VIJUST, much appreciated sire in Turkey

Our visit at Demsa GenetikThe cooperation between Genes Diffusion and Safak Çevik, Director of Demsa Genetik, goes back a long time. In 1996, large numbers of French heifers were imported in Turkey. The Turkish breeders were very enthusiastic about the conformation and the production of these dairy cows. When, in 1999, Demsa Genetik was founded, Safak did not hesitate about importing semen of bulls from Gènes Diffusion, to the immense satisfaction of Turkish breeders.

Bulls of Genes Diffusion are much popular in TurkeyHowever, the regulations don’t always make things easy. « The sanitary restrictions do complicate things a lot » explains Safak, and adds: « Import semen has to comply with a long list of criteria » such as:

  • Milk index ≥ 1000
  • Protein and fat percentages ≥ -5,0
  • CD ≥ 80
  • Type, udder, legs ≥ 0
  • etc...

Growing Demand

Ali KuralkanTurkey is a large country; one part of its territory is situated in Europe (3%), while the largest part is in Asia. It is an agricultural country that is considered to be self-supporting for Part of Ali Kuralkan’s Holstein herdfood, and where developments are going very fast. Presently it is negotiating membership of the European Union. The population growth is very high. « The young people need food that contains lots of protein » according to Ali Kuralkan, dairyman in the province of Izmir.

Increased Production

The Turkish dairy market grows very fastWith on average four dairy cows per farm, the national Turkish production is at 10.5 million tons of milk per year. The province of Izmir is one of the provinces with the highest milk production. This region has a vast production potential and is responsible for Holstein cows of Ali Kuralkan’s herd eating : « Young people need food containing lots of protein » said the breeder6% of the national production. These last 10 years, Turkish dairy breeding has expanded enormously: New investments were realized to create large dairy structures. As a result, the average milk production per operation has grown by 32% between 2005 and 2008.

Yoghurt Country

Milk produced in Turkey is mainly destined for internal consumption. Farmers are only paid for quantity of milk and fat content. That may seem surprising, in a country where yoghurt was invented! « When selecting bulls, I pay attention to both protein and fat percent » says Ali. « My objective is to produce high-quality milk ». In addition to being a dairyman, Ali Kuralkan is a manufacturer in Istanbul. In 2004, this electronic engineer decided to start up a dairy operation at 500 km from Istanbul, one hour by plane.

Ali Kuralkan’s barn   Ali Kuralkan’s farm buildings

Profitable Bulls in a Harmonious Herd

In his herd of 100 milk cows, mainly of the Holstein breed, one also finds some cows of the Simmental breed. « That is important for the harmony in the herd » explains Ali. The cows produce on average 10,000 liter/year at 4.2% fat and 3.4% protein. The breeder is very meticulous. He looks for animals with good conformation and good health. « The heifer calves from French bulls such as Steward and Surplus are very promising: VIJUST, a popular bull in TurkeyThey are big, vigorous and have a very complete type pattern » says Ali. VIJUST, recently added to the catalogue of Demsa Genetik, is a bull which the breeder likes very much: « It is a good-looking bull with outstanding health traits, low cell count, good feet & legs and very high milk potential. I would say: a profitable bull ».

Safak Cevik, manager of Demsa Genetik, satisfied by French genetics since 1996Savak Çevik’s favorite

When asked after this year’s favorite bull, Savak Çevik, sire analyst at Demsa, doesn’t hesitate: « Of course VIJUST! » Unless the Turkish administration messes things up, VIJUST will have many Turkish daughters next year.



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Genes Diffusion is partner of “Milk around the World”, project leaded by Arnaud BARANGER and Martine BROUWER, which consists in a bicycle trip to discover the milk production around the world.

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