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Make More Cheese & More Money with Holsteins
September 23, 2014

Brattleboro, Vt. … If you want a herd that milks for cheese production, choose U.S. Registered Holsteins. Holstein cattle produce more pounds of milk, fat, and protein than any other breed of cow, so their milk is well-suited to the cheese market.
The Holstein breed also offers you the choice of a wide range of bulls to accomplish your goals.

The August 2014 national dairy genetic evaluation provides solid data showing the strong advantage Holstein bulls have over other breeds, based on Cheese Merit Dollars (CM$). The CM$ index is similar to other selection indexes, such as TPI® and Net Merit (NM$). It places more weight on traits valued in herds selling their milk in a cheese market. These include more emphasis on protein and less on pounds of milk, and greater value for higher milk quality.

Breeders may choose from 840 Available Holstein bulls that have CM$ over 700, according to the latest statistics from the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB). By comparison, there are 34 Available Ayrshire and red breed sires at 700 or higher, and just eight Jersey, and two Milking Shorthorn bulls at 700 CM$ or higher. No other breeds have bulls at or above 700 CM$.

Of all Available bulls, including genomic young bulls with semen available, the Holstein breed leads the way again, by a large margin.  Listed below are the highest ranking CM$ bulls by breed.

Holstein – Mr Mogul Delta 1427-ET (1115 CM$)
Ayrshire and Red Breeds – Garvik (1012 CM$)
Milking Shorthorn – GI Loden Bob (851 CM$)
Jersey – ISDK VJ Lure (791 CM$)
Brown Swiss – Blessing Brookings Advisor (681 CM$)

It is no surprise to see that Holsteins lead the way when it comes to the components important to cheese yield.  The actual average combined pounds of fat and protein for Holstein cows last year was 1,664 pounds, compared to 1,495 pounds for Jersey cows, and 1,447 pounds for Brown Swiss cows, according to 2013 DHI statistics, herds on official test.

If you are selling milk in a cheese market, it is clear that U.S. Registered Holsteins offer the most potential for profit. The bottom line: more milk equals more money.

Find more information on U.S. Registered Holstein bulls and the most up-to-date genetic information at


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