Jerseys in Argentina

The first Jersey cows and heifers were introduced into Argentina in 1905 from Jersey Island.
In the southern part of the country, where the climate is not ideal for dairying, the Jersey has always been the main breed used to produce milk for family use on large ranches.
In the central, dairying area of the country, several Jersey heifers were introduced in the 1980s by individual farmers and through The Argentinian Association of Jersey Breeder (Asociación Argentina de Criadores de Jersey)  which was set up in 1981. Semen from Canada, the U.S:A. and New Zealand was used and during the 1990s, Jersey heifers and cows have been imported from these three countries.


Argentina now have approximately 10.000 Jersey head, with a strong growth of the breed and a very important group of farmers that are inseminating Holstein and Crosses cows with Jersey cows in several generations. One such farmer is planning to milk 700 cows - 300 Jerseys and the remainder being graded up with Jersey semen. Another Jersey herd set up in 1994 with plans to reach 1000 head in all.
The most important Shows are held in March (Expo Leche Jersey) and August (Exposición Rural de Palermo) where about 100 Jersey animals represent each year the best of the breed. In August 1995, WJCB President, Anne Perchard was judging at Palermo.


For many years, the Jersey had the reputation of being a fancy cow, suitable for showing but not a good producer - this concept has changed. Many breeders accept the importance of shows for promotion, but on farm, breeding is for production and for functional type. With the cows out to pasture most of the time, they need to be able to walk very long distances, with longevity and good udders also very important under these conditions. Longevity is also valued in relation to the differential in cost between a cutled cow and a replacement heifer which is high in Argentina.

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