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A PR IL 2014 APRIL PROOF REPORT

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Horizons Articles Available in Spanish! Visit http://bit.ly/SpanHorizons

DOING REPRO RIGHT

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REPRO AWARD WINNERS

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International


Join the Millions of Happy Moms on the

Genex Health Care Plan! D A U G H T E R P R E G N A N C Y R AT E • P R O D U C T I V E L I F E

Number of Holstein Bulls ≥ +6.0 Productive Life and ≥ +1.0 Daughter Pregnancy Rate

31 31

Genex

5353

22 22

Genex Alta

Alta Accelerated

Accelerated

13 13 4040

2525

Select

Select

ABS

ABS

Semex Semex

We’ve Got Your Herd Covered!

USDA-CDCB/04-14, IB-M/USA/04-14

©2014 CRI


TA B L E

HORIZONS April 2014 Vol. 20/No. 1

O F

C O N T E N T S

g On the Cover:

Published three times a year for dairy producers around the globe. |

Kaylene Lyons, Kim Bjelland, Dan Hinz, Ashley Cartwright, Tiffany Pheasant, Alyssa Maxwell, Matt Goers, Sue Peterson Kersten, Leah James and Rebecca Schlehlein show off their agriculture pride with a #felfie (farm selfie) during a recent Genex Cooperative Inc. and Cooperative Resources International Facebook contest.

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE Cooperative Resources International P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 info@crinet.com 888.333.1783 www.crinet.com

CANADA - Genex Cooperative, Inc.

291 Woodlawn Rd W Unit 4C, Guelph, Ontario N1H 7L6 genexcanada@crinet.com 888.354.4622

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Paul Greene, President

CONTENTS

Berlin, N.Y., 518.658.2419

Duane Nelson, 1st Vice President Winthrop, Minn., 507.647.2540

John Ruedinger, 2nd Vice President Van Dyne, Wis., 920.922.9899

Ronald Totten, Secretary Stafford, N.Y., 585.344.0758

Jim Crocker Valley City, Ohio, 330.483.3709

Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, Wis., 715.289.3860

Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, Ariz., 520.836.2168

Ted Foster Middlebury, Vt., 802.388.6515

Harlin Hecht Paynesville, Minn., 320.243.4386

Harold House Nokesville, Va., 703.754.9534

Kay Olson-Martz

Grassroots 4 | CRI Hosts Annual Meeting 5 | Hecht Named to Genex Board of Directors

6

In The News 6 | CRI Buys Animal Reproductive Technologies Company

7 | CRI to House Bulls at Canada’s Foundation Genetics

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Friendship, Wis., 608.564.7359

PROOF HIGHLIGHTS

Get The Inside Scoop!

Bobby Robertson Tahlequah, Okla., 918.822.0020

Richard Vold Glenwood, Minn., 320.634.4665

Alfred Wanner, Jr. Narvon, Pa., 717.768.8118

HORIZONS STAFF

Jenny L. Hanson, Editor, jlhanson@crinet.com Andy Graf, Graphic Designer

REPRINTS

Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without Cooperative Resources International’s permission. Cooperative Resources International, their member cooperatives, agents or employees, cannot and do not guarantee the conception rate, quality or productivity to be obtained in connection with the use of their products or recommended techniques. THEY MAKE NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WHICH EXTENDS BEYOND THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCTS AND HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. In the unlikely event that any of the products shall be proven to be defective, damages resulting from their use shall be limited to their purchase price.

Facebook.com/GenexCRI

Reproductive Management 11 | High-Quality Heat Detection is Vital to Success 12 | Synchronization Programs: Lessons Learned from

11

the 2013 Reproduction Award Nominees

13 16 18 20

| Synchronization Protocols

22

| Excellence in Reproduction Award Winners

| Do You Have Picture Perfect Technique? | Today’s BPS: A Real Class Act

| Making the Difference: A.I. Success is in the Details

Herd Story 27 | From Vegetables to Cattle,

An Evolving South African Dairy Farm

Genetically Speaking 29 | You Get What You Pick For! 30 | Strategic Planning at the Herd Level

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Twitter.com/CRIBrenda Twitter.com/GenexJerseys GenexCooperativeInc ©2014 CRI

Mission Statement: Provide products and services as effectively as possible to maximize the profitability of members and customers worldwide while maintaining a strong cooperative. H O R I Z O N S

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G R A S S R O O T S

CRI HOSTS ANNUAL MEETING

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uring 2013 the cooperative expanded its balance sheet through growth in core business areas and created and expanded global opportunities, CRI Chairman John Ruedinger told delegates at the cooperative’s annual meeting held January 28-29 in Bloomington, Minn. More than 200 delegates – representing members of CRI subsidiaries AgSource and Genex – attended the annual meeting, which included business meetings and 10 educational sessions. During the business meeting CRI Chief Financial Officer Larry Romuald highlighted the cooperative’s 2013 financial performance, based on nine months of performance due to a fiscal year change. Consolidated income for the nine-month fiscal year ending September 30, 2013 totaled $128,268,829 with $1,546,431 in post-tax net savings. Although revenue increased, Romuald observed that adverse factors impacted overall revenue. “The wet spring cut short the spring soil testing season for AgSource. And, the wet spring and the challenge for dairymen and ranchers to secure adequate and cost effective feed supplies impacted Genex.”

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H O R I Z O N S

Highlights of 2013, as noted by Romuald, included: • Increased demand for AgSource milk and blood-based diagnostic tests. • Growth in number of cows and percent of cows DHI tested through AgSource. • Growth in plant tissue testing at AgSource Laboratories’ agronomy division. • Growth in total semen sales from Genex. • Substantial growth in semen sales from the CRI International Division. • Growth in GenChoice™ semen sales domestically and internationally. • Positive revenue contributions from Central Livestock Association, a Genex company that marketed over 551,000 head of livestock. • Record revenue from Genex Farm Systems with construction of 43 slurry structures and seven DeLaval robotic milkers • Market share growth from CRI’s foreign-owned entities in Mexico and Brazil. ©2014 CRI


G R A S S R O O T S

VOLD RETIRES FROM GENEX BOARD

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airy producer Richard Vold from Glenwood, Minn., has retired from the Genex board of directors after 11 years as a dedicated board member. During his tenure, Vold represented the Genex board at Central Livestock board meetings. Genex management also credit Vold for the personal efforts put forth to remind delegates of the importance of attending delegate input meetings. As Genex COO Doug Wilson states, “The gracious manner in which Richard Vold conducted himself was a model and example for us all to live by.” 

HECHT NAMED TO GENEX BOARD OF DIRECTORS GJ Delegates attending the annual meeting partook in educational sessions. Above, Angie Coburn of Genex talks about 25 years of the GENESIS Cooperative Herd. Ed Jasurda, left, shares his story as a GENESIS cooperator herd owner and provides a virtual tour of United Pride Dairy.

G In another educational session, Emily Zweber of Zweber Farms and the AgChat Foundation explains how she utilizes social media as a risk management tool for her farm by creating a community, connecting with key influencers and building relationships with decision-makers.

Along with the summary of 2013 performance, delegates were informed of a major acquisition. CRI CEO Doug Wilson stated CRI has signed a letter of intent to purchase MOFA Global. MOFA Global, headquartered in Verona, Wis., is among the world’s leaders in the development, manufacturing and marketing of artificial insemination and embryo transfer breeding supplies and associated products for the porcine, bovine, equine and canine industries. Looking to the future, and in light of the MOFA Global announcement, Chairman Ruedinger concluded, “CRI is in position to grow and, as 2014 unfolds, you can rest assured CRI will continue to work with the same aggressive passion for success in the exciting world of production agriculture.”  ©2014 CRI

A

t the Genex annual meeting, Harlin Hecht, a Genex member and registered Charolais cattle breeder from Paynesville, Minn., was elected by Genex delegates to serve on the cooperative’s board of directors.

Hecht and his wife Sue have bred cattle at Double-H Charolais since 1968. His family has been successful in state and national shows. He has also been involved in breed associations; Hecht is a past president and director of the Minnesota/Wisconsin Charolais Association and served as president and held several other officer positions within the American International Charolais Association. Hecht is a member of the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame and was named 2006 AICA National Herdsman of the Year. Most recently, he and his wife were honored as the 40th National Charolais Show Dedicatees at the 2009 Fort Worth Stock Show. An active cooperative member, Hecht served on the Central Livestock board of directors from 2009-2010. Since 2011, when Central Livestock became a company of Genex, Hecht has served on the Central Livestock advisory committee. For the past three years, he has also served as the advisory committee representative to the Genex board. 

GENEX MEMBER DEFINITION TO CHANGE

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fter reviewing delegate and alternate input received at fall delegate meetings in 2011, the Genex board and CRI governance committee supported changing the Genex member definition for 2015. Their recommendation increases the amount of annual allocatable expenditures required to be a Genex member from $200 to $500. The CRI board voted to change the Genex member definition as recommended. It goes into effect in 2015.  H O R I Z O N S

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TA I NB LT EH EO FN E CW O N S T E N T S

CRI BUYS ANIMAL REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY

SELLING THEIR WAY TO THE TOP

C

T

RI has finalized the purchase of the primary assets of MOFA Global, formerly known as Minitube of America. MOFA Global is one of the world’s leaders in the development, manufacturing and marketing of artificial insemination and embryo transfer products and technologies for the porcine, bovine, equine and canine industries. The company now stands as the third subsidiary of CRI, alongside AgSource and Genex. “The purchase of MOFA Global is the largest single step CRI has taken to further increase our influence in production agriculture,” states Doug Wilson, CRI CEO. “The subsequent expansion of CRI core business areas continues to set this organization apart from the rest of the industry.”

wo now, two now, quarter now half, now half, now seventy-five, now seventy-five, seventy-five ... SOLD. Sold your way, $2.75 on No. 935. That was a familiar sound Saturday, Feb. 8 at the West Fargo, S.D., livestock market owned by Genex company Central Livestock Association. On that day 33 contestants vied for the title of Champion Greater Midwest Livestock Auctioneer. In this year’s competition 15 states and two Canadian provinces were represented.

Back in 1993, CRI became known as the nation’s first direct link between a dairy herd improvement organization and a provider of bovine artificial insemination service, organizations now known as AgSource and Genex. Today, with the addition of MOFA Global, CRI adds to its distinctiveness creating new business relationships particularly within the porcine industry as well as those specialized in reproduction in other species. “Furthermore, MOFA Global’s International Center for Biotechnology provides CRI with a direct research connection and fast forwards our dedication to advancing internal research through business development,” states Wilson. Since establishing the International Center for Biotechnology in Mt. Horeb, Wis., in 2004, MOFA Global has conducted cutting-edge research spanning several animal species and specifically focused on advanced reproductive technologies, molecular and cell biology, and DNA and genomics research. MOFA Global was established in 1986 by Ludwig and Becky Simmet. Within the CRI structure, Ludwig Simmet will continue to lead MOFA Global as this new subsidiary’s chief operating officer. “The addition of MOFA Global to the CRI family is a significant diversification step for this cooperative,” notes Wilson. “Along with new business fronts, technology potentials make CRI an enticing employer for young professionals looking to join the agriculture industry.” 

