‘The General’ named Valden Cow of the Year

Valden Cow of the Year Raymac Justice Esonny EX, aka The General, is named for her no nonsense...
Valden Cow of the Year Raymac Justice Esonny EX, aka The General, is named for her no nonsense attitude. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A 13-year-old Holstein-Friesian cow known as The General for her "no nonsense, get on with it" attitude, has won the 2020 Valden Cow of the Year competition.

Also known by her professional name, Raymac Justice Esonny EX, she belongs to Clydevale dairy farmers Stephen and Judith Ray.

Mr and Mrs Ray own the Raymac Holsteins stud, while son Richard has the Array Holsteins stud.

Holstein Friesian New Zealand (HFNZ) selected six finalists from the national herd and, this year, Raymac ME Orace VG, Raymac ME Expresso VG, and Raymac Oman Tansy EX were included.

The competition aimed to identify cows that had contributed to the Holstein Friesian breed on a continual basis and the Rays were thrilled to win.

"She has had 12 maternal calves, nine of which are heifers, and she has had embryos taken from her, so has another 20 direct daughters in milk, in addition to her natural calves.

"In our herd she has 86 milking descendants," Mrs Ray said.

The couple started as contract milkers in the mid-1980s before moving to 50-50 sharemilking in 1989-90.

Clydevale dairy farmers Judith and Stephen Ray were delighted Raymac Justice Esonny EX, aka The...
Clydevale dairy farmers Judith and Stephen Ray were delighted Raymac Justice Esonny EX, aka The General, won this year’s Valden Cow of the Year competition. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

They bought their first pedigree cows in 1987-88, and spent 14 years sharemilking before buying their own farm at Clydevale.

Now they have 201ha with 185ha effective, milking 445 cows on average.

Their milk solid production is 233,393kg, which is about 524kgMS per cow and 1300kgMS per hectare.

Their stocking rate is 2.45 cows per hectare on average.

They feed 4kg per milking per animal of barley in the milking shed and the farm produces about 11 tonnes of grass per hectare per year.

However, they plan to irrigate 130ha, which will provide certainty of grass growth to about 14 to 15 tonnes per hectare per year.

About 430 of their cows winter in herd homes and they have a 145ha run-off 10km down the road where they grow extra silage, winter the balance of cows and run the calves.

Each cow receives about a tonne of silage and a tonne of barley for the year.

"We have 10.3kgDM eaten per milk solid produced.

"Our aim is to have a 570kg cow that produces 570kgMS."

They rear 280 calves for replacements, breeding bulls and beef calves, which are sold on at 150kg.

They started to focus on A2 genetics about four years ago and intended to eventually have their entire herd producing the milk variant.

They also had success this year in the HFNZ- Boehringer Ingelheim Progeny Competition (Junior) when four of their heifers sired by Mourne Grove Hothouse S2F placed second in the national competition.

They also did well in the Discovery project, which is collaboration with HFNZ and LIC, to select top bulls and heifers.

Add a Comment

drivesouth-pow-farming.png