The American Jersey Cattle Association announced this week that all-time records for production were established in 2012.
The official Jersey lactation average increased to 18,995 lbs. milk, 903 lbs. fat, and 691 lbs. protein. On a Cheddar cheese equivalent basis, average yield was 2,345 pounds. All break the previous records set in 2011. A total of 100,211 lactations were processed by the association in 2012, an increase of 10% over the previous year.
This follows the association's announcement on December 27 that it had processed 100,000 registrations for the first time in history. The final total was 103,345 animals recorded, making 2012 the fourth time in five years that a new record had been set for Jersey registrations.
The AJCA also reported new records for its core herd improvement services.
2012 ended with 149,371 cows enrolled in performance evaluation programs—a gain of 11,456 cows over the 2011 all-time record. REAP enrollment grew to 145,480 cows (up 12,565 from 2011) in 930 herds (a gain of 23 from the previous year).
REAP is the association's flagship program, a comprehensive service package that includes registration, Equity milk marketing support, type appraisal, and performance testing.
A new record was also reported for the functional type traits program, with 95,944 cows evaluated. 2012 was the second consecutive year that more than 94,000 cows were evaluated, and the fifth consecutive year over 80,000 scored.
2012 caps a decade of dramatic Jersey breed growth and improvement:
-49% increase in animals identified;
-52% increase in performance program enrollments;
-57% increase in REAP cow enrollments; and
-43% increase in cows scored in the Jersey type appraisal program.
In accounting for the continued record-setting performance of the association, AJCA Executive Secretary and CEO Neal Smith said, "The key reasons dairymen are adding Jersey cows go straight to the bottom line: feed efficiency, reproduction and calving ease, longevity and the higher market value of Jersey milk.
"For 2012, Jersey milk was worth from $1.59 to $3.52 more per hundredweight than the statistical blend price of Federal Order and California markets tracked by National All-Jersey Inc. So, because Jerseys produce milk's most valuable components with less feed, water and energy, breed back earlier and stay productive longer, there is more profit from dairying with Jerseys."