A COW has been recognised for making an outstanding lifetime contribution.

Chalclyffe Iron Arlene, owned by J F Cobb and Sons from Newburgh Farm at Winfrith near Dorchester, was announced the winner of this year’s Genus ABS Long Life Cow Competition at the UK Dairy Day.

Born in July 2004, Chalclyffe Iron Arlene calved for the first time in July 2006. She is currently in her eight lactation and has already produced nearly 114 tonnes of milk in her lifetime and over eight tonnes of combined fat and protein.

She has only lost one month in calving date over the eight lactations, with an average calving interval of 372 days. Nick Cobb, who organised the entry, said: “She is an outstanding cow who consist-ently out performs her herd mates in the 900-cow herd which averages 12,000 litres.

“Alongside her excellent fertility, she has achieved low cell counts throughout her time in the herd.”

Hannah Noble, Genus ABS cornerstone manager, sat as part of the judging panel.

She said: “The Long Life Cow Competition was created to celebrate those cows who have made an outstanding lifetime contribution.

“There are many attributes which mean a cow will last longer.

“She will suit the management system, she will get in calf regularly over several lactations, and she will be a high producer with good composit-ional and hygienic milk quality.

“Most importantly, she will be profitable.”

This year’s entrants averaged 10.5 lactations each and produced on average 107,312 litres of milk. Chalclyffe Iron Arlene was selected as the national winner from four regional finalists. Ms Noble added: “I think the competition clearly demon-strates that the modern dairy cow is capable of outstanding production while maintaining good levels of reproduction and withstanding disease threats. “It also showcases the exceptional levels of stockman-ship on UK dairy farms. A cow won’t last this long without top quality and skilled staff taking an active interest in her well-being.”