WOODWARD TO LEAD COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM

C

RI hired Brent Woodward as Associate Vice President of Research. Woodward, who holds a doctorate in animal breeding and genetics from Cornell University, has worked in agricultural research for more than 23 years. “Brent will direct research efforts across CRI, AgSource and Genex,” said Peter Giacomini, CRI Vice President of Business Development. “The science behind our primary services offered to agricultural producers is progressing at a rapid pace. Under Brent’s leadership, CRI will establish a more intense research program continuing the cooperative’s efforts in bringing new advancements to members and customers.” Previously, Woodward served eight years as Director and Senior Scientist for IGENITY research and development. During this time, he led IGENITY to an increased portfolio of products, single SNP DNA tests to 50,000+ SNP profiles for 32 traits of economic importance for beef and dairy cattle producers.  6

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H O R I Z O N S

The judges had no small task scoring each contestant on a 50-point scale. Besides making sure each auctioneer sold the cattle for the proper value, the five judges also scored contestants on: initial command, opening and proper use of microphone; voice quality, clarity and auctioneer chant; appearance, poise and salesmanship; expedition of sale and bid catching; and representation of livestock marketing knowledge and auctioneering profession. A young man, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, walked away as Champion Greater Midwest Livestock Auctioneer. That man was Brennin Jack of Heartland Livestock Services. His debut in the auction ring occurred at the age of nine, and three years later he sold his first million-dollar cattle sale. Along with being named the winner of the Greater Midwest Livestock Auctioneer Championship, Brennin was awarded $1,500 and a customized belt buckle. While hosting the event at the Central Livestock West Fargo market was no small task, it certainly came together and was a successful competition. It was made possible by the Central Livestock staff and producers who consigned cattle.  ©2014 CRI


I N

KUCK RETIRES AFTER 38 YEARS WITH GENEX

T H E

N E W S

CRI TO HOUSE BULLS AT CANADA’S FOUNDATION GENETICS

F

oundation Genetics and CRI have entered into a service agreement to have Foundation Genetics house and provide semen collection services for a number of bulls owned by Genex. “Marketing cattle genetics worldwide is an integral part of business for Genex and CRI. Transferring a set of dairy and beef sires to a Canadian custom collection facility is in concert with the Genex board’s strategic plan to mitigate potential risks associated with the international marketplace,” states Peter Giacomini, CRI Vice President of Business Development. “In this instance, producing Genex genetics in Canada provides international marketing opportunities should U.S. semen exports be interrupted.” Giacomini goes on to say, “Foundation Genetics is qualified to ship semen worldwide, possesses a state of the art facility and upholds industry-leading standards for bull care, collection, semen quality and handling.”

A

l Kuck retired February 21 after nearly four decades of employment with Genex and its predecessor cooperatives.

“Al has served cooperative members in numerous capacities, most recently as Vice President of Beef Programs,” states Keith Heikes, Genex Senior Vice President of Product Development and Marketing. “During his tenure in the beef division, Al was accountable for Genex custom semen collection, beef sire procurement and initiatives to grow beef programs.” Initially, Al had begun his cattle genetics career within the dairy industry. He was hired by Genex predecessor Midwest Breeders Cooperative as Breeding Programs Manager-Dairy and was later promoted to Vice President of Genetic Services. He held the position Vice President of Dairy Genetics for 21st Century Genetics before accepting a role in beef programs. During his career, Al was responsible for several significant developments that have impacted the cattle genetics industry. He is credited with developing the computerized dairy cattle mating program MAP and the Lifetime Profitability Ranking, which served as a model for Lifetime Net Merit. He also contributed much of the original development work for the GENESIS Cooperative Herd. 

Douglas Dann, Foundation Genetics Manager, and the company owners state, “Foundation Genetics is pleased to be working with a global A.I. organization such as CRI and facilitating their first major step in non-U.S. production at our Listowel, Ontario facility.” CRI and Foundation Genetics will continue to operate independent of one another in their genetic and marketing programs; this agreement does not include joint distribution or sales. 

MONTBELIARDE SIRES NOW AVAILABLE

G

enex is offering three high genetic value Montbeliarde sires to U.S. dairy producers. The sires, 217MO01000 VALFIN JB, 217MO01001 APPOLO JB and 217MO01002 TARN JB, are now available for purchase via the online Genex Profit Shop (profitshop.crinet.com) and from Genex sales representatives.

j 2620, Daughter of VALFIN JB

“We are pleased to bring these superior Montbeliarde genetics to the U.S. from Jura Bétail. Through our research it became obvious Jura Bétail is leading the way in Montbeliarde genetics,” states Roy Wilson, Genex Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “These genetics will bring added value to those producers operating crossbreeding programs.” Established in 1948, the Jura Bétail cooperative is led by a management board made of 21 breeders. With beginning a progeny testing program in 1952, Jura Bétail runs a genetic improvement program which has highly influenced the evolution of this breed. For genetic evaluations on the Montbeliarde sires, visit http://bit.ly/GenexMontbeliarde. 

NOTICE OF GENEX EQUITY REDEMPTION

T

he board of directors has decided to distribute the 2013 allocatable earnings to qualified members. This cash payment totals $500,655 and is a clear sign of the board's desire to distribute cash to active members. Included with the cash mailing will be a 1099-MISC tax form for your 2014 tax reporting.

The cooperative equity capital plan allows for immediate retirement of all equity investments held by members upon notification to those who qualify (retired members, estates of deceased members and disabled members). These requests ©2014 CRI

annually total well over $200,000. Thus, during 2013, the board revolved in cash and credit over $2,509,000 to the membership! Genex has a very logical and focused profit goal. This allows for equity retirement and investment in product development and equipment. The cooperative is appreciative of your business and proud of the important role our members play in feeding the world. If you have any questions about your equity, contact Equity Specialist Candie Fisher at 715-526-7657 or cfisher@crinet.com.  H O R I Z O N S

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P R O O F

H I G H L I G H T S

PROOF HIGHLIGHTS

Get The Inside Scoop! Traits Included in Lifetime Net Merit

its Tra

Fat 19%

4 8%

tion Traits 35%

lth

uc Prod

ea

lvin

p. 4%

SM

DPR 11%

Ca

-6%

Among the new debuts are four Mogul sons, all with great type and excellent health and fitness. 1HO11056 TROY leads the pack at +$969 LNM and a staggering +2508 TPI ! This Co-op bull is the “no holes” kind of sire. He stands at +1156 Milk and +115 combined Fat and Protein with a +8.6 Productive Life, +2.50 Somatic Cell Score (SCS), +2.7 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) and 6.3% Sire Calving Ease (SCE). He’s got conformation covered too: +2.28 PTA Type, +2.37 Udder Composite and +2.50 Foot & Leg Composite.

SCS -10% Protein 16%

FL Com

The Holstein lineup includes 26 new sires following the April sire summaries. The new releases spotlight diversity and profitability. They hail from 15 different sires. Eleven rank above +$800 Lifetime Net Merit (LNM)!

Productive Life 22%

Body Siz e

DIVERSITY & PROFITABILITY

H

Traits Included in H Lifetime Net Merit

gA

bil

ity

$5

Udder Comp. 7%

Conforma

ti o n

17

%

%

Also among the new debuts are full brothers 1HO11426 TUFFENUFF and 1HO11425 TWINKIE. These sons of 1HO10458 DAY boast high production along with desirable udder traits. They join December graduate 1HO11427 TAURINO, another full brother out of GENESIS Cooperative Herd stand-out Ms Pride Plnt Tasket 788-ET, VG-85, VG-MS.

J Ms Pride Plnt Tasket 788-ET, VG-85, VG-MS

1HO11562 TRIVIA and 1HO11549 TALISMAN, Mintmaker sons also out of Tasket, are appealing for transmitting medium size, strong udder traits and solid DPR. J Dam of TROY: Co-op RB Freddie Tinley, VG-85, VG-MS

Numero Uno sons, 1HO11063 SYRACUSE (+$858 LNM), 1HO11438 SANDSTONE (+$784 LNM) and 1HO11516 EXIT (+$780 LNM), are also among the elite new debuts. They are all over +130 combined Fat and Protein with desirable health traits.

The +$894 LNM 1HO11528 EMERALD is the total production package at +1601 Milk with +93 Fat and siring moderate size. EMERALD is a great udder improver at +2.74 Udder Composite and excels in health traits (+6.2 Productive Life, +2.66 SCS, 6.1% SCE, The +$861 LNM 1HO11048 STOIC is a Protein leader at +75! 4.5% Daughter Calving Ease). Furthermore, he improves conformation, adds pounds to the tank (+2101 Milk) and will improve the calving ability of his daughters. 1HO11511 TAMPA, yet another Mogul son, is a foot and leg specialist as demonstrated by his outstanding +3.26 Foot & Leg Composite! 1HO11089 LOOPER and 1HO11051 LENOX are from the VG-85 While at +$804 LNM, he also transmits outstanding conformation Fairmont Shottle Lani-ET. Petrone and Kristoff sons respectively, (+2.97 PTAT), improves udders (+2.93 Udder Composite) and these bulls improve conformation and health traits. increases fertility in the next generation with a +2.2 DPR. With maternal lines tied to GENESIS, 1HO11161 AMBIENT is the 1HO11545 LAWMAN is a new choice for heifers with 6.6% SCE. son of 1HO10218 DENIM. He is a fertility leader among the new Along with the other Mogul sons, he possesses tremendous Type graduates sporting a +3.0 Sire Conception Rate. He also boasts great (+2.84) and great components - a whopping +142 combined Fat conformation, udder improving qualities and extreme health traits.  and Protein. 8

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©2014 CRI


P R O O F

H I G H L I G H T S

It’s that time again … when new sire evaluations are released and the latest bulls appear in the Genex lineup. Staying up-to-date on the new information to maintain genetic progress in your herd isn’t impossible. You may just need … the inside scoop.

NEW & NOTABLE With the April sire summaries, the Genex Jersey lineup has grown to 38 sires! Among the group are 17 sires over +4.00 JUI™ and +200 JPI™. In addition there are 20 sires over +$525 Cheese Merit (CM) and 21 over +1.5 PTA Type. The lineup also delivers huge pedigree diversity!

Making Their Debut New addition 1JE00860 SCORCH is an early Marvel son with an elite +239 JPI and +$632 CM. From a tremendous cow family going back to Wilsonview Impulse Shauna, EX-94%, SCORCH earned a prominent +3.38 JUI and adds +2.0 PTAT. This new release hails from the same cow family as the high PregCheck+™ sire 1JE00820 SALVADORE.

