Delegation from China visit Norway
At the end of November, a delegation from the Shandong province, China, was hosted by Geno in Norway. The group of 34 Chinese (including 15 farmers) visited Geno's AI-station at Store Ree and a local dairy farm managed by Tore Nordli at Norseng.
The purpose for the trip was to visit EuroTier in Hannover, Germany (one of the world's leading trade fair for animal production), and afterwards continue to Norway to learn more about Norwegian Red and Norwegian agriculture.
The other organizations visited during their three-day visit to Norway, were the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy research (NIBIO), Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food (LMD) and TINE (Norway's dairy cooperative).
Shandong is one of the largest provinces in China with just under 100 million residents. The agriculture industry is very important in the area, and the dairy sector is one of the most valuable.
Interested in Norwegian Red
The group enjoyed their visit to Store Ree AI-station, where they viewed some of the elite Norwegian Red sires. Sverre Bjørnstad, Geno's CEO, held a presentation for the delegation to share about Geno and the Norwegian Red breed. Some of the delegates had existing knowledge of Norwegian Red before the visit, and many were interested in buying Norwegian Red semen.
Mr. Zhang, the leader of the delegation and President of Shandong Dairy Association, summarised the meetings as greatly meaningful and positive.
Visit to a local Norwegian dairy farm
The Chinese farmers expressed interest in seeing Norwegian Red breeding stock and were able to visit Norseng farm, housing up to 60 milking cows with the average milking 9,500kgs and a calving interval of 11.5 months.
"This was a once in a lifetime experience. After takeaway pizza in the barn together with calves, cows and cows ready for calving, the farmer, Tore Nordli, told the history of the farm. We will never forget this farm visit. A newborn calf was given the name "Linli", the same as the General Secretary of Shandong Dairy Association," said Fiona Yin, representative for Geno in China, who hosted the tour.
Research trial with Norwegian Red in China
The delegation was very optimist about the use of Norwegian Red in China in the future and awaits a re-evaluation of export rules. Norwegian Red has already been approved by the Chinese Animal Genetic Resource Committee after a research trial conducted from 2009-2011 in cooperation with China Agricultural University and Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, and the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing recommended Norwegian Red as a preferred dual purpose breed in China.
Results from the trial showed that Norwegian Red genes have remarkable advantages such as excellent fertility, health and longevity, while milk yield is about the same when compared with purebred Holsteins. The first Norwegian Red offsprings in Mongolia are now about one year old. Insemination of the crosses will be start in the second half of this year. It is more than one year earlier than local breeds.