Jesper Waskiv Pedersen 30 works on his family’s farm near Søndersø, in North Funnen. Jesper will hope to become the 4th generation of his family to farm at Lundsbjerggaard. The farm, currently owned by Jesper’s parents, Otto & Mie Waskiv Pedersen, started with Jesper’s great-great-grandfather, Marius Larsen, who started in a very traditional way in 1929, with 18 ha, 2 horses and 10 cows. Over the subsequent years and generations neighbouring plots of land were purchased and by 1982 there were 62 cows. In 2003-4 following further purchases of land the herd was expanded to 120 with an increasing proportion of Jerseys. In 2007 Jesper’s father Otto, installed two De Laval robots and the herd, increased to 140, and became exclusively Jerseys. Currently, Jesper is responsible for all the milk production on the farm. The herd now consists of 140 cows being milked every day by 2 robots. Impressive to see them working. Otto helps with production in the morning but is otherwise busy with administrative work.
- Today the farm is 132 Ha. Most of which is poorer dry soil, there is no irrigation, and is cropped as follows,
- 43 Ha of Maize For cows (silage)
- 12 Ha Alfa Alfa Mainly for heifers (silage)
- 12 Ha Barley Harvested and sold as grain
- 62 Ha Wheat Harvested and sold as grain
- No grass is grown at all
Jesper’s view is that the farm is manageable as a family farm and economically productive, he has no long-term intentions for major expansion. The farm has one part-time employee that comes in for 4-5 hours per week.
The herd is housed all year on cubicles with mattresses, a fully automated TMR ration is created from stationary hoppers and mixed and transported to the cows via a truck suspended from an overhead rail. The system can handle six separate feed plans (recipes) which are mixed for different groups of stock each day. The system is fully automated and a very accurate and reliable system, which both father and son are very happy with. A company promotional video is included at the end of this page to explain how the system works. Some concentrates are fed in the robots
Farm waste treatment
Farm slurry is collected twice a week and taken to a local gas processing plant where gas is extracted and added to the National Grid before being returned to the farm as sterile, nutrient enhanced and largely odour free to be stored in the farms effluent storage tanks before being used on the maize and cereal ground during the regulated seasons. This system is becoming increasingly popular throughout Denmark and is another example of how Danish farmers work together as a co-operative to their mutual benefit. Slurry spreading, silage making, and cereal harvesting are all undertaken by machinery contractors. This eliminates capital expenditure and the requirement for extra labour
The herd production
As of Oct 2019 (the end of the last recording year) the average yield was 7,915kg (17,449 lbs) @ 6.16% 488 Kgs (1,075 lbs )Fat – 4.37% (346 Kgs) 763 lbs = 883 Kgs, (1,837 Lbs) F+P.
This equates to 10,586 kgs, 23,338 lbs of ECM (energy corrected milk) ECM is production adjusted to 4.2 %F and 3.4%P. This brings all cows equal when viewed individually. ECM is the current preferred day to day management tool used by Danish farmers.
Since Oct average yield has increased to 10,700 kgs ECM.
The farm has benefited from a very strong export demand for purebred heifers and has recently exported 20 head to Russia as well as several other Middle Eastern countries, so consequently 100% of inseminations are to pure Jersey genomic bulls. As is common in Denmark no daughter proven bulls are used. To avoid unnecessary slaughter of new-born bull calves, most inseminations are to sexed semen. All heifers, are bred to sexed semen for the first two inseminations and conventional semen thereafter. The milking cows are bred to sexed semen except for any contract matings requested by Viking where a bull calf is required, also a few the lower end NTM cows are also bred with conventional semen. The bulls produced here are reared, sold, and promoted, as purebred Jersey beef, see below. Jesper uses the breeding plan produced by Viking which is designed and promoted to optimise Production and Health traits and avoid inbreeding. A very high proportion of Danish farmers use this system.