1JE00839 CADILLAC is a Dominican son out of a Legal that delivers tremendous health traits (+5.2 Productive Life, +1.0 DPR). He also makes his debut at +3.78 JUI. 1JE00854 MR COOL brings pedigree diversity being a Sebastian out of a Dale. His +209 JPI, impressive +4.22 JUI and +$521 CM add to his appeal.

1JE00862 BADGER is an early Perform son with impressive 1JE00861 COLTON is our first 1JE00791 DIVIDEND son. He profitability: +$627 CM and +228 JPI. BADGER improves udders at offers huge type numbers (+5.21 JUI, +2.4 PTAT) and is an exciting +3.66 JUI and adds fluid Milk (+1448), all complemented by great +218 JPI. Look to COLTON to also add Milk (+1565). heath traits (+4.7 Productive Life, +0.6 Daughter Pregnancy Rate). 1JE00832 VINNY is a Premier son that adds longevity (+4.2 The +214 JPI 1JE00865 COBALT is a Vegas brother to Productive Life) and daughter fertility (+0.6 DPR) to his +174 JPI, 1JE00846 CHUCK. As demonstrated by his +$619 CM, COBALT +$504 CM package. is expected to transmit great cheese yield from exceptional components equaling +119 pounds combined Fat and Protein. He 1JE00851 LIMELIGHT-P complements the Genex polled offering debuts at over +1000 pounds of Milk. with a +186 JPI. He is a Critic-P out of a Blade adding nice Fat and Protein percentages and over +1000 Milk. 1JE00864 COMBO, a Visionary out of a Maximum, adds pounds of Fat and Protein. He has +125 pounds combined Fat and Protein and 1JE00841 RAGEOUS is a Dominican out of a Valentino with notable +1400 pounds of Milk while maintaining a +4.36 JUI. type numbers (+5.07 JUI, +2.0 PTAT) and positive components. 1JE00859 GUS is a leader in JPI at +231. He is a Marvel son out of a Renegade with an impressive +5.40 JUI and +2.1 PTAT. GUS adds fluid pounds at over +1500 Milk.

With an impressive +6.14 JUI, 1JE00855 MCADAM is a huge udder improver. Terrific udders are combined with excellent overall conformation (+2.1 PTAT) and plentiful production (+1143 Milk).

Noteworthy Genetic Opportunities 1JE00792 MACHETE dominates the lineup with his +$691 CM and +243 JPI. Today, his combined Fat and Protein is +132, supported by over +1600 pounds of Milk.

Capturing the no. 3 spot on the daughter-proven JPI list is 1JE00711 PLUS. This Iatola out of an Artist added JPI points; he’s now at +227. He also jumped to +3.13 JUI with more than 900 daughters scored. At +1.80 PTAT, he maintains over +1700 Milk 1JE00848 ILLUSION increased to +230 JPI, +4.32 JUI and +$633 and an impressive +$546 CM. Producer satisfaction is unmatched CM. He remains a high yield sire with positive components and for herds milking PLUS daughters. great udder traits. 1JE00700 LEXICON provides genetic opportunities with increases 1JE00803 SCORE continues an upward climb in JPI, now at +229. to +193 JPI and +4.40 JUI. He is now one of the highest daughterHe also bettered his CM attaining +$587. This Vibrant son is a proven JUI bulls (#10 on the JPI daughter-proven list). This no-holes high Milk bull touting +1794 pounds. He also transmits months of sire increased to a noteworthy +2.1 Sire Conception Rate (SCR). additional productivity (+5.8 Productive Life). 1JE00768 HENDRIX added his first milking daughters and earned 1JE00849 UPBEAT continues his reign as a type leader, now a spot in the top 100 JPI list.  topping at +6.56 JUI and +2.5 PTAT. This Visionary son also sports a +203 JPI.

g Left to Right: Grazeland

Plus Krystaleen, VG-87%; Sunset Canyon Allstar J Maid 45-ET, VG-87%; and Pearlmont Bruno Eccentric, VG-86%

©2014 CRI

H O R I Z O N S

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In an Ideal World, your Cows are Spot on for … HEIFER CONCEPTION RATE Virgin heifer’s ability to conceive

COW CONCEPTION RATE

Lactating cow’s ability to conceive

DAUGHTER CALVING EASE

Ability of the cow (daughter) to calve easily

PRODUCTIVE LIFE

Time in the milking herd before culling

DAUGHTER PREGNANCY RATE Fewer days open 4th Lactation

SOMATIC CELL SCORE

Ability to improve mastitis resistance

Genex is Spot on in Providing Sires to Make it Happen. 46 Sires ≥ +2.0 Heifer Conception Rate 68 Sires ≥ +6.0 Productive Life 86 Sires ≤ 5.0% Daughter Calving Ease

53 Sires ≥ +2.0 Daughter Pregnancy Rate 76 Sires ≥ +2.5 Cow Conception Rate 46 Sires ≤ +2.60 Somatic Cell Score USDA-CDCB/04-14, IB-M/USA/04-14

©2014 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

HIGH-QUALITY HEAT DETECTION

IS VITAL TO SUCCESS

By: Steve Sheppard // National Account Senior Specialist, Genex

W

hen it comes to being a successful dairy, one of the most important things is to be able to get cows pregnant. Remember, the longer it takes for a cow to successfully breed back, the longer the calving interval. A longer calving interval means more days in milk, which lowers the percentage of cows at peak milk. This lowers average milk production and likely leads to a higher cull rate. Therefore, it is safe to conclude achieving pregnant cows efficiently equates to more milk. Pregnancy rate is commonly used to measure reproduction program success. As the pregnancy rate goes up, the dairy becomes more profitable due to the previously stated reasons. Also, the more pregnant cows you have, the more options you have at cull time. If you can only sell open cows and have to keep every pregnancy, you have limited options. If you have a high pregnancy rate, you could sell lower quality or the least profitable cows. This improves your herd’s genetic level at a faster rate and improves milk production. There are two factors in calculating pregnancy rate: conception and heat detection. Let’s look at heat detection. The definitive sign of a cow in heat is standing to be mounted. Secondary signs may include: restlessness, bellowing, sniffing or licking, attempting to mount other cows, scuff marks on tails/flanks, a drop in milk yield, red or swollen vulva and clear discharge from the vulva. The length of time a cow is in heat can vary greatly as shown in Graph 1.

v Graph 1. Duration of activity for cows that showed estrous activity (n=61)

Number of Cows

25

Mean = 16.1±0.6

20 15 10 5 0

0-4

5-8

9-12

13-16

17-20

21-24 25-28

Duration of Activity (hours)

We can detect heat in a number of ways. The first is visual heat detection. This takes time. If the average cow is in heat for 12 hours and you heat detect once a day, the most you can detect is half of the cows. The best way is to observe for heats multiple times throughout the day and night. A higher percentage of cows show heat at the quietest, coolest time of day, meaning the early morning hours. Tail paint or chalk can be a helpful heat detection tool, when done correctly. Tail paint helps identify which cows were ridden when nobody was watching. Paint a line on the tail head of a cow or heifer, and when mounted, it should rub off. This is an economical and quite labor efficient method, but takes some skill. Reading tail paint is often considered an art. Kamar ® Heatmount ® Detectors have a similar effect as tail paint. They can be easily read when activated, but can be more expensive. Activity systems detect cows in heat by monitoring movement. They can be expensive to install, but can save labor and time. They also record baseline and activity spikes, providing a record of when a cow was previously in heat to assist in deciding whether she truly is at the current time. Note that 5-30% of all A.I. services to observed estrus are conducted at the wrong stage of the estrous cycle (Appleyard & Cook, 1976; Senger et al., 1988; Smith, 1982). These systems watch cows 24 hours per day and seven days per week. With activity systems, inaccuracies stem from cows showing too much activity when not in heat, possibly due to a management change such as a group move. Training and practice are required to understand activity reports. Timed A.I. synchronizes cows to be bred on a pre-determined time and day. This reduces need to detect heat. It can be expensive for the shots and there has to be absolute compliance. Record keeping has to be accurate, and everyone involved needs to be trained on the importance of compliance. Heat detection is an important part of any reproduction program, and it takes training and good record keeping. It is a skilled job, demanding time and patience. The best heat detection programs utilize combinations of two or more methods, such as tail paint, visual heat detection and timed A.I. to catch all cows in heat. 

Fricke, 2013 Genex GPA Presentation

The time and amount of heat shown can be affected by several factors. These include, but are not limited to: temperature, increased milk production, slippery surfaces, number of other cows in heat, nutrition, health, body condition score and other general stress inducers. A modern, high-production, fully confined milking facility with 3x milking is not the ideal place for a cow to show heat, so heat detection should be a priority. ©2014 CRI

A Author Bio: Stephen Sheppard serves as a consultant for Genex members and customers in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Previously he spent 12 years managing large dairy operations and gaining expertise in reproduction, transition cow management, parlor management and team development. Stephen grew up on his family’s farm in England and earned a national certificate in dairy science from Bicton College of Agriculture.

H O R I Z O N S

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1 1


R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

SYNCHRONIZATION PROGRAMS LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE 2013 REPRODUCTION AWARD NOMINEES By: Kristi Fiedler // AVP U.S. Technical Services, Genex

H

istorically dairy producers selected for higher milk production. This was done for an obvious reason – more milk equals higher profitability per cow. The industry was very successful in increasing milk production; however it came with a price. Cow fertility was reduced. In addition to greater focus on Daughter Pregnancy Rate (see page 29), this created demand for new tools to improve reproductive performance. Since then, synchronization programs and advanced heat detection methods have rapidly improved repro performance on the farm. Today, many farms use a combination of heat detection and synchronization. In fact, 98% of herds nominated for the 2013 Genex Excellence in Reproduction Awards used a timed A.I. program. All used estrus detection (ED) to varying degrees. Among the nominees, the synch programs used for first service A.I. varied. The most popular was Presynch combined with ED. Cows were bred off heats shown following the Presynch prostaglandin shots. Table 1 shows the nominees’ average repro performance by first service protocol. Within the table, the only notable difference in performance is herds combining ED and timed A.I. on first service had a slightly higher percent pregnant by 150 days in milk (DIM).

o Table 1. First Service Synch Programs and Reproduction Results from the 2013 Excellence in Reproduction Award Nominees.

