Waves Dairy cattle Sharon

  • Issue: February 1996
  • Designer: H. Kivkovich
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 271
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

The modern dairy industry in Israel began in the year 1880 with the establishment of a cowshed in the Agricultural High School Mikve Israel" with an annual yield of 1500 Ir. of milk per cow. At the time many Jewish settlements were developing all over Palestine with dairies both in the Kibbutzim (collective farms) and in the Moshavim (family farms) The dairy herds in Kiryat Anavim, Beth Alfa, Beer Tuvia and others became important expertise centres for the dairy breeders, who shared their experience with the young settlers.

The local breeds, Balady and Damascus, well adapted to the Mediterranean climate, appeared not to be suitable for modern dairy farming, which aimed at high yields by the individual cow. In order to improve the genetic quality, Friesian and Holstein bulls were imported from Holland and the USA These bulls were used for cross breeding and out-crossing of the local breed, resulting in each new generation in the reduction of the local blood and the increase of European blood by planned selection for high yielding cows.

This genetic improvement led to the creation of the "Israeli Holstein" breed, signifying cattle from a European source, adapted to the Mediterranean climate.

The stamp shows the cow RAVIT-709 from Kibbutz Samar, located in the Arava desert on the way to Eilat. Ravit was born to an excellent family and has produced more than 90000 Kg. milk during 5 lactations. She is also mother to generations of new breeding bulls.

In 1926 the "Israel Cattle Breeders' Association" (IOBA) was established, a cooperative of which all dairy cattle breeders in Israel are members. The ICBA manages the Herdsbook and Milk Recording and has led to the building of the Artificial Insemination Centres and the Clinical Veterinary Service ("Hachaklayit"). The 14 artificial insemination centres that operated in the fifties were reunited and merged; today we have two centres: "On", which serves the Northern part of the country and the "Hasherut", serving the Southern part of the country. These two A.l. Centres have one common breeding programme, with all bulls owned jointly by both centres, as well as the bank of frozen semen. They are now moving towards complete unification, and are to become one unit with two sub-centres.

ICBA initiated computerized management programmes for dairy herds by PC's, connected on-line to a huge data bank, which serves the Herdsbook, the milk testing laboratory and the milk-recording for volume, fat, protein, lactose and somatic cells for the prevention of mastitis. All these tests are performed on a monthly basis for, each cow registered in the Herdsbook and the data used for the evaluation of the genetic merit of each proven bull.

Today Israel Holstein leads with the highest annual milk yield per cow of 10,000 Kg. milk, containing 320 Kg. fat and 305 Kg. protein. In Israel 110,000 cows are milked. The genetic improvement has contributed to an annual increase of 130 Kg. of milk per cow. The Al. Centres house 300 bulls, from which the semen is produced. Semen is collected and stored in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -1960C and can be kept indefinitely at this temperature until being thawed prior to use for artificial insemination. 350,000 inseminations are performed annually by 40 Al. technicians.

The Israeli Holstein breed enjoys an excellent reputation in over thirty countries around the world, that have used semen from Israeli proven sires at a value of 2 million dollars in order to improve the cattle in those countries. Among these countries are Holland, Spain, Hungary, Brazil, Kazakhstan.

In 1995 a total volume of more than a billiard liters of milk was produced by Israeli dairy farmers, while local consumption amounts to 200 liter per capita/annum.

The peace process that is in progress in our region will enable Israel to play an even more important role in the genetic improvement of national herds through the supply of cows, heifers, embryos and semen to our neighbouring countries, as the Israeli Holstein breed has been proven an excellent breed for the Middle East.

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Dairy cattle breeding in Israel