Willem’s-Hoeve Holsteins:Pursuit of New AI Sires Keeps the Breeding Fire Burning

Willem’s-Hoeve Rita 2438 VG-88 (Remington-Dazzel-Jetset), with her elite production and beautiful conformation, splendidly displays the De Jong family’s breeding goal.

Until the arrival of genomics, Willem’s-Hoeve Holsteins provided many AI sires each year, in part due to the multi-talented and easy breeding Rita family. Subsequently, the market changed drastically. By deliberately adapting to the new breeding approach of AIs, the De Jong family kept the breeding fire burning: With the distinguished production and conformation transmitter Willem’s-Hoeve Woody as the prominent result. Travel along to the central Netherlands and discover the breeding philosophy behind one of Europe’s highest progeny proven sires.

Jorden Stegink Christine Massfeller

‘Did you know that Woody, besides being the runner-up in the Netherlands, based on the German RZG index, is the Nr.5 of all sires world-wide? Also, for that reason, we have a lot of confidence in this bull.’ To be sure! Dick and Wim de Jong breed no less than 25% of their herd with the CRV sales hit that originates from their farm. When asked for specific reasons, Wim says: ‘At any rate, we like to work with high scoring progeny proven sires. In addition, for our young stock, we exclusively choose bulls that provide easy births. Woody offers both qualities. Above all, he transmits lots of production and very good conformation, along with low somatic cell, precisely the total package that we are looking for. We do not use Woody on small animals; besides that, he is suitable for many cows.’

EYE CATCHER

Holsteins at Willem’s-Hoeve need to have lots of production drive. ‘We need to make a living primarily from milking. High production per cow; that is the focus of all of our management,’ explains Wim de Jong. On their well-kept family farm, no cow family has turned out to be as productive as the Ritas. Father Dick: ‘For a long time we were accustomed to investing in a new cow family every year. Besides the Biesheuvel Javinas and the offspring of Farnear-Tbr Bailey, none of them have been able to compete with the Ritas. Descendants from the Rita family, as is also proven at various other breeders, have lots of production drive and are also very persistent. In addition, they have very good conformation. From our perspective, that’s very important, since in our dairy work we like to look at beautiful cows.’

From the Rita family, starting with the 1990 born show star Rita 52 EX-93 (F 16-Tops), it is easy to breed a good cow, according to Wim. Two prominent examples with current influence within the herd are Willem’s-Hoeve Rita 579 EX-91 (Sanchez-Goldwyn/Junior Champion NRM 2012) and Willem’s-Hoeve Rita 331 VG-89 (Ramos-Shottle). The latter mentioned is especially remembered by Wim due to her wide rump and fantastic rear udder. It is this “eye catcher” who via great-granddaughter Willem’s-Hoeve Rita 1626A VG-86 (Jetset-Chevrolet-Snowman) stands at the foundation of various elite genetic talents. But the Jetset daughter Rita 1626A provided not only Woody (<Double W Ranger), but also Willem’s-Hoeve Steyr (<Midwolder Martin). From this KI Kampen sire, we see a number of nicely uddered two-year-olds at the De Jongs. Among the milking cows, we also find Willem’s-Hoeve Rita 2340 VG-86, Steyr’s powerfully built and shallow uddered full sister, who in her second lactation effortlessly produced 305 13,945 kg/30,743 lb 4.70% 3.70%. Wim de Jong: ‘As a calf, Rita 2340 was the highest testing Martin daughter of Rita 1626A. She is now entirely making good on that promise. Within the Rita family, we often see that the outlier for genomics also later ends up being an outstanding milk cow. For this reason we are confidently focusing our ET and IVP activities on the very highest testing heifers.’