Jesper uses Viking bulls exclusively and many excellent bulls have been used. However, VJ Tester a DJ Topholm x Q Hirse son is a particularly notable bull he still has an NTM of 16. He appears in the pedigree of both VJ Lukowa and VJ Rowa. Currently, there are two aged VJ Tester daughters in the herd that have yielded 15,225 Kgs (33,565 Lbs) and 15,614 Kgs (34,423 Lbs) of ECM respectively having both been in milk for 6 years.
Left, Lundsbjerggaard recently sold a heifer for Viking Embryo’s breeding program.
She is a VJ James × VJ Link × DJ Zuma with + 28 NTMg.
They are looking forward to following the heifer and not least its offspring.
Jesper’s policy is to subject all female calves to a genomic test soon after birth, to identify their true genetic merit. The information gathered is used to identify and select the superior genetics to be used as herd replacements and the remainder for export. Viking will also use this information to select any potential bull mothers, young test bulls and high index heifers for their ET flushing unit.
One of the great advantages is that genomic testing has also shown up herds throughout Denmark, where superior genetics were previously hidden, and therefore lost to the breed. Lundsbjerggaard is an illustration as of one of the herds discovered.
In recent years genomic tests have revealed potential Bull mothers and have also found high index heifers that have been selected to enter Vikings ET flushing unit. The proven NTM positive bull VJ Lukowa, a VJ Lure son, was born and bred at Lundsbjerggaard also the bull VJ Rowa a VJ Rodme son, who is just about to become a proven positive bull, is another bred by Otto Waskiv Pedersen at Lundsbjerggaard. Also, there is a high index Dillon P daughter selected to enter the Viking ET Flushing programme. Each year Viking select approximately 1-3 animals as bull mothers or ET donor potential.
In 2017, they sold a bull to Semex who along with Golden Vivaldi bred by Jens Rassmussen, were shipped to Hungary where unfortunately both succumbed to the Schmallenburg virus and had to be put down.
In 2019 the Pedersen’s embarked on a new venture, by creating a farm shop enterprise, something that has proved very popular. The initial intention was to market pure Jersey beef as Denmark & the EU will, in the next 12 months or so, legislate against the slaughter of new-born bull calves,
“We have a really good product and the butcher has taken good care of the meat. The animals are raised here, and they are fed our own feed, without any additives. So, there is no transport of soya protein or anything else from halfway around the world. There is a short distance to the slaughterhouse, so the animals are not stressed by long transport. And there is a short way back for us to sell the processed meat. Furthermore, only roughage is fed. It gives the animals a natural upbringing, and their growth is not forced by any kind of growth promoter. “
Otto Waskiv Pedersen
They expect to spend more time in the farm shop over the coming years.
“There is room for more freezers in the store,” they both say. “There will also be more time in developing marketing on multiple products, this is the plan.” Otto & Jesper Waskiv Pedersen
They have since added high quality Italian wine to the products for sale. Currently, they do not offer any dairy products in the shop, but this might be a possibility, sometime in the future. Although the farm shop only opened in 2019 it has already exceeded expectations and Jesper is looking for extra ways to optimise the full potential of the farm shop.
Left, Phase one of the dairy improvements. This will be followed by the installation of
2 new De Laval VMS 310 robots next month. Currently they are improving/replacing some dairy equipment including, improving the efficiency of the milk cooling and installing two new robots. Work is in hand to install two of the latest De-Lavel VMS 310 robots to replace the current older De-laval units.
And what for the future?
In the mid-term (0-5 years) Jesper would like to take over the farm and continue the family traditions built up at Lundsbjerggaard. He would also like to continue to improve milk yields and the genetic merit of the herd. he would also like to optimise the full potential of the farm shop.
In the longer term (up to 10 years) he would like to improve/replace the cattle barn. Whilst he has confidence in the dairy industry, he has no plans for a massive increase in herd size.
Jesper is a young man with vision and a grasp on the challenges that lay ahead. He wants to build security and a future for his partner Kristine, and young daughters Klara (2) and Ane (2 weeks).