scrutinized, and your breeding program is no exception. More than ever we want trouble free, easy breeding, feed efficient cows. Now, having said this, the changes to our breeding program should be more of a tweak than a major revamp. The higher producing cows will still be the most feed efficient cows in your herd. Reducing maintenance costs can be accomplished by selecting for high production and moderate size. Better udders and stronger feet & legs will lead to greater longevity, but some moderation on extreme dairy form should be practiced to avoid putting cows into a dangerous low energy balance in early lactation. Improving your herd’s reproductive performance by paying closer attention to SCR, DPR, and PL will help control costs."--Tom Lawlor, HAUSA.