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APRIL 2015 APRIL PROOF REPORT

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AWARD-WINNING REPRO

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

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INSIGHT INTO REPRO SUCCESS

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International


The Graduating Class 8 Sires over +800 ICC$

Offering Profitability & Efficiency for the Commercial Producer

1HO11343 PESO Jacey x Robust

+891

1HO11373 SANGRIA Supersire x Bookem

+878

1HO10802 YONEX Robust x Boliver

+839

1HO11397 TAMRON Tango x Freddie

+836

1HO11371 CARLINO Maurice x Robust

+824

1HO11344 YARDAGE Barometer x Robust

+815

1HO11374 YUKIO Predestine x Boulder

+813

1HO12094 TARRAGON Ransom x Lewis

+811

Their Resume: s More Milk s More Component Yield s Enhanced Fertility s Reduced Stature s Better Body Condition s Greater Herd Health s More Mastitis Resistance

A profit-indicating measure to rank Holstein sires that puts greater emphasis on longevity, health, and optimal body size and condition without sacrificing yield and udder traits.

Photo by Sarah Damrow, Agri-Graphics. Genex/04-15

Š2015 CRI


TA B L E

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C O N T E N T S

HORIZONS April 2015 Vol. 21/No. 1

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

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

k On the Cover: CANADA – Genex Cooperative, Inc. 291 Woodlawn Rd W Unit 4C, Guelph, Ontario N1H 7L6 genexcanada@crinet.com 888.354.4622 Publication Number 40022882

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dakota Bockenhauer, Genex Reproductive Technician, paints Reveal™ livestock markers on heifers for heat detection at Kliebenstein Farms. Kliebenstein Farms is a platinum winner of the Genex Excellence in Reproduction Awards (see page 18).

Paul Greene, President 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

Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, Wis., 715.289.3860

Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, Ariz., 520.836.2168

CONTENTS 8

In the News 4 | My Report to the Membership 7 | Romuald Retires; New Board Members 8 | SUPER Surpasses Million Unit Mark 12 | New Arrivals in The Jersey Generation 30 | AgSource Launches KetoMonitor™

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Ted Foster Middlebury, Vt., 802.388.6515

Terry Frost Roundup, Mont., 406.323.3415

Harold House Nokesville, Va., 571.722.3356

Kay Olson-Martz Friendship, Wis., 608.564.7359

Bobby Robertson Tahlequah, Okla., 918.822.0020

Alfred Wanner, Jr. Narvon, Pa., 717.768.8118

Bill Zimmerman Foley, Minn., 320.355.2191

Genetically Speaking 10 | Revolutionizing Genetic Selection for a Better Future

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Reproductive Management 16 | People, Protocols & Teamwork 18 | Excellence in Reproduction Award Winners 22 | Effective Team Meetings

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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.

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REPRINTS

Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without Cooperative Resources International’s permission.

Herd Management 9 | Genesis Colostrum: A Smarter Way to Start 14 | SCR: Heat Detection and So Much More

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HORIZONS STAFF

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

Grassroots 6 | Committed to this Cooperative

for Reproductive Improvement E IZ

G 24 | The Power of Benchmarking: TE

Dairy PerformanceRANavigator SM ST

Herd Story 28 | Sword Fighting, CRI Genetics & Italian Cheese

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Facebook.com/GenexCRI MISSION: CRI is the global leader delivering excellence, innovation and value to members and customers as a strong cooperative.

B EN

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Genex is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers.

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Twitter.com/GenexandCRI Twitter.com/GenexJerseys

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©2015 CRI

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GenexCooperativeInc

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

My Report to the Membership F R O M T H E J A N U A R Y 20 15 A N N U A L M E E T I N G By: Keith Heikes // Chief Operating Officer, Genex

I

t is humbling for me to think of the A.I. industry pioneers who have led this organization. Ken Wallin, Dave Yoder, Charlie Krumm, Max Drake, Harry Roth, Jim Mellinger, Bryce Weiker, Bruce Bean, Arnold Baham and Tom Lyon certainly established a strong foundation for this cooperative with the vision and leadership they provided. It is my pleasure to recognize the other cooperative leader missing from my previous list, Doug Wilson (pictured at right).