Pregnancy Rate First Service Conception Rate % Pregnant by 150 DIM Average DIM at First Service Heat Detection Rate Average Herd Size # of Herds

Presynch with Estrus Detection

Presynch

Double Ovsynch

27.6% 42.5% 77.4% 65 67.0% 2,329 19

28.0% 45.0% 74.8% 68 69.3% 919 12

27.0% 48.0% 74.8% 76 64.0% 2,997 2

The real difference between protocols is the cost per cow. Herds using ED and timed A.I. on first service likely reduce cost in hormones and labor if they achieve good conception rates. Combining timed A.I. and ED can increase profit per cow per year from $21.60 - $35.20 depending on accuracy of ED and compliance to synch protocols, as compared to using either only ED or timed A.I. (Galvao). Overall, these herds have outstanding repro performance. Most rank among the top 10% in the country, according to Dairy Performance Navigator (DPN). In DPN, the top 10% of herds sorted by repro performance average 29.4% pregnancy rate. SM

The question remains: Which timed A.I. program is best? The truth is, there isn’t one answer. The answer is different for each farm. However, here are some tips to consider.

1. Compliance! Compliance! Compliance!

No matter the program, compliance to protocols makes all the difference in success. A basic Ovsynch protocol requires three injections and breeding. If only 90% of the right cows were identified each time, then compliance accuracy is only 66% (90% x 90% x 90% x 90% = 65.6%).

1 2

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H O R I Z O N S

If considering a more complicated protocol with more injections on more days of the week, first examine compliance within your repro team. Can the team handle the workload on the suggested days? Are cows always in the right pen to find them when needed?

2. The Conception Cost of Cosynch

Cosynch is used because it is easy to implement on farm (one less time to catch the cow), however it is the least effective program in regards to conception rate. In research trials Brusveen and Nebel each identified Cosynch conception is 9-16% lower than Ovsynch56.

3. The Clock is Ticking

For optimal conception, ensure breeding occurs 14-18 hours after the last GnRH injection. Often synchronization timing can be altered when pen order changes are made for the milking schedule. The best conception for timed A.I. occurs when cows are bred in the same pen order the injections were administered. v Graph 1. Effect of Time of A.I. on Pregancy Rate Per A.I.

50

P < 0.05

40 30

41%

37%

45%

41% 32%

20 10

n=149

n=148

n=149

n=143

n=143

8

16

24

32

0

Hours After Second Injection of GnRH Pursley et al., 1998

4. Research Tells Us

Recent research proves decreasing the interval from the second Presynch prostaglandin shot to the start of Ovsynch from 14 days to 12, 11 or 10 days increases conception considerably. Galvao (2007) compared Presynch 14 to Presynch 11. The results showed an increase from 33.5% pregnancies per A.I. to 40.5%. A shorter interval may require an additional day of injections, so consider how the repro team can accommodate the change and maintain compliance.

5. Attaining the Achievable

Some herds manage successful repro with minimal use of timed A.I. This is achievable with excellent transition, superb cow comfort, good nutrition, optimal footing in pens, committed repro teams and the use of positive DPR and high fertility sires. In summary, any breeding protocol has an opportunity to be successful and profitable as illustrated by the 2013 Genex Excellence in Reproduction nominees. These dairies achieved their outstanding performance levels through dedication, teamwork, attention to detail and compliance.  References available upon request.

A Author Bio: Kristi Fiedler received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. After college, she joined AgSource Cooperative Services working with milk testing and DHI records. In 2007, she joined Genex providing genetic and reproductive consulting in northeast Wisconsin. Today she oversees Genex consulting services across the U.S. Kristi also holds a master’s degree in management.

©2014 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

HEIFER

SYNCHRONIZATION PROTOCOLS CIDR®

PGF2∝

6 Treatment Day

7

8

Heat Detect

0

11

14-day CIDR®-PGF2∝

GnRH PGF2∝

CIDR®

..16 days..

0

14 Treatment Day

5-day CIDR® PGF2∝

GnRH

A.I.

CIDR® 0

Treatment Day

GnRH

A.I.

..66 ± 2 hrs.. 30 33

MGA Resynch GnRH

0

9

8

Treatment Day

Preg Check

GnRH

If Open

A.I.

PGF2∝

MGA 22

…72 hrs … 39 42

Comparison of Protocols PROTOCOL

COST

LABOR

CIDR®

High

Medium

14-day CIDR®-PGF2∝

5

… 72 hrs … 30 33

13 Treatment Day

A.I.

A.I.

PGF2∝

MGA

CIDR® 0

GnRH

Oral MGA

5-day

CIDR®

Oral MGA MGA Resynch

High High Low Low

Medium Medium

Medium Medium

KEY GnRH CIDR®

EAZI-BREED™ CIDR®

Preg Check

Determine pregnancy status

PGF2∝

estroPLAN®, Estrumate®, In-Synch®, Lutalyse®, ProstaMate®

A.I.

©2014 CRI

Cystorelin®, Factrel®, Fertagyl®, OvaCyst®

Conduct artificial insemination

H O R I Z O N S

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R E P R O D U C T I V E

COW

M A N A G E M E N T

Cosynch + CIDR®

Ovsynch®

PGF2∝

GnRH

SYNCHRONIZATION PROTOCOLS 0

10 9 12-24 hrs

7

Treatment Day

0

GnRH A.I. GnRH

PGF2∝PGF GnRH 2∝ 7 Treatment Day

7 10

9 17 10 12-24 Treatment Dayhrs

G6G/Ovsynch® Double Ovsynch® 2

8 7 10 Treatment Day

15 17 Treatment Day

Cosynch G6G/Ovsynch® PGF2∝ GnRH GnRH 0 0

GnRH

PGF2∝

GnRH PGF 2∝

24

26 27 12-24 hrs

0

17 18 24 12-24 hrs

8 Treatment Day Treatment Day

A.I.

0 0

|

GnRH GnRH

Resynch

GnRH A.I.

33

35 36 12-24 hrs

PGF2∝ GnRH A.I. PGF2∝ GnRH A.I. .. 56 hrs .. ..16 hrs 32 33 35 36 12-24 hrs

Preg Check

17 18 9 12-24 hrs

0

18

A.I.

7

9

PROTOCOL Ovsynch®

Double Ovsynch

Cosynch Cosynch + CIDR® 12-day Presynch®

GnRH

PGF2∝

A.I.

GnRH

.. 56 hrs .. ..16 hrs 32

25 Treatment Day

EAZI-BREED™ CIDR®

PROTOCOL

®

®

®

Determine pregnancy status estroPLAN®, Estrumate®, In-Synch®, Lutalyse®, ProstaMate® Conduct artificial insemination

H O R I Z O N S

COST

LABOR

Low

Medium/High

Medium/High Medium/High Low High

Medium

High High

Medium Medium High

Comparison of Protocols

Cystorelin , Factrel , Fertagyl , OvaCyst

Resynch

®

®

G6G/Ovsynch®

Ovsynch

®

Medium/High

High

COST

LABOR

Low

Medium/High

Double Ovsynch®

Medium/High

Cosynch Cosynch + CIDR®

Low High

Medium Medium

Medium/High

High

G6G/Ovsynch®

12-day Presynch®

Resynch 1 4

PGF2∝

Preg Check

18 25 14 Treatment Day 26 Treatment Day

15

KEY

PGF2∝

26 27 12-24 hrs

GnRH PGF2∝

GnRH

GnRH

Treatment Day

Preg Check

Treatment Day

A.I. PGF2∝

GnRH A.I.

Resynch 12-day Presynch® GnRH A.I.

9

26 ..48 hrs.. Treatment Day 7 9

A.I.

7

PGF2∝GnRH

CIDR® 14

GnRH A.I. A.I.

PGF2∝

CIDR®

..48 hrs..

Comparison of Protocols

GnRH

GnRH

0

PGF2∝

PGF2∝

Cosynch

0

GnRH A.I.

GnRH

2

Treatment Day

PGF2∝

PGF2∝ GnRH A.I. PGF2∝ GnRH

PGF2∝ GnRH GnRH PGF2∝ GnRH GnRH 0 0

7

Cosynch + CIDR®® 12-day Presynch

® ® OvsynchOvsynch Double GnRH

A.I.

CIDR® 0

GnRH

PGF2∝

GnRH

A.I.

GnRH

Medium/High

Medium

High High

High

©2014 CRI


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R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

DO YOU HAVE

Does your breeding routine include the best procedures to reach peak reproductive performance? Use the semen handling and insemination procedures below as a refresher to perfect your routine and get the most bang for your buck!

PICTURE PERFECT

TECHNIQUE? 1

2

SAFE STORAGE

Store the Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) tank in a dry, dust-free location that allows you to see clearly into the neck tube. Measure LN2 weekly; level should not drop below three inches.

4

A

Maintain an accurate semen inventory to lessen the risk of semen exposure.

5

THAWING SEMEN

3

RECORD INVENTORY

Raise canister just high enough to grasp the top of the cane with a tweezers – canister should be held below the frost line. Do NOT allow canister or cane to remain in tank neck for more than eight seconds.

6

DRY & IDENTIFY STRAW

REMOVING STRAWS

REMOVING SHEATHS

B

A) Pocket Thaw™: Place straw in paper towel in shirt pocket for 2-3 minutes.

Remove sheath through a small hole at the corner of the sheath package.

Dry straw and check for proper sire identification before loading gun.

B) Warm Water Thaw: Place straw in 90-98°F water bath (95°F being ideal) for at least 40 seconds.

7

WARM GUN

8

A Warm the gun prior to placing the semen straw inside.

9

CUTTING THE STRAW

B

A) After the insemination straw is loaded into the insemination gun, make a clean cut (straight cut for ¼ cc straws, angled cut for ½ cc straws) one-quarter inch from the end of the gun.

REMOVE SHEATH

A

B

A) Place the sheath over the insemination gun, seat the straw in the sheath tip and secure it into place. B) Depending on gun type, straw may be cut before loading gun.

B) Depending on gun type, straw may be cut before loading gun. 1 6

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H O R I Z O N S

©2014 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E

10

PRIME INSEMINATION GUN

Prime insemination gun by pushing the plunger until semen is moved to the end of the sheath.

13

CLEAN RECTUM

Enter the rectum by forming a cone with your fingers. Thoroughly clean the rectum of manure and check the reproductive tract for abnormal conditions.

16

INSERT GUN

Gently, smoothly pass the gun through the vagina to the opening of the cervical canal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the cervical os. Funnel gun tip into cervical os.

19

PROPER GUN HANDLING

Firmly hold cervix. Hold shoulder of gun between ring and middle fingers. Place right fingers against left arm to ensure gun is not pulled back into cervix during semen deposit. Š2014 CRI

11

KEEP GUN WARM

Place loaded insemination gun in a clean plastic glove and then inside your clothing to transport to cow.

14

CLEAN VULVA

Clean manure from vulva and the underside of arm with a paper towel.

17

NAVIGATE CERVICAL FOLDS

Hold cervix ahead of gun tip. Manipulate cervical folds to allow gun to pass. Be certain the gun tip is not caught in a thin area between cervical rings or is too deep into uterus.

20

PUSH THE PLUNGER

Deposit semen into the uterine body by slowly pushing the plunger into the straw gun.

