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Salltorp Lantbruk – Herd of the Year Sweden 2022

Investing in animal health and good fertility, as well as a great interest in breeding, is the key to achieving high production at Sweden’s 2022 Herd of the Year.

Investing in healthy and high-yield cows to achieve high production is the overall breeding strategy at Salltorp Landbruk, VikingGenetics’ Herd of the Year Sweden for 2022.

Gun and Sven Karlsson, and their son Oskar, milk 230 VikingHolstein and VikingRed cows in their 300-hectare family farm. The herd’s current yield stands at 13,400 kg ECM, but the goal is to reach 14, or even 15 tons ECM. Additionally, the farm has three living cows which have produced over 100,000 kg of milk: 5706 Miriam, 5784 Zandra, and 5833 Dove.

Herd of the Year Sweden 2022 – Salltorp Landbruk VikingRed VikingHolstein

An accurate breeding strategy

Having a highly accurate breeding strategy is very important at Salltorp. This is because milking is done with robots, meaning that good udder conformation, together with hock quality, teat placement, and medium-sized cows are a must regardless of the breed. To guarantee this, all heifers are genomically tested, mating plans are reviewed every 8 weeks, and conformation is classified every 3 months.

"High production is still the goal of our basic strategy. We aim for high NTM, increasing by a couple of units each year and selecting a couple of areas we want to improve,” says Gun Karlsson, owner of Salltorp.

“The results of genomic testing and classification scores provide us with a reliable basis and help us develop in the right direction. Facts and figures are what we start from, and we also like to try new technology," she adds.

Herd of the Year Sweden 2022 – Salltorp Landbruk VikingRed VikingHolstein

Pioneers in breeding and technology

Salltorp are pioneers in their own right. Cows were being flushed on the farm as early as the 1980s and, although the first attempts were not so successful, this early investment has helped them optimise their herd over time.

About 100 embryos have now been flushed and implanted at Salltorp, all of them on the farm. Fresh embryos have proven best, as 8 out of 9 of the last implantations have resulted in pregnancies.

This investment in breeding and technology has also resulted in many bulls that have been part of VikingGenetics’ breeding programmes, including names such as Salltorp, VH Saab, VH Salty, VR Hage P, and VR Hasp P, among others.

“I want us to use many bulls on the farm, as that allows us to find some very good combinations. We always have 15 to 20 bulls in the tank and they are consistently being replaced. We like to invest in new technology such as embryos and, with our great interest in breeding, it has really developed our herd. We also have very good support from advisors. I have great confidence in our breeding advisor Kjell Johansson and in Peter Jönsson who does the flushing, says Gun.

Herd of the Year Sweden 2022 – Salltorp Landbruk VikingRed VikingHolstein

Committed staff and strong leadership

Staff at Salltorp are highly committed and skilled, and the Karlssons are happy to hear their opinions, give them responsibilities, and involve them in the decision-making.  Every morning, everyone on the farm takes part in a meeting to discuss the daily plan over coffee, making sure that all are involved, guaranteeing accuracy and efficiency across the whole team.

“It is a privilege to work with such a committed and skilled customer,” says Kjell Johansson, who is Gun and Sven’s breeding advisor. “Salltorp is a well-deserved winner of Herd of the Year,” he ends.

Herd of the Year Sweden 2022 – Salltorp Landbruk VikingRed VikingHolstein

Farm Facts

  • Salltorp consists of three farms:
    • Lilla Salltorp
    • Stora Salltorp
    • Ättarp
  • Dairy cows: 230 (active cows 255)
  • Total cattle on-farm: 562
  • Yield: 13,400 kg ECM
  • Milking system: 4 Lely robots
  • Area: 300 Ha
    • Pasture: 40 Ha (more in the autumn)
    • Forest: 4 Ha
  • The feed mix is calculated once a week, and self-produced as much as possible.
Herd of the Year Sweden 2022 – Salltorp Landbruk VikingRed VikingHolstein

About "Herd of the Year"

The “Herd of the Year” award is VikingGenetics’ annual prize for farmers who go above and beyond in their cattle breeding innovation. Farms are nominated by breeding advisors on the field, and one winner per country is selected by VikingGenetics’ breeding and R&D experts in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

Examples may be to actively collaborate with genomic testing, flushing, and implantation of embryos. The winning herd is an important contributor to the development of the Nordic breeding programs, and having sold bulls or heifers to VikingGenetics is also considered a merit.

Read more success stories
Herd of the Year Sweden 2022 – Salltorp Landbruk VikingRed VikingHolstein

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