Milk recording results of cattle, goats and sheep - France 2020

Publié le par Gilles Thomas (Institut de l'Elevage), Jean-Michel Astruc (Institut de l'Elevage), Xavier Bourrigan (Institut de l'Elevage)
Performances et phénotypes Bovin lait Caprin Ovin lait
This document presents the milk recording results of cattle, goats and sheep in France for the year 2020


 34,793 herds provided 2,200,652 qualified lactations in 2020. With a decrease of 5.2% of the herd number and of 5.7% of the qualified lactations these figures confirm the trend observed since a few years. The three main French national breeds (Prim’Holstein, Montbéliarde and Normande) represent henceforth 91% of the total of qualified lactations (-0.6% compared to 2019). With 46.8% the percentage of herds with more than 60 qualified lactations slightly decrease in 2020 (47.5% in 2019, 45.1% in 2018 and 40.1% in 2017). The part of the qualified lactations they represent follow the same trend and decrease to 68.6% (69 % in 2019, 66.9% in 2018 and 63.1%in 20 17).

With an average milk production for complete lactations at 8,707 Kg, the milk yield is increasing in 2020 (+ 261kg). In the same time the average lactation duration is increasing to reach 339 days (+5 days). Mean fat and protein rates reach respectively to 40.5 g/kg for fat (+0.4) and 32.8 g/kg for proteins (+0.3). The increasing milk, fat and protein yields observed in 2020 must be seen in relation to the evolution of the causes of non qualification in force since March 2020 and the impact of which will be to confirm in the coming years. The noticeable improvement in somatic cell count situation observed for several years is confirmed. The proportion of lactations for which all the test-dates obtain cell counts lower than 300.000 cells and the proportion of lactations having at least 2 test-dates with cell counts higher than 800.000 reach respectively 40.8% et 12.3%.


The number of qualified lactations and the number of flocks are slightly decreasing in 2020 to reach 231,915 lactations (-16,664 lactations -6.7%) and 1,473 flocks (-1.3%). In 2020, the main dairy breeds (Alpine and Saanen) represented 96.7% of the overall total of qualified lactations. The proportion of primiparous dairy goats is slightly increasing and reaches 35.5% (+1.7) confirming the trend observed since 2018 (+0.8% in 2019). The milk yield reach 989 Kg per lactation (+26 Kg). This increasing of the milk yield occurs in conjunction with a long lactation duration at 321 days, confirming the increase observed for a few years (298 days in 2014). Meanwhile true-protein and fat rates are still increasing and reaches respectively 33.4 g/Kg (+0.2) and 37.6 g/Kg (+0.1).


The total number of ewes present at the lambing period reached 330,431 in 2020, that is quite similar to the previous year (+ 0.3%). At the same time the total number of ewes with lactation calculation is stable at 278,442 (+0.01%). This stability confirms the trend observed the previous year and puts an end to the increase observed from 2016 to 2018 (+22,000 ewes over 3 years). 750 flocks are counted up today in Official Milk Recording, which means a decrease of 10 flocks compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the average size of flock still progressed in 2020 (441 ewes present at the lambing period in average versus 433 ewes in 2019 and 428 ewes in 2018).

In 2020 the average milk yield is increasing for the Lacaune breed (+9.2 liters) and for the Corsican breed (+1.3 liter), is stable for the “Manech tête noire” breed (-0.1 liter) and is decreasing for the “Manech tête Rousse” breed (-3.2 liters) and for the “Basco Béarnaise” breed (-3.8 liters). At the national level the milk yield reached 291.6 liters (+5.3 liters) in 169 days in milking-only period (identical duration to the previous year). A simplified milk recording, corresponding to the D recording method in the ICAR nomenclature and not presented in this document, exists in addition to the Official Milk Recording AC design. It concerns commercial flocks out of the selection nucleus (while the Official Milk Recording is devoted only to breeders involved in the selection program). 1,232 flocks and 556,929 ewes present at the lambing period were submitted to D recording in 2020.