Many changes took place under Doug’s leadership. Doug became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of 21st Century Genetics when CRI was formed in 1993. He became COO of Genex with the merger of 21st Century Genetics, Noba, and the old Genex or Federated Genetics. When CRI was formed, revenue for 21st Century Genetics was $23 million. When Doug became the CRI CEO, along with maintaining the Genex COO position, revenue had increased to $79 million. Today, Genex revenue in the year just completed reached $142 million. That growth did not just happen. It was the combination of an outstanding workforce, good products priced right, and members and customers who want to do business with Genex. It also took someone with vision and foresight to get us from there to here. Doug, thank you for everything you have done for this organization and all you continue to do as CRI CEO.

A Challenging, Yet Rewarding Year

Chief Financial Officer Larry Romuald shared that our 2014 financial results were not at the level we would desire. We acknowledge this and have spent considerable time and effort making operational adjustments to attain a higher level of profitability. We made some decisions during the year that improved our cash position and balance sheet, while having a negative effect on our operating statement. At the same time, it was a memorable year for Genex as a number of milestone achievements occurred.

Genex and our predecessor organizations have always taken pride in being a leader in introducing new technology, whether it was through a new way to thaw semen, a novel genetic evaluation, or a calculator to help determine a more profitable management method. In the past year, we have once again rolled out new products that our members have asked for and we have been able to deliver. In August, Genex launched the Ideal Commercial Cow index (ICC$). ICC$ breaks new ground in sire ranking by addressing some of the troubling trends regarding size and body condition, while at the same time improving health traits and production. This proprietary index also uses genetic evaluations not calculated in the U.S. as well as Genex internal fertility information. ICC$ did not come about by chance, but rather in response to requests from members to provide a more appropriate way to rank sires that fit their management conditions. 4

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PREGCHEAdvCK antage ™

The Genex Fertility

Just last month Genex continued its fertility leadership by announcing the introduction of beef PregCheck™. This is an industry first and again a result of field requests to have more information on our sires, thus, allowing members to make better decisions on which bulls to use.

This past year two bulls with huge impacts on the cooperative died. 1AN01044 FINAL ANSWER and 1HO07235 TOYSTORY were legends. Genex acquired FINAL ANSWER in 2002. He went on to produce more than 500,000 units of semen and become the highest selling beef sire in the history of not only Genex, but the entire A.I. industry.

FINAL ANSWER

©2015 CRI


I N Last November, TOYSTORY died. The impact this bull had on Genex is hard to measure, but it has been absolutely significant. On January 14, The Wall Street Journal published a front page article about him which was picked up by newspapers and television around the world. TOYSTORY set a record for semen production that we doubt will ever be matched. He produced almost 2.5 million units of semen during his career.

T H E

N E W S

believe the same trends continued during the fourth quarter as our reports to NAAB reflect that.) Genex domestic dairy units showed a 7% growth, while the rest of the industry had no gain. Our market share in domestic dairy is the highest it has been in the past 10 years. Genex domestic beef growth has been outstanding with a 30% gain compared to others in the industry gaining 17%. Genex is now at a record high level for domestic beef market share. The International Marketing Division once again had a record year and outperformed the industry with dairy growth at 24% compared to all others at 11%. Our international beef growth through the first nine months was 16% compared to 19% for the rest of the industry, but I believe we will be at the same level as the rest of the industry when final numbers are in.

TOYSTORY

Both FINAL ANSWER and TOYSTORY were record-setting bulls in their respective breeds. We commend the Production Division for achieving never before reached semen production levels.

