Feed efficiency

Feed efficiency

10% more milk with the same amount of feed
  • 10% more milk with the same amount of feed
  • Supreme balance between healthy and efficient cows
  • Average reliability between 85 and 90%

Feed Efficiency

CRV introduced a unique breeding value for feed efficiency in December 2020. CRV is the only company in the world to base this breeding value on real feed intake data.

We currently collect feed intake data from over 2,000 lactating cows on a daily basis. In combination with data collected from 8,000 Dutch and Flemish cows, this yields the most reliable breeding value in the sector.

Efficient and sustainable herds

Efficient and sustainable cows generate immediate benefits for both dairy farmers and society. Feed costs represent about 60% of all variable costs involved in milk production. Breeding for feed efficiency saves on average 10% on feed costs. In addition, efficient utilisation of feed also has a positive impact on the environment as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the use of scarce resources.

“Half of our total costs are for feed. Saving 5 to 10% with breeding adds up to considerable gains”
Wilco Vroege, dairy farmer in Dalen, the Netherlands

CRV, leading in feed efficiency

In 2017, CRV became the first herd improvement organisation to start large-scale measurement of the feed intake of dairy cows on five working farms. The aim is to reduce the feed costs for milk production.  We currently collect feed intake data from the five working farms and also from 5 research farms on a daily basis. This gives CRV a leading position in the collection of real feed intake data.

Greater profitability through higher revenues

Using the breeding value feed efficiency soon results in 10% higher milk production for the same feed costs (based on life time production of a cow).

Dairy farmer Willem Alders has been conducting feed trials for CRV for several years. He sees huge differences, also between similar cows. Read the experience of Willem Alders.

Feed efficiency: the amount of milk produced by a cow per kg of feed

An average cow in CRV's test programme produces 1.46kg FPCM per kg of feed. There is a wide variation between cows (1.1 – 1.9) and herds (1.2 – 1.6). The 25% highest scoring cows for feed efficiency in the herd produce 0.4 to 0.5 kg of milk more with the same amount of feed than the 25% lowest scoring cows for feed efficiency. Using more efficient cows also reduces manure and methane emissions.

Feed efficiency breeding value

Feed efficiency explained

Highly reliable breeding value

In our actual bull portfolio the reliability of the feed efficiency breeding value with CRV daughter proven bulls is 85 – 90%. That is the result of analysing the measurements on the farms in the programme. From December 2020, farmers can select bulls based on this new breeding value.

View our extensive portfolio in our sire catalogue. via the button below. You can filter on different breeding values.

"We use 10% less concentrate than before and the production has remained the same"
Thijs van Gastel, dairy farmer, the Netherlands

More information

Interested in feed efficiency or would you like more information? Find a representative in your region or request more information via our contact form.

Also interesting for you:
Feed efficiency in SireMatch

CRV collects feed intake data from over 2,000 lactating cows on a daily basis using bins. And we also measure daily milk production, body weight, water intake, health traits etc. This is combined with data collected from 8,000 Dutch and Flemish cows. In the proof run of August 2021 we see bulls that score high on feed efficiency. Genomic bulls have a reliability of 50% on feed efficiency and daughter proven 70 to 85%.

Feed efficiency reveals huge differences

CRV introduced the feed efficiency breeding value. Willem Alders has been conducting feed trials for CRV for several years and sees huge differences.

Breeding for feed efficiency increases utilisation of roughage intake

A higher feed efficiency is directly linked to better roughage utilisation.