12

M A N A G E M E N T

LUBRICATE NEW GLOVE

Use a new glove for every insemination. Lubricate the glove with clean, non-toxic lubricant. Also, lubricate the anus with gloved hand.

15

INSERT V-SPREADER

Place a clean v-spreader in the vulva.

18

OPTIMAL GUN PLACEMENT

Concentrate on accurate semen placement. Place index finger at uterine end of cervix. Move gun tip forward to index finger. Raise finger before depositing semen.

21

RECORD BREEDING INFORMATION

Gently remove gun. Check for abnormal discharge and a complete semen deposit. Record when and to what sire, the animal was bred. H O R I Z O N S

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R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

TODAY’S BPS:

g Andrew Doehling, a Genex Breeding Program Specialist from St. Charles, Minn.

A REAL

CLASS ACT By: Aaron Stalsberg // Dairy Education Manager, Genex

I felt compelled to write about today’s Genex Breeding Program Specialist (BPS) because I served in the technician role for 18 years and can identify with those who are in the position today. They have a challenging, yet fulfilling, career. Through this article, I would like to provide readers with a broader perspective of Genex BPSs and recognize them for their hard work.

S

am Ewing, former outfielder for the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, stated the following: “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.”

g Sergio Franco, a Genex Breeding Program Specialist from Keyes, Calif.

This quote relates to today’s Genex BPS. While training Genex BPS staff over the past few months, I have repeatedly seen them turn up their sleeves. They are not afraid of hard work; they rise to the challenge each and every day. This is a true testament of their character and a reason to draw attention to their efforts. To illustrate the BPS position and the hard work and effort put into this career, I visited with eight Genex BPS service staff members from across the country. I believe their statements will show you why today’s Genex BPS is “a real class act.”

If interested in pursuing a career in professional A.I. service, please contact your local Genex representative or visit crinet.com/careers.

K Andrew Doehling St. Charles, Minn.

K Benjamin Giese Greenwich, N.Y.

J Daniel Preuss Colby, Wis.

G Sergio Franco Keyes, Calif.

J Michael Grinnell Mineral Point, Wis.

J Gerardo Moran Delhi, Calif.

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H O R I Z O N S

J Ricki Sleggs Groveland, N.Y. J Eric Miller Millersburg, Ohio

©2014 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E

Providing Service

The hard work and dedication put forth by Genex service staff members is most obviously displayed in their daily routine of providing complete cattle reproduction service. Whether conducting heat detection, synchronization protocol management, A.I., or data input and analysis, Genex professionals turn up their sleeves and exert effort. Demonstrating the commitment needed for an A.I. career, Gerardo Moran explains he has bred as many as 145 cows in one day on a single farm. In addition to breeding, he tail paints around 4,700 animals each day. Like Gerardo, Michael Grinnell tail paints a large number of animals – about 2,300 daily at five different dairies. He enjoys the responsibility, saying, “The best job in the cooperative is in a high-volume tail painting area.”

Keeping Current

Today’s , a BPS is required to have more knowledge and provide more services than ever before. As new and improved science and methodologies are incorporated into the A.I. industry, BPS staff must remain current and apply technology on members’ farms. Genex professional BPSs fulfill this role. As genetics and reproduction specialists, their attention is focused on more than merely A.I. technique. Genex BPS staff are proficient in applying and reading tail paint. They are knowledgeable in synchronization programs, activity meters, herd management programs, genomics, sexed semen and much more. Skills, concentration and dedication enable these professionals to fully comprehend and perform each aspect of cattle reproductive service. For instance, tail painting, a task routinely conducted by Genex service staff, is a learned skill that each individual must work hard at to become proficient. Synchronization strategies have changed reproductive programs. This practice presents large numbers of animals for insemination at once with a BPS breeding 20-30 cows or more. Understanding the various synchronization protocols enables the BPS to provide input and thoroughly understand their function in the reproductive program at each dairy. On some dairies, activity systems play an important role in detecting increased activity and thereby identifying potential estrus. Therefore, a BPS must also become well-versed in the system. The activity systems require daily monitoring of computer-generated lists of high-activity animals to determine which are in heat. In many cases, the BPS makes the final determination on which animals to inseminate.

©2014 CRI

M A N A G E M E N T

Understanding Today’s A.I. Technician

Over the years, the role of the A.I. technician has evolved and so has the arm service area, due to feasibility for the cooperative. Also along with the changing roles, technicians earned a new title – Breeding Program Specialists. Their challenges and rewards have changed too. While there will always be some challenges – whether they are large geographic areas to cover, fertility issues on the farm, adverse weather conditions, competition or another factor – it is how the individual responds that truly matters. Eric Miller acknowledges that as a BPS “things will go bad at times and you may want to give up, but you can’t. You have to train yourself to always think positive. Good technicians didn’t get to that status without going through tough times.” Daniel Preuss adds that even through challenging times it is important to “be consistent and do a good job at every farm. Treat every farm and animal as if they were your own, and you will be successful.” While facing challenges are part of the job, the BPS position can also be very rewarding. “The biggest reward,” according to Benjamin Giese, “is when a producer says you got this cow pregnant and appreciates it.” Ricki Sleggs adds, “One of the greatest rewards in my position is having the ability to meet so many wonderful people. Without being part of Genex, I never would have encountered so many hard-working and compassionate people, both coworkers and members.” Earning top-notch pregnancy and conception rates is rewarding too. Michael Grinnell felt proud when he took over the breeding program of a 150-cow herd and through the incorporation of tail painting, synchronization and A.I. was able to take the herd from its 12% pregnancy rate with natural service up to a 30% pregnancy rate. Similarly, Sergio Franco felt both rewarded and motivated by averaging a 31% pregnancy rate for the year at a dairy. As you can see, Genex BPS staff do turn up their sleeves, accept the hard work that comes with the job and rise to the challenge each and every day. Further showing their character is their appreciation for cooperative members who make their careers possible. Andrew Doehling says it best. “Not all years are the same within the A.I. industry. Some see great highs and others see bitter lows. Through it all, I would like to say thank you to the loyal members I have been fortunate to serve. We may not say it enough, but we do appreciate your business. We thank you for your continued support and faith in our cooperative, genetics and service.” And, to the Genex BPS reading this article, keep up the good work. You are making a valuable contribution to members, the cooperative and the industry. Your conduct has shown you are truly A REAL CLASS ACT!  A Author Bio: Aaron Stalsberg is a graduate of the University of WisconsinRiver Falls with a degree in agricultural education. His experience in the A.I. industry includes work as a technician, trainer and reproductive adviser. Currently, he serves as the cooperative’s Dairy Education Manager and is responsible for coordinating Genex employee training classes.

H O R I Z O N S

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R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

MAKING THE DIFFERENCE:

A.I. SUCCESS IS IN THE DETAILS By: Dr. Kim Egan // National Account Specialist, Genex

T

here are many factors that can affect the reproductive success of your herd. For example, a high incidence of mastitis, heat stress or an unbalanced ration can impact a herd's conception rate. When considering pregnancy rate success, it all boils down to two factors, heat detection and conception rates. Improving either, or both, will increase the pregnancy rate. Here are some basics that can be counted on to improve fertility.

Getting it Right

“Fertility Programs” is how Dr. Paul Fricke from the University of Wisconsin refers to the newer synchronization protocols. The original Ovsynch program was designed so cows would ovulate and be bred on the same day, and it works. Newer programs like Double Ovsynch and G6G/Ovsynch improve conception rates by increasing circulating progesterone. These programs require more time and good compliance, but can boost first service conception into the mid-40%s.

Effective Detector

Coupled with good conception rates, good heat detection gets cows bred accurately. Should you “cherry-pick” cows during the synchronization program? This question cannot be answered simply. Every farm is different. The answer relies heavily on record-keeping abilities and heat detection capability. The most basic fact of A.I. is cows (and heifers) only get pregnant if they get bred. Of course, breeding has to occur at the proper time, see Stephen Sheppard’s article on heat detection on page 12 for more details. How many eligible cows are actually bred in a 21-day cycle? This is your heat detection or service rate. The 83 herds in the Genex Dairy Performance Navigator program that comprise the top 10% by cow pregnancy rate average over 62% heat detection rates. These “Top 10%” herds also have less than 1% of cows with first breedings after 100 days in milk.

Proper Procedure

The common tie between conception and heat detection is proper insemination technique. Finding a cow in heat and the cow being optimally fertile doesn’t necessarily result in high conception rates if insemination technique is lacking. There are numerous details that can be forgotten or incorrectly timed, so breeder refreshers can be beneficial on many farms. The most successful technicians pay attention to details, are accurate in semen placement, handle cows and semen properly, and do it all efficiently. Also in this issue, Aaron Stalsberg elaborates on today’s breeding professionals.

Genetics 101

Why are some cows “problem cows?” Even within single herds where all cows eat the same TMR, experience the same comfort level and have the same milking prep, there are cows that excel and those that do not. If you haven’t done so, take a look at their genetic parent averages or their genomic results. Traits like Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) and Lifetime Net Merit (LNM) make a big difference. You can see the difference in days open across all lactations in cows with higher LNM parent averages versus those with lower averages. See the herd example in Table 1. These results are similar in every herd I have analyzed. Multiply those differences by the number of cows in your herd and the benefits of improving genetics are astounding! o Table 1. Comparison of LNM Parent Average (LNMPA) to Average Number of Days Open By Lactation

SM

2 0

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H O R I Z O N S

# Days Open

Lactation 1

Lactation 1

Lactation 2

Lactation 2

LNMPA < $250

LNMPA > $250

LNMPA < $250

LNMPA > $250

Lactation > 2 Lactation > 2 LNMPA < $250

LNMPA > $250

139

106

121

100

128

118

©2014 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

v Graph 1. A Herd's Lifetime Net Merit Level by Lactation

Lifetime Net Merit

ELNM = 601.7 — 5.37* Age in years-months 800 750 700 650 600 550 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 -50 -100 -150

R squared = 0.46 Lactation 0 Lactation 1 Lactation 2 Lactation 3

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84

Age in years-months

Developing a Master Plan

Many farms have implemented breeding strategies to more rapidly advance genetic potential in their herds. The heifer group generally has been sired by the most genetically advanced sires compared to the rest of the herd. They also generally have the best conception rates, so they can be looked to for providing more daughters for the future herd. Graph 1 shows how the heifer group has a higher LNM sire average versus the lactating cows.

Cows with poor performance and undesirable characteristics can continue to milk, but using beef sires or selling their progeny outright will eliminate those genetics from your herd. There are numerous ways to implement a breeding strategy, customized to your herd and your needs. Ask your Genex representative, if you’d like more information. Attention to details in daily work (milking prep routines, calf feeding, ration, etc.) makes a lot of the difference in the success of farms. Fertility programs, heat detection, A.I. technique and genetic advancement make the difference in breeding program success.

A.I. Success Is In The Details ...