Industry Trends, Genex Role

It is important to understand how industry trends do or will affect the cooperative. As a member of the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB), we report our unit sales for beef and dairy in both the domestic and international markets. We then receive summary reports for the entire industry. This information is used for evaluating market share as well as industry trends. When looking at NAAB numbers, U.S. dairy semen sales figures appear stagnant. From 2001 through 2008, sales routinely increased about 5% per year. Since then, only one year exceeded 5% growth; that was 2010, which I consider a catch-up year from 2009. In fact, since 2012 the industry has grown no more than 2%. U.S. beef semen sales show a different story with wide swings in sales volumes over the years, but a long-term trend of growth. During 2014 the market has shown more than 20% growth in the first nine months of the year. There is no doubt this is influenced some by more beef semen going into dairy cows, but it is clear the beef market is expanding and looks to continue that trend in years to come. The international market shows some amazing numbers. International growth in dairy continues and, while there can be big swings in numbers, the trend is clearly toward further increases. For the first nine months of 2014, the industry exported 46% of the total dairy units sold. International beef shows even wider variation, but clearly a tremendous growth pattern exists, particularly in the past nine years. Beef semen exports now account for 56% of the industry’s beef unit sales. The Genex report card for 2014 will show we have been able to out-perform the industry and, in fact, had record-breaking sales for the year in both the U.S. and international markets. (The comparisons are for the first nine months of 2014. We have not yet received the year-end industry summary, but we ©2015 CRI

The Jersey breed continues to show amazing growth numbers. From about 1.25 million units and 5.6% of total dairy units in 2000 to over 4 million units and 10% of dairy units, industrywide growth is incredible. Genex has experienced the same thing. As part of our five-year plan for Jersey growth, we added sire numbers and started our Jersey GENESIS Cooperative Herd along with hiring a Jersey Marketing Advisor. This additional focus has paid off; our growth in Jersey sales was 11% in 2012, 36% in 2013 and 35% in 2014.

THE JERSEY

GENERATION Innovation and Vision

As we move into the future, we must continue to innovate. One of the core values for the cooperative is innovation. I mentioned ICC$ and PregCheck for beef sires as recent innovations. I could add PregCheck+™ for GenChoice™ sexed semen, Breeding to Feeding™ and a long list of other innovations from this cooperative. MOFA Global is also working on new developments. Delivering new technology and innovative solutions to our members will continue to be an important guidepost for this organization. I want to close by thanking Genex delegates for leadership in this organization. Cooperatives work because members are involved and care about the organization. Genex delegates have demonstrated they will provide their advice and expertise, and make a difference.  A Author Bio: Keith Heikes has devoted 34 years to the bovine A.I. industry. He is a graduate of Kansas State University. He previously served as General Manager for Genex predecessor Noba, Inc. and CRI Vice President of International Programs before transitioning to senior management for Genex. He was named Genex COO in June 2014.

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G R A S S R O O T S

Committed to this Cooperative F R O M T H E J A N U A R Y 20 15 A N N U A L M E E T I N G By: Paul Greene // President, Genex

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014 was a year of many changes for the cooperative. Along with it came a high level of activity for both your board and management. The Genex board of directors faced a number of difficult decisions during the course of the year, and I believe through it we held true to our strategic plan implementing changes that have and will positively affect the long-term position of the cooperative.

Membership Changes

The qualification criteria for Genex membership changed in 2014, as previously recommended by the delegates and approved by your board. The minimum requirement is now $500 of business per year. This resulted in a membership count of 11,902. We followed a three-year transition process informing the membership of this change. Genex membership is also shifting as we gain business in the western and southwestern U.S. The net effect is a continuing change in the geography which makes up our director and delegate areas of representation. Last July the redistricting committee evaluated and determined new membership regions. The results were reported to the Genex board in July and then at fall delegate meetings. The December delegate elections were based on the new regions and districts.