ENERGY

In recent months they have worked with two young Delta Launch daughters of Rita 2340; both with the P and RC factor. Out of one of these heifers, embryos were sold to Japan. With just as much delight, Wim de Jong talks about Willem’s-Hoeve R Sakarun-P-RC, their high testing full brother from the current CRV line-up. ‘Breeding AI sires, just like having a high-producing herd, gives us lots of energy. That was already the case before the arrival of genomics and we are noticing that again with the success of Woody and the use of Sakarun. When your bulls do well at AIs, it becomes a joy to commit time and energy to flushing the next generation.’

For flushing his most talented heifers, De Jong prefers using the highest conformation transmitter within the AI’s proposed group of bulls. ‘We attach a lot of value to nice conformation cows. To get those in your barn, then it is our opinion that you should never lose sight of the conformation level of bulls.’

MODEL COW

While Wim de Jong talks energetically about the speed of elite breeding, he nevertheless prefers to work with progeny proven quality sires. For example, before the arrival of Woody, year after year, he used the American Silver. ‘Silver consistently breeds lots of milk and good udders here. While his oldest daughter is seven years old and is approaching 70,000 kg/150,000 lb lifetime production, within each subsequent volume, we have Silver daughters up until the young stock. Stronger yet, we are still breeding with Silver.’

Among the young stock, besides Silver daughters, we also see beautiful Chief descendants from the line of Sanchez daughter Rita 579. For generations, elite conformation has been in the Rita genes. An impressive example of this is Willem’s-Hoeve Rita 9863 (Danillo-Rita 331). After being crowned various times, including with the Reserve Intermediate title at the HHH show 2016, in 3,000 days she recently completed 10,000 kg/22,000 lb fat & protein lifetime production. In the meantime, the successor for her title of herd favourite is ready: picture cow Willem’s-Hoeve Rita 2438 VG-88 (Peak Remington-Manders Dazzel). This former Nr.2 gNVI heifer, bred out of a sister of Woody, combines lots of conformation quality and allure with tremendous production drive. After 365 production days, as a two-year-old she is still producing 40 kg/88 lb milk daily with 5.26% fat and 4.29% protein! With admiration, Wim and Dick de Jong gaze at the elite young cow, whose young Delta Taskforce daughter provided embryos for Japan. ‘Just look at how easily this two-year-old achieved the highest lactation value in the herd. Similar to how Woody is performing in the male line, in the female line Rita 2438 demonstrates to a tee our breeding goal which is focused on production and conformation.‘ l

APPLAUSE

At the HHH show in November, Willems-Hoeve JMW Applause 2606 became the Reserve Junior Champion for the Red Holsteins. Applause, a strongly uddered Moovin daughter, is owned by breeding friends Jurjen Metz, Martijn Nuij, and Wim de Jong. ‘For years already, Jurjen and Martijn have helped Willem’s-Hoeve Holsteins during shows. We were really eager to have a show topper owned together by the three of us. Applause 2606 is bred out of a Devour heifer of Nohl-Avala Vray EX-90 (Redburst-Apple-Red EX-96) who was purchased in Germany. Together seeing Applause grow up, having her participate in the HHH, and later become the Reserve Champion as the youngest participant, has brought us so much satisfaction. A short while later, to our great delight, she also received the maximum score of VG-89,’ explains Wim de Jong.

Willem’s-Hoeve Holsteins, Netherlands

Wim de Jong, together with father Dick and son Nick.

Located in Buren (central Netherlands) Owned by: Wim, Rianne, Dick & Anneke de Jong 205 milking cows, 180 head of young stock Average production: 4.06 11.795kg/26.003lb 4.27% 3.49% 118 ha grass, 27 ha corn Ration: TMR of grass silage (2/3) and corn silage (1/3), brewers-grain and protein blend. Concentrate fed in the computer feeders. Current sires: Woody (25%), Silver, Arrow, Mooi-P-RC, Bullseye, Luster-P, King Doc, Steyr, Fair Play-P, Chief, Ambrose-RC, Brandy-P-Red, as well as 20% Beef on Dairy.

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