As you read the following four pages featuring the 2013 Genex Excellence in Reproduction award winners, this statement rings true. The award winners speak specifically about the importance of synchronization program compliance, following heat detection protocols and focusing on A.I. technique. Attention to details enables these herds to achieve award-winning reproduction numbers and to fulfill their master plans, otherwise known as breeding strategies. Congratulations to all of the Excellence in Reproduction award winners and nominees. Keep up the good work! 

A Author Bio: Kim Egan earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Wisconsin. She has worked in a private veterinary clinical practice and as an independent consultant. In addition, she is involved on her family’s 435-cow dairy. Kim joined Genex in 2013 and consults with Genex members and customers in the Midwest.

©2014 CRI

H O R I Z O N S

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R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

EXCELLENCE

< 5OO COWS

IN REPRODUCTION

< 5OO COWS Award Winners

PLAT I N UM

KODESH DAIRY

Rice Lake, Wis.

SEE FARMS LLC Chilton, Wis.

G O LD

BREITENMOSERS FAMILY FARM

Merrill, Wis.

S I LV ER

Duane and Nancy Kodesh own the 300-head Kodesh Dairy in northwest Wisconsin. Assisting Duane and Nancy are their sons Justin, 26, and Trevor, 22. As Duane explains, the reproductive success they’ve experienced is the result of a team effort. The nutritionist and Genex representatives deserve credit as well as family members and employees who identify and record heats. “We’ve all clicked together to get the job done,” notes Duane. The Kodesh family has implemented an aggressive, hands-on breeding plan. Prostaglandin is given to cows at approximately 43-49 Days In Milk (DIM). Twelve days later GnRH is administered. At 61-67 DIM cows are palpated. If a corpus luteum (CL) is present and the reproductive tract is satisfactory, prostaglandin is given. Then, 48 hours later cows are inseminated and given GnRH. The resynchronization protocol includes giving GnRH at 28-34 days since last bred (dslb) and palpation at 35-41 dslb. If cows are open and have a good CL, they receive prostaglandin. If the cow does not have a CL, she gets GnRH and is re‑checked in seven days before prostaglandin is given again. The breeding program results in an outstanding 64 DIM at first service with 82% of the herd pregnant by 150 DIM. The pregnancy rate on cows is 29%. Combined with this great repro results is high quality genetics. Services sires used at Kodesh Dairy average +$862 LNM!

Over the years this 420-cow dairy owned by Hans Breitenmoser, Jr. and family has earned recognition for a commitment to energy efficiency, low somatic cell scores and outstanding reproductive performance. The latter two are related, according to a statement made by Hans in a previous interview: “Everything speaks to herd health. Quality reproduction and low somatic cell aren’t a coincidence. They are related.” Hans, herdsperson Laurie Svetlik, Athens Veterinary Service staff and their Genex team work together to achieve the top-notch reproduction results. For 2013, the dairy averaged a 30% pregnancy rate and 50% first service conception rate on cows with 78% pregnant by 150 DIM. Their synchronization program of choice was Ovsynch with cows checked at 35 days since last heat. At that time, the veterinarian recommends a resynchronization method (Resynch, CIDR, prostaglandin) or a do not breed designation. Heifers are raised and bred on the farm too. While using sexed semen on all first services and some second services (about 70% of heifers bred with sexed semen), the dairy attained a 32% pregnancy rate. The heifer breeding protocol includes Genex service staff walking and chalking the animals. Heifers in the breeding pens for two weeks that have not shown heat are given prostaglandin.

H O N O RA B LE MENTI O N 2 2

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H O R I Z O N S

VAL DALE FARMS Friendship, N.Y. ©2014 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E

5OO-2,OOO COWS

M A N A G E M E N T

EXCELLENCE

IN REPRODUCTION

5OO-2,OOO COWS Award Winners

PLAT I N UM

SCHILLING FARMS Darlington, Wis The Schilling family has proudly been a Genex member since August 2001. The management team at Schilling Farms consists of father Bill Schilling and sons, Andy and Brian. Brian Schilling is the herd manager and credits their entire herd management team as having a part in their reproductive success. “Communication between employees, our Genex representatives and veterinarian have been the key to reproductive success,” states Brian Schilling. With a herd of 600 cows, Schilling Farms has a pregnancy rate of 36% and a first service conception rate of 52%. As a dairy planning to expand over the next few years, it is important for heifers to calve in with high genetic levels in a timely manner. By incorporating the use of GenChoice™ semen in their heifer breeding program, Schillings are able to focus on expanding their herd internally. GenChoice 90™ is used on all heifers’ first service and GenChoice 75™ on the second service.

G O LD

J Left to right, Brian Schilling, Andy Schilling and Genex Area Marketing Manager Tony Hoeger

SEIDL'S MOUNTAIN VIEW DAIRY

Luxemburg, Wis.

After building a freestall barn and double-20 parallel parlor in 2003, Al Seidl began milking cows at Seidl’s Mountain View Dairy. The next year, a special needs barn was added, and the herd grew to 600 cows. In 2007, another freestall barn was erected to help house the now 1,100-cow herd. When asked what contributes to the farm’s reproductive success, herd manager Steve Paider (pictured above) answered, “Lots. It’s like a puzzle. If you remove one piece, it’s not complete.” Steve also notes the importance of consistency, “There is a protocol for everything and that protocol must be followed.” In the repro program, which includes a 12-day Presynch program, all shots are given by the same person, shots are given at the same time each week and cows are bred in the same order shots are given. Two individuals handle A.I. One breeds one week and the other the following week. In attaining a 33% pregnancy rate with 86% of cows pregnant by 150 DIM, “It’s about paying attention to the cows,” shares Steve. “It’s about taking the time, having the right people in place and paying attention to the details.”

H O N O RA B LE MENTI O N ©2014 CRI

S I LV ER

SPURLEY DAIRY FARMS

Linden, Wis.

Reproduction is a very important piece of total farm management at Spurley Dairy in Linden, Wis. So important, herd manager Brittany Spurley knew she needed to make a change in their breeding program. This change included bringing Genex sires and service to their herd. Brittany was able to take their reproduction program to the next level of success. In just 15 months, Spurley Dairy increased their pregnancy rate to 29% with 65 DIM at first service with 81% pregnant by 150 DIM.

J Brittany Spurley and Genex Service Specialist Dakota Bockenhauer

Spurley Dairy is another great example of a family owned and operated dairy. Dad, Dan Spurley, is general manager and his wife Cheryl does the accounting. Daughter Brittany is the herd manager, while son Shaun works with the crops and equipment. Brittany takes full advantages of all the options available to dairy producers today to become more profitable. Spurley Dairy uses GenChoice™ semen, genomic tests heifer calves and partakes in the Genex Breeding to Feeding™ program.

CHAPUT FAMILY FARMS North Troy, Vt. H O R I Z O N S

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R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

EXCELLENCE

> 2,OOO COWS

IN REPRODUCTION

> 2,OOO C O W S Award Winners

DISTRICT 45 DAIRY

Hancock, Minn.

DARNEN DAIRY Morris, Minn.

PLAT I N UM

G O LD At District 45 Dairy, a Riverview, LLP dairy with 6,000 milking Holsteins, the repro program is managed by Edgar Bedolla Ortega, Otoniel Garcia Pineda and Edgar Omar Paredes Cervantes (pictured l to r). This team maintains an aggressive program.

After a 40-day voluntary wait period, cows are painted and detected for heat. Prostaglandin is given at 47-53 DIM and again at 61-67 DIM with timed A.I. at 85-90 DIM. After pregnancy check, open cows receive prostaglandin and are heat detected for eight days. Cows not responding are enrolled in Ovsynch. The team's hard work is obvious: average DIM at first service is 58, 85% of the herd is pregnant by 150 DIM and the overall pregnancy rate for conventional and sexed semen inseminations is 30%. Darnen Dairy, owned by Riverview, LLP, is a 10,000 cow Jersey operation in western Minnesota. Throughout 2013, several team members contributed to the dairy’s award-winning repro success. Among them are Sergio Serrano Morales, Alejandro Gonzalez Velasquez and Lorenzo Sanchez as well as Demetrio Bautista Ortiz, Rubén Trejo Lorenzo, Christian Josyel Cabrera Vargus and Miguel Chavez Espinoza who comprise the current repro management team. The team incorporates the personal characteristics of integrity, simplicity, honesty, work ethic and humility into their daily routine and demonstrates a passion for cattle reproduction. That passion shows in the results they have achieved. At the dairy, heat detection using Reveal™ livestock markers begins following a voluntary wait period of 40 days. Cows are given two shots of prostaglandin and bred off timed A.I. After pregnancy check, all open cows receive prostaglandin and are heat detected for eight days. Cows not responding are enrolled in Ovsynch. The breeding strategy at Darnen includes use of GenChoice™ sexed semen and Limousin semen. Nearly all cows are bred with GenChoice for up to four services, totaling 71% of breedings for the year. Limousin semen is used on cows needing additional services or those otherwise designated as less profitable cows. Limousin x Jersey calves have added muscling and feed efficiency; this terminal cross adds value to the dairy from the production of consistent, repeatable results for packers. The determination of the repro management team and the protocols they strictly follow have created the dairy’s exceptional, award-winning reproduction figures: 32% pregnancy rate, 38% sexed semen conception rate, 48% conventional semen conception rate, 88% pregnant by 150 DIM and an average of 53 DIM at first service.

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H O R I Z O N S

The team has been invigorated by their success, raising their goal to a 32% pregnancy rate. They are passionate about cows, excited to be working at District 45 Dairy and appreciative of management's willingness to consider new ideas. They enjoy the opportunities/challenges repro provides and seek the chance to further improve their skills, because, as Edgar Bedolla Ortega stated, “Reproduction is an important part of the dairy. Improving reproduction can turn a bad dairy into a good dairy.”

SUNRIDGE DAIRY

S I LV ER

Nampa, Idaho

After moving from southern California to Idaho in 2002, managing partners Mike Siegersma and Adrian Kroes started SunRidge Dairy. Today, Mike, Adrian and Adrian's son Ryan place focus on repro and excel in it, as shown by their 33% pregnancy rate in cows and 38% pregnancy rate in heifers. Adrian attributes the success to the staff involved in the repro program. “Our herd manager, Pedro Lopez, has primary responsibilities for herd health and reproduction. He is receptive to different options for improvement and is always looking at new ideas and protocols. There is a good team of long-term staff working alongside him too.” The dairy’s current repro approach involves Presynch. Cows that show signs of heat following prostaglandin are cherry picked for breeding, while those that do not show heats enter Ovsynch. Cows are pregnancy checked at 35 days post breeding. Open cows are enrolled in Resynch and heat detected. Top reproduction results and high genetic merit service sires averaging +$783 LNM produce an abundant and elite crop of replacement animals.

