The work of Kansas State University animal science professor, Barry Bradford, son of Brad Z Ranch’s Jim and Mary Bradford, was featured in another article – this one in the Midwest Ag Journal. It explains how milk production varies based on whether the cow’s first calf is male or female. It’s easier to understand if you just read the article yourself. And be sure to ask Jim what research he’s going to try to talk Barry into doing next. He’s got a plan.
Jim and Mary Bradford’s son, Barry, was recently mentioned in a National Geographic article about the milk production of cattle. It was called “Study of 1.5 Million Cows Shows Daughters Get More Milk than Sons” and began:
For decades, the dairy industry has used data to supercharge the humble black-and-white Holstein cow into a milk-producing machine. Across the US, thousands of dairy farmers keep assiduous records about how much milk their cows produce, and the volume and composition of that milk. All of this information feeds into mathematical models that predict the total amount of milk a cow makes over its lifetime. Farmers use this information every day to decide how to care for and breed their animals. As a result, cows today make four times more milk than they did in the 1940s.
The articles described how Barry Bradford, a Kansas State University animal science professor, helped provide data that proved that cows produce more milk on average when they have female calves. The article wrapped up:
All in all, a cow that has a daughter first time round makes around 445 kilograms more milk across her first twolactations than a cow with back-to-back sons. That’s a sizeable amount, equivalent to a production boost of 2.7 percent.