Knowledge is Power

Your cooperative continues to grow and expand its presence. Doing so requires a professional staff and dedicated board. Board education is a continuing priority. Your Genex board members completed 13 half days or 28 classes of continuing education during 2014. This helps us to understand the growing complexities of the business and allows for better board decisions. A strong cooperative is based on an informed and active board and engaged delegates. Therefore, to give more members opportunity to participate in governance, both delegates and alternates were invited to the annual meeting. The extra cost was outweighed by the benefits. g Genex Delegate John Spitzer of Fair Play, South Carolina, (second from right) participated in a collaborative beef conference in Brazil as part of CRI’s USDA emerging markets program grant.

Also building informed delegates and board members is participation in the cooperative’s trade and development projects. Recently delegates Perry Pratt, John Spitzer and Matthew Steiner participated in such projects. Last fall, Genex Director Bobby Robertson and AgSource Director Annette Trescher represented us at two events in Africa as part of the Cooperative 6

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Development Program. These activities help enhance the cooperative’s business and image overseas and allow delegates and directors to better understand how Genex and CRI operate.

Positioning for the Future

Board members have put considerable time and thought into developing the cooperative’s strategic plan. We utilize our plan extensively in evaluating management and providing a strong guideline when difficult decisions need to be made.

g CRI acquired MOFA Global as a third subsidiary in February 2014.

The acquisition of MOFA Global was clearly a milestone step for CRI and Genex, but it also caused some financial stress. The board instructed management to closely evaluate all business operations and make changes to those not providing a high enough return. This resulted in several business units being closed. Custom semen collection operations in Fort Payne, Alabama, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were sold and are now operating under new ownership. Custom had not grown like expected, and we were not able to have enough volume to operate the facilities efficiently. We also closed the Great Lakes Division of Farm Systems and merged its western Wisconsin operations with the Minnesota operations. Again, we were not able to attain a high enough return to continue operations as they were. Finally, our jointly held (with AgSource) business in Jerome, Idaho, was sold. These were not easy decisions but, in the end, were areas that needed to be addressed due to the lack of margins generated. Your board of directors continues to work hard on your behalf. The board’s largest task during 2014 was interviewing and selecting our new Chief Operating Officer (COO). With the MOFA Global acquisition and subsequent decision to split the CRI CEO and Genex COO responsibilities, this presented a task we had not faced for over two decades. We are pleased with our selection of Keith Heikes as COO. In today’s business world, it is not unusual for cooperatives to be disconnected from their membership. In an organization that has nationwide membership remaining connected is not easy, but your board and management are committed to this being a cooperative organization.  A Author Bio: Paul Greene is a dairy producer from Berlin, New York. He operates Mapledale Farm, a 400-cow dairy, with his wife Gerri and their son John. Paul was first elected to the board of Genex predecessor Eastern A.I. in 1995 and has served on the Genex board since the merger, currently holding the position of President.

©2015 CRI


I N

ROMUALD RETIRES AFTER 42 YEARS IN COOPERATIVE FINANCE

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arry Romuald,  CRI Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance, retired January 30 after dedicating his entire career to cooperative business. “Larry has spent 30 years working for you and has provided the financial leadership for over 20 mergers, acquisitions and global projects,” stated Doug Wilson, CRI CEO, as he announced Larry's retirement to cooperative members at the CRI annual meeting. “Larry has brought cuttingedge concepts to CRI. Whether it was his leadership in equity, policy, employee benefits, tax planning or basic financial theory, Larry helped to keep CRI as a pioneer in cooperative circles.” In addition to his executive role at CRI, Larry has been active in several professional organizations. He held leadership positions in the Institute of Management Accountants and the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives. Larry is also an outside director for AgStar Financial Services, a Farm Credit Association, where he has been named the financial expert. He is chairman of the Farm Credit Foundation and its plan sponsor committee. Prior to joining CRI, he spent 12 years with Morning Glory Dairy cooperative. In his final report to the membership at the cooperative’s recent annual meeting, Larry concluded about his career in agricultural cooperatives, “The best people to work for and with are those involved in the production of food and fiber, the American farmer.” 