DARLINGTON RIDGE FARMS Darlington, Wis. ©2014 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E

M A N A G E M E N T

EXCELLENCE

HEIFERS

IN REPRODUCTION

HEIFERS Award Winners

COLEMAN PONDEROSA

Coleman, Wis.

G O LD

PLAT I N UM T.JOSEPH SWYERS DAIRY Dansville, N.Y.

G Jeff Fischer, Bruce Baugnet, Wade Deheck, Chase Pagel, Kyle Lentze, JJ Pagel, Jeff Jahnke, Denise Gauthier and John Pagel

Coleman Ponderosa continues to prove they have what it takes for outstanding reproductive performance, earning recognition for the third straight year. This heifer facility which raises animals for Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, Wis., employs farm manager JJ Pagel. JJ understands the importance of assembling great people to ensure their herd maintains optimal numbers of replacement animals, “It’s a team thing, from vaccination to nutrition to breeding.” Denise Gauthier, Coleman Ponderosa’s breeding technician, is second to none and has a good eye for cattle, according to JJ. Denise makes sure to spend plenty of time with walk-throughs and heat detection. She says, “I never feel rushed here. That contributes to our success.” Based on parent averages, the top 25 percent of heifers at Coleman Ponderosa are bred using GenChoice™ semen. They enjoy a 66% first service conception rate, and choose sires based on components, conception and Udder Composite for their crossbred herd. Heifers remaining open after the third service are bred using Limousin semen for Breeding to Feeding™, a terminal program which ensures a premium for the beef cross calves.

GARDEAU CREST DAIRY Perry, N.Y.

S I LV ER

Tom and Yvonne Swyers formed Gardeau Crest Dairy and began milking cows in 1974. About nine years ago, they formed an LLC with their son Dan, who manages daily farm operations. A newly constructed methane digester and calf barn have brought welcome changes and new challenges to the operation currently milking 1,900 cows with 1,600 heifers. Bedding arrangements in the freestalls, as well as staffing changes for calf care are just two of the issues currently being adjusted. Gardeau Crest boasts an impressive 54% pregnancy rate, with an 83% service rate. Dan uses sires based on Milk and Combined Fat and Protein. He also looks to make sure they are in the 90th percentile for LNM. Dan’s future goals include improving farm efficiency and animal comfort; “I want it to be better rather than just bigger.” ©2014 CRI

J Genex Breeding Program Specialist Doug Comstock stands with June and Joe Swyers in their newly constructed heifer barn.

Since purchasing the farm 13 short years ago, T. Joseph Swyers and his wife June have grown their dairy to include 18 full-time employees, milking 1,100 cows with crops grown on over 2,700 acres. A true inspiration to young people starting out in the dairy industry, Joe credits a program offered through Cornell University Cooperative Extension that allows him to closely analyze his farm’s numbers along with those of others in the group. The group meets regularly to discuss fluctuations, concerns and best management practices. It is this close number scrutiny that gives Joe the knowledge and confidence to make improvements. In 2005, the Swyers’ began raising their own heifers, and shortly thereafter, Doug Comstock, Genex Breeding Program Specialist, became part of the team. Doug is responsible for the total reproduction package, from tail painting and breeding to record keeping and mating. Heifers are first bred at 12 months of age, and sexed semen is used for the first two services with a 56% conception rate. Joe’s attention to detail and adherence to protocols in every aspect of the farm have generated financial success allowing him to continue to grow this operation.

H O N O RA B LE MENTI O N

LAWNHURST DAIRY Stanley, N.Y. SPRING BROOK FARM, LLC Bryant, Wis. H O R I Z O N S

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DON’T GET Hot & Bothered BY LOW CONCEPTION RATES!

Choose from 22 Sires at or above +3.0 Sire Conception Rate 1HO10788 JACEY 1HO11161 AMBIENT 1HO11002 DALHART *BY 1HO10727 YOGI *BY 1HO10847 FORTUNA 1HO10844 FANROCK 1HO10420 DESIGN 1HO10660 UNIQUE 1HO10601 DYMON 1HO10446 WOLFGANG 1HO10875 ALLURE

+3.5 +3.0 +3.1 +3.0 +3.4 +3.1 +3.0 +5.8 +3.9 +3.9 +3.8

98%R 76%R 73%R 79%R 87%R 80%R 99%R 91%R 97%R 98%R 80%R

1HO10833 HUBCAB +3.0 1HO10871 BOSSY +3.7 1HO10497 SAJAC +3.3 1HO10679 ONYX +3.6 1HO11001 JAGGER-P *B/R +4.3 1HO09875 ALMOND +3.5 1HO10636 OMEGA +3.2 1HO10174 ERSKINE +3.3 1HO10654 SPEEDY *B/R +4.5 1HO02789 SASON +3.6 1HO10460 DE PRINCE-RED +3.1

80%R 79%R 98%R 95%R 71%R 99%R 98%R 98%R 86%R 99%R 97%R

USDA-CDCB/04-14

©2014 CRI


H E R D

S TO R Y

FROM VEGETABLES TO CATTLE,

AN EVOLVING SOUTH AFRICAN DAIRY FARM

J Paul Glaser (left), CRI International Retail Marketing Manager, stands with Christie Van Greunen in a pasture of aged cattle.

T

he Van Greunen brothers – Johan, Nelius, Bennie and Christie – own and manage five grazing dairies in South Africa totalling 2,000 Holsteins and 2,400 Jersey cattle. However, dairy cattle were not always the family’s main focus. The brothers’ father had started farming in 1946 on 25 hectares. At that time, he also had a few Guernsey cows. Over time the family farming operation grew to an 80% vegetable business with a 20% focus on dairy cattle. As vegetables became less profitable, emphasis on the dairy side increased. Providing a glimpse of the size their vegetable operation once was, the family was still producing 2,500 tons of broccoli during their last year of vegetable production. In 1991, with their attention now placed on dairy production, the Van Greunen brothers began purchasing nearby farms and grew to 200 cows. Since that time, they have grown to five dairies – Jonkershoek, Werda, Bossie Alleen, Immergroen and Goue Akker – and 4,400 cows.

Located near George, South Africa, a city nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains, the area provides an appropriate setting for the three grazing operations. Cows are on pasture throughout the year as nights are almost never below 0°C and days vary between 15 and 35°C from winter to summer. To support the dairies, the Van Greunens have 250 employees and farm 2,200 hectares of cropland (100 hectares are used to grow blueberries). Crop production includes a rotation of pasture, canola, pasture, potatoes, grass, clover and alfalfa. ©2014 CRI

All milk produced at the dairies goes into cheese manufacturing; therefore their genetic focus is on positive solid percentages. In the Jersey herd, genetics alternate between American and Danish Jersey semen. Christie Van Greunen feels the American Jersey genetics improve type and yield, while the Danish bulls improve solids percentages. Within the Holstein herd, Christie acknowledged from CRI South Africa they previously used the well-known 1HO07235 TOYSTORY as a mating sire and are currently using 1HO02729 EDEN in both conventional and GenChoice™ sexed semen. “This sire fits our criteria. He provides reliability, good udders and type, good production and calving ease,” notes Christie. Sexed semen is being incorporated into the Van Greunens’ dairy breeding program for the first time. The reason for GenChoice utilization, according to Christie, is to grow the herd. The sexed semen is being used exclusively on virgin heifers. This growth idea fits well with vision for the dairy. In Afrikaans, the vision states “As jy nie besig is om te groei nie, het jy begin om dood te gaan.” Translated, it means, “If you stop growing, you start dying.” In explanation of the vision, Christie believes they need to continue growing and diversifying. Without change, things become too stagnant and processes break down. With a vision for growth and more heifers on the way through the use of sexed semen, the Van Greunens next challenge is to raise all of those heifers. They envision the addition of new heifer facilities in the future.  H O R I Z O N S

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GENESIS IN THE BEGINNING …

25 YEARS LATER: CELEBRATING OUR SILVER ANNIVERSARY


S 

G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

YOU GET WHAT YOU PICK FOR!

By: Angie Coburn // AVP Dairy Genetics, Genex

A

t the end of the 90s, we found ourselves in a bit of a pickle. Years of selection for increased yield were very successful, but without realizing it, we were also selecting for poorer reproductive efficiency in our cows. Productive Life came along about the time I started my A.I. career; at last we had one tool that let us identify some bulls that indirectly improved fertility. However, culling information came in slow and you had to rely on instinct, knowledge or speculation of cow families and grandsire breeding patterns. Our sire procurement team made plenty of mating decisions meeting our members' and customers’ goals of high yield from strong udders with good longevity. During this same time period, one or two comments from producers about longer days open grew into a rumble, and we started seeking ways to interpret farm breeding records to aid in sire selection decisions. In February 2003 USDA began publishing PTAs for Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) and it was time for a gut-check at Genex. Not only did our bulls average the lowest in the industry for DPR, we were fast developing the GENESIS Cooperative Herd as a consistent source of bulls for our members and too many of our better ET donors were low for DPR. Admittedly, we got what we picked for because of our emphasis on yield. As the cliché says, if you ever find yourself in a hole, you better stop digging! Immediately, we implemented a new selection index for our dairy genetic activities with a high emphasis on DPR. With “narrow your focus” as our mantra and member profitability our mission, we set out to reverse the concerning genetic trend and make high female fertility the norm on the farm.

o Table 2. Co-op Prefix Females by Birth Year

Birth Year

Count of Females

Ave. PTA for DPR

% of Females w/ Neg. DPR

2000-02

110

-1.03

74%

2003-05

173

-0.31

53%

2006-08

260

0.28

37%

2009-11

700

0.81

20%

2012-13

943

1.00

10%

v Graph 1. Average PTA DPR for Bulls by Birth Year

1.50

Genex Average Bull DPR

1.00

Bull DPR Average for Other Major A.I. Studs

0.50 0.00 -0.50 -1.00 -1.50

1997-99 2000-02 2003-05 2006-08 2009-11

o Table 1. Emphasis of DPR within Selection Indexes over time

Year 2003 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Genex Internal Index

LNM$

10%

7% 7% 9% 9%

14% 11% 11%

TPI

SM

5% 5% 8% 8% 10% 10% 11% 11%

Over the years, we’ve constantly evaluated genetic progress for DPR and production traits to keep both moving forward, modifying our selection index as needed. At times, we felt as if we were trying to bring others along kicking and screaming, but ultimately almost all value the importance of emphasizing good fertility. Table 1 details the timeline of changing emphasis on DPR within the Genex internal sire procurement index as well as Lifetime Net Merit $ (LNM$) and TPI . SM

Now in 2014, a decade after the introduction of DPR, we can report a complete turn-around in the genetic ability of our cows to become pregnant and stay pregnant. Table 2 depicts progress made for DPR among Co-op prefix females during the last decade. Graph 1 demonstrates genetic trend for Holstein bulls and how Genex has outpaced others moving to a position of industry dominance. The rest of the industry has made gains as well in improving fertility. ©2014 CRI

I say this with caution, as it is not the time to be complacent. New traits like Cow Conception Rate (CCR), Heifer Conception Rate (HCR) and the various fertility haplotypes are available to more completely describe and select for improved fertility throughout the life of a female. I also believe fertility will not reduce in relative importance in the daily aspects of farm profitability. To use another cliché, the past has a way of repeating itself. Despite many years of promoting balanced cows, we have spent much of the last decade focused on udder improvement in the Holstein breed. Rarely do you see two year olds with terrible udders, attributed mostly to focused selection for improved udder depth and a strong fore udder attachment. In general, producers have desired to improve overall cow conformation and also placed emphasis on PTA Type when choosing bulls for their herd. Not unlike the milk/fertility relationship, selection for PTAT and improved udder depth forces genetic trend for taller cows, and we once again got what we picked for. Rumblings from those that say “my cows are getting too big” now exceed a dull roar. Genetic trend is alarming with the upcoming base change scheduled for December 2014 indicating +1.5 standard deviations gained in stature in the last 10 years, and this trend is getting faster in pace. This translates into greater feed requirements, greater stall space needs, greater risk of injury, reduced mobility and reduced profitability. Our experience with DPR demonstrates the achievable. We all have more work to do.  H O R I Z O N S

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G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

STRATEGIC PLANNING AT THE HERD LEVEL T

he GENESIS Cooperative Herd includes more than 45,000 milking and breeding age females housed at five production sites and 14 cooperator herds. The owners and staff of those cooperator herds contribute their expertise and time to raising calves, conducting embryo transfer and putting the performance of GENESIS females to the test.

