Research Settles the Jersey vs. Holstein Debate, Kind of - pg. 2

Research on carcass quality and milk components shed light on the Jersey vs. Holstein debate. ( Farm Journal )

Italian researchers found Jerseys (and Brown Swiss) had higher milk concentrations of all essential minerals (excluding sodium and potassium) than Holsteins. While this finding is not new, its holistic approach stands out. Both environmental factors (feeding, management, facilities, production level, etc.) and physiological factors (lactation stage, parity, breed, etc.) were evaluated for more than 1,500 cows from 41 multi-breed herds. So we can give Jerseys a pretty definite win here.

New Zealand researchers used milk price and pasture stocking rates specific to New Zealand to favor Jerseys. While Jerseys are higher in both protein and fat than Holsteins, in the past milk fat was only about half as valuable protein, eroding Jersey’s economic advantage. As milk fat becomes more valuable, researchers suggest Jerseys may be the best breed for New Zealand dairy farms matching the study’s parameters.

The deeper issue … consumer interests are shifting. 

Health concerns have consumers paying attention to food labels. “Nutrient-dense foods” are buzz words for millennials. While keto and paleo diets may seem unusual to older generations, dairy nutrition may be the answer for consumers’ shifting tastes.

Dairy farmers have management resources to meet the shift in demand for milk fat, and they can rest assured knowing research already proves milk is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals.    

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