With more than 1,750 milk records completed by pedigree Brown Swiss cattle in the UK during 2022, the breed's longevity, productivity and profitability has again been highlighted in the recent Brown Swiss Cattle Society of the UK Production Awards.

The competition honours and identifies the highest producers of kilos of milk, fat and protein within five age categories, namely two year olds, three year olds, four to six year olds, seven to nine year olds and ten year olds and above and a commendable 21 different breeders owned cattle ranking in the top ten of the 15 different classes.

In many cases, the top ranking and performing Swiss can appear in all three categories for yield, fat and protein within their respective age groups, but different farming systems, feeding regimes and milk buyer demands alter milk profiles from farm to farm, as do the fundamental genetics. So while animals may appear in all three categories, their rankings within them may differ. Indeed, only one cow within the breed in 2022 lifted the highest yield, fat and protein awards – the winning four year old Kedar Aurora from Brent and Anne Crothers of Toi Toi Genetics in Shropshire.

Kedar Aurora was bought by Toi Toi from the Lochhead’s at Kedar and was classified VG88 as a heifer and yielded 9,776kg in her heifer lactation, calving at three years five months. In her second she racked up a colossal 14,747kg with 535kg protein and 655kg fat, which also meant she was one of three cows in the 2021 awards to win all three of their respective age categories. However, she stands alone this year as the sole winner in her age group for yield, fat and protein with a huge third lactation qualifying in the four year olds.

At the same time, she sets a precedent for the highest-yielding Brown Swiss in the UK for the 2021-2022 recording year, when she gave 16,732kg in 305 days at 657kg fat and 574kg protein and with that she also scored EX in her third lactation and was (for her three Superior Producer awards over her three lactations) also awarded the breed's Elite cow accolade at the first available opportunity.

Of particular merit are overall high levels of production achieved by the top animals within the Brown Swiss breed, which put them on a par with any of the UK dairy breeds, with the class winners regularly attaining maximum yields over 11,000kg (all five age categories, with two over 12,000kg and one over 16,000kg).

Furthermore, four of the five categories on protein are led by cows exceeding 400kg in their lactation and comparably four of the five age groups on fat exceed 500kg (in both instances the lesser component yielders are the cows over ten years and older highlighting the breeds positive genetic progress). All in all, the breeds penchant for high components, increasing yields and solid production and subsequent profitability is indeed backed up by the competitions results.

For more information and full results, email The Brown Swiss Cattle Society of the UK at office@brownsiwss.org.