Hyde Park Holsteins Zumbro Falls, Minn.

At the same time, these producers are focused on developing breeding strategies to better their herds. In this article, Kerwin Siewert of Hyde Park Holsteins and Paul Schmidt of Schmidt’s Ponderosa share their breeding strategies and note how GENESIS plays a part in it.

Schmidt’s Ponderosa Bonduel, Wis.

Kerwin and Sandra Siewert along with their son Kevin and his wife Kay Siewert are the proud owners of Hyde Park Holsteins, a 550-cow registered Holstein dairy in southeastern Minnesota. Back in 1995, the dairy housed 60 cows. An expansion grew that number to 200. Several additional expansions took place in the following years bringing the farm to where it is today. In 2003 another 100 stalls were added, and in 2011 another 240 stalls were added. For Kerwin, cattle genetics have always been an interest. That interest along with good management and excellent cow comfort has contributed to the dairy’s outstanding production figures. The dairy official DHIA rolling herd average stands at 34,235 pounds of milk, 1341 fat and 1080 protein. At Schmidt’s Ponderosa, a family-owned dairy, the goal is to maximize cow care in order to have comfortable cows that produce more quality milk. While reaching that goal, the dairy has expanded and progressed.

When asked what makes the dairy successful, Kerwin’s answer was the great crew. The dairy employs 12 individuals. The core base of employees has been with the dairy for many years, and they are in tune with the dairy’s philosophy of good genetics, attaining quality production and excellent cow care. The employees’ good cow sense and pride in the operation are important aspects too. 3 0

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H O R I Z O N S

The first freestall barn, a double-12 parlor and a 50-cow special-needs barn were built in 1998. At that time, the dairy housed 500 cows. In 1999, the special needs barn was expanded, and the herd grew to 750 cows. In 2008, another freestall barn was constructed. Two years later that barn was expanded doubling in size, and the total number of cows increased to 1,100. In 2011, the parlor was expanded to a double-18 to more efficiently milk the herd. A liquid waste storage lagoon was added along with a manure composter. Today, the dairy milks 1,200 Holsteins with an official DHIA rolling herd average of 29,800 pounds of milk. The dairy is operated by 12 Schmidt family members and 16 employees. They also utilize the expertise of an advisory team consisting of their financial representative, crop consultant, veterinarian, nutritionist, genetics specialists and cow health professional.

©2014 CRI


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

Describe Your Genetic Focus.

LNM sires. We sold our low-end calves to reduce raising costs. This enabled us to target our breeding program to those heifers that provided the largest return.

When considering mating sires, I look at production, specifically Protein and Milk. Currently, we utilize sires that are greater than 100 pounds for combined Fat and Protein and over 1,000 pounds of Milk. Conformation is also important. I look first at udders and then feet and legs. I also consider stature so we don’t get the real tall cows.

The strategy we use today is similar in its goal, though differs slightly in method. We continue to genomic test all heifer calves. Those with poor genomic results, below +$250 LNM, are sold as calves. Other heifers in the bottom quartile of genetic merit according to the AgSource Genetic Selection Guide are used as embryo recipients. (In the recent past some of these lower genetic merit heifers were bred to beef semen.) Most of the remaining heifers, those of higher genetic merit, are bred using sexed semen with the goal of more rapidly increasing the overall genetic level of the herd. Others are flushed and mated for GENESIS as recommended by the cooperative’s dairy genetics staff.

Kerwin: Our family started using A.I. in the 1950s and used our last herd bull back in about 1972.

Paul: I work with Genex National Account Specialist Kim Egan to set various criteria levels on the different traits. We basically use Lifetime Net Merit as our main focus and modify it slightly, a little less emphasis on Productive Life and more on Daughter Pregnancy Rate.

Describe your Breeding Strategy.

Kerwin: Back when we were expanding the farm, we brought in some cattle. In looking at those animals, I thought we needed to increase the genetic level. Therefore, back in 2002 our breeding strategy involved purchasing embryos from Genex to improve herd genetics overall. It was that relationship and the incorporation of those genetics that led to us to become a GENESIS Cooperator Herd.

The Genetic Selection Guide is also used within the breeding strategy for the milking herd. Lower genetic merit cows are bred with beef semen. All others are bred with conventional semen meeting our genetic criteria.

Currently all females are genomic tested at weaning. As part of GENESIS, if Genex Dairy Procurement Specialist Morgan Kliebenstein is interested in a female based on the genomic results, she recommends flushing and the mating. Those embryos are placed in lower genetic merit heifers – anything under $500 Lifetime Net Merit (LNM). While also considering our traits of genetic focus, the herd is pedigree mated through the Genex MAP™ program (Mating Appraisal for Profit). Females with genomic results are mated through G-MAP . G-MAP determines the best mating based on the animal’s genomic PTAs as well as her pedigree. MAP and G-MAP mating recommendations are provided on the same reports; those animals mated through G-MAP are simply designated with G near their name. Then, Herdsman Eric Hanson breeds the herd based off the MAP recommendations. SM

Paul: A couple years ago, we began genomic testing all of our newborn heifers so we would know which animals to raise and which to sell. We kept the top animals and bred them to high

Describe Your Breeding Program.

Kerwin: Eric is responsible for cow management. The breeding program involves two Lutalyse® shots and breeding those showing heat off the second shot. Open cows cycling at vet check are enrolled in Ovsynch. For the past four or five years, we have utilized the DeLaval activity meter system for heat detection. Paul: For heat detection, Genex staff tail paint the milking herd. We also utilize Ovsynch and Double Ovsynch synch protocols. The day-to-day mating decisions are made based on the MAP and G-MAP report, which suggests the best mating according to our chosen genetic criteria while also avoiding inbreeding. 

GENESIS COOPERATOR HERDS s Aardema Dairies, Jerome, Idaho s Brandvale Dairy Farm, Ellsworth, Wis. s Brown-Star Farms, Gillett, Wis. s Double A Dairy, Jerome, Idaho s Dryhouse Farm, Belleville, Pa. s Dykstra Dairy, Maurice, Iowa s Fairmont Farm Inc., East Montpelier, Vt.

This is the second in a series of stories on the GENESIS cooperator herds. Follow the GENESIS 25-year celebration and cooperator herd features throughout the year.

©2014 CRI

s Harmony-Ho Holsteins, Stratford, Wis. s Heidi Farms Inc., Bainsville, Ontario, Can. s Hyde-Park Holsteins, Zumbro Falls, Minn. s River-Bridge Holsteins, Brillion, Wis. s Schmidt’s Ponderosa, Bonduel, Wis. s Spring Prairie Dairy, Hawley, Minn. s United Pride Dairy, LLC, Phillips, Wis.

GENESIS  H O R I Z O N S

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NAVIGATING

PROFIT

PATHWAYS • GenChoice ™ • Fertility • Breeding to Feeding

SM

• Genetics • People

MGD of SCORCH: Wilsonview Impulse Shauna, EX-94%; Dam of COLTON: Sandcreeks Tbone Brownie, VG-84%; Maternal Sister to COBALT and CHUCK: Shan-Mar Legal Charisma, VG-84%

NEW!

NEW!

1JE00860 Wilsonview Marvel SCORCH-ET JH1C

1JE00862 Faria Brothers BADGER JH1F

✔ Elite JPI™ at +239, +3.38 JUI™ ✔ +1544 Milk with positive Component percents ✔ Outstanding +$632 Cheese Merit (CM)

✔ Impressive +$627 CM, +228 JPI ✔ Elite health traits: +4.7 PL, +0.6 DPR ✔ +3.66 JUI and available in GenChoice

Marvel x Dale x Impuls

Perform x Apparition x Top Flight

NEW!

1JE00792 Sunset Canyon MACHETE-ET JH1F

1JE00861 Sandcreeks Dividend COLTON-ET JH1F

✔ Breed-leading +$691 CM, +243 JPI ✔ +132 pounds Combined Fat and Protein (CFP) ✔ Available in GenChoice™

✔ Over +1500 pounds of Milk ✔ Standout +5.21 JUI, +2.4 PTA Type ✔ Exceptional +218 JPI

Vibrant x Impuls x Lemvig

NEW!

Dividend x Tbone x Jacinto

NEW!

1JE00865 Shan-Mar Vegas COBALT JH1F

1JE00859 Faria Brothers GUS Fring JH1F

✔ +$619 CM, +214 JPI, +3.44 JUI ✔ Over +1000 Milk with positive percentages ✔ Available in GenChoice

✔ Outstanding +231 JPI ✔ Leader in JUI at +5.40, +2.1 PTAT ✔ Exciting early Marvel son

Vegas x Legacy x Oregon

Marvel x Renegade x Impuls

WE’VE WITNESSED THE PROFITABILITY OF THE JERSEY COW. WE ARE EXCITED TO BE A PART OF THE JERSEY EVOLUTION. To view the Genex Jersey lineup, scan the QR code or visit bit.ly/WLVL6R. USDA-CDCB/04-14, IB-M/USA/04-14, AJCA/04-14

Genex Coo @GenexJerseys

©2014 CRI

B-06988-14

Product of the U.S.A.

Profile for GENEX

April 2014 Dairy HORIZONS  

April 2014 Dairy HORIZONS

April 2014 Dairy HORIZONS  

April 2014 Dairy HORIZONS