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Selko | Lifetime Daily Yield


What is Lifetime Daily Yield and how can it be influenced?

During the Selko webinar on February 25, 2021, Dr. Anke Römer presented the work she carried out with her co-workers Elke Blum, Jana Flor, Dr. Ariane Boldt and Dr. Peter Sanftleben of the Institute of Livestock Farming of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Research Centre for Agriculture and Fisheries.

To increase LDY in Germany, longevity of dairy cows should be improved

Health and longevity of dairy cows are not only important for animal welfare but especially necessary to improve efficiency of dairy production. A parameter of efficiency of milk production should include both milk yield and longevity. Two parameters could be used: Lifetime Daily Yield and Productive Life Daily Yield. Farmers who rear their calves and heifers by themselves should use Lifetime Daily Yield. It includes not only productive time but rearing time too. Farmers without own reproduction should use Productive Life Daily Yield. Lifetime Daily Yield is calcuated by dividing lifetime milk yield by the number of days of life. It can only be calculated after a cow has been culled, but while it is living, it could be a useful parameter to monitor efficiency of each cow and the whole herd. Increasing this parameter is possible by different ways: decrease age of first calving, increase milk yield and prolong productive time.

Calculate your profit!

See how sustainable dairy farming will result in more profitability of your farm

In contrast to common belief, it is very well possible to run a farm in a sustainable way while generating a healthy income.

Calculate your profit by influencing the 4 key indicators that help improve the Lifetime Daily Yield on your farm.

Data collection

Farmers in Germany use the parameter Lifetime Daily Yield (LDY) to monitor their productivity and to compare it with other dairy farms. In the study, 43,245 records of Holstein cows in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern were analysed. Data came from the test herd project of the local breeding organisation RinderAllianz. The average herd size was 1,013 cows with a production of 10,532 kg milk per cow per year. All culling reasons were documented by farmers and all veterinary treatments were documented with ICAR diagnosis keys.

Lifetime Daily Yield in Germany

In Germany average Lifetime Daily Yield is 13-14 kg milk. Best farms reach values of more than 20 kg milk per day of life. Cows with more than 20 kg milk per day of life had an average lifetime milk production of 50,000 kg within 4 to 5 lactations (see figure 1). If you would like to prolong longevity by decreased milk yields you have to keep in mind that the repayment of rearing costs takes longer and hence a longer productive time is necessary.

Our recommendations for better ways to increase Lifetime Daily Yield are as follows:

  • Ensure a healthy transition period with high levels of hygiene in the calving area, excellent health management and feeding control and a high water intake

  • Longer voluntary waiting periods (especially for young cows and for high yielding cows)

  • Enjoy your work and motivate others

Download more research and documentation

You can access all of our documentation about Selko protocols, sustainable dairy farming and latest research insights about dairy cow transition management.

What is Lifetime Daily Yield and how can it be influenced? Anke Römer, from the Institute of Livestock farming in Germany, elaborates on the definition of Lifetime Daily Yield and how it can be influenced.

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