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ZIMMERMAN, FROST ELECTED TO GENEX BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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t the Genex annual meeting, Bill Zimmerman of Foley, Minnesota, and Terry Frost of Roundup, Montana, were elected to the Genex board of directors.

“We welcome Bill and Terry to the Genex board,” states Paul Greene, Genex President. “Members of this 13-person board are elected to represent the various geographical areas served by the cooperative. They also represent the variety of dairy and beef operations owned by our members. The diversity among board members allows for balanced input and development of a balanced strategic business plan.” Bill and his wife, Penny, operate One Penny Ranch raising and marketing Charolais, Simmental, Angus, SimAngus™ and Lim-Flex® cattle. In partnership with their sons, they also background calves and feed out cattle at custom feedlots. In their operation, the Zimmermans utilize Genex genetics, chute-side artificial insemination service and custom semen collection services. They also market cattle through Central Livestock Association, a company of Genex. Bill holds master’s degrees in animal breeding and genetics and business administration. Terry and his wife, LaVonne, own Frosty Creek Angus in Roundup, Montana, where they raise 200-head of registered Angus cattle. They incorporate both Genex genetics and chute-side artificial insemination service into their ranch’s breeding program. Terry has experience in cooperative leadership serving on his local electric cooperative board. He is also a member of local and state Angus and stockgrowers associations. Also re-elected to three-year terms on the board were Jon Wayne Danielson, a dairy producer from Cadott, Wisconsin; Harold House, a dairy producer from Nokesville, Virginia; Bobby Robertson, a beef producer from Tahlequah, Oklahoma; and Ronald Totten, a dairy producer from Stafford, New York. Other members of the 2015 board of directors include: Patrick Dugan, Casa Grande, Arizona; Ted Foster, Middlebury, Vermont; Paul Greene, Berlin, New York; Duane Nelson, Winthrop, Minnesota; Kay Olson-Martz, Friendship, Wisconsin; John Ruedinger, Van Dyne, Wisconsin; and Alfred Wanner, Jr., Narvon, Pennsylvania. 

MELLINGER TO LEAD CRI FINANCE DIVISION

D

ave Mellinger has been named the CRI Senior Vice President of Finance. Dave has 34 years of service to the cooperative and 38 total years in financial accounting. At CRI, Dave began his career as Finance Director at predecessor Atlantic Breeders. In 1996, he became Vice President of Finance for the original Genex (which was a result of merging Atlantic Breeders, Eastern A.I. and LABC). He went on to become the CRI Financial Analyst and most recently served as the Vice President of Finance for Genex. 

B U Y O N L I N E , A N Y T I M E . G E N E X P R O F I T S H O P.

SHOP NOW! profitshop.crinet.com ©2015 CRI

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

Super

SURPASSES MILLION UNIT MARK S

ince his April 2009 debut in the Genex lineup, 1HO08778 Charlesdale SUPERstition-ET has been a millionaire in the making – that is, a semen production millionaire. Now, SUPER has produced more than one million units and earned the coveted millionaire distinction.

“SUPER emerged with a genomic proof featuring lots of milk from strong healthy udders, low Somatic Cell Score, high Productive Life and excellent daughter fertility,” states Keith Heikes, Genex Chief Operating Officer. “Throughout his career, he has consistently delivered these characteristics to his offspring making him a desirable mating option for herds around the globe.”

J Co-op Super 217-ET, GP-83

That genetic profile, which contributed to SUPER’s semen demand and subsequent production achievement, was what Genex genetics staff sought in the mating at Shawn Charles’ herd in Cochranton, Pennsylvania. “SUPER, now 10 years old, resulted when we were beginning to aggressively pursue fitness traits,” reflects Angie Coburn, Genex Associate Vice President of Dairy Genetics. “We thought SUPER’s dam, the O Man daughter Charlesdale Sweet Star, VG-85, VG-MS, DOM, and Boliver, the new fitness trait specialist of the time, would be an excellent match.” SUPER’s success can also be attributed to his above average semen fertility rankings. “Producing one million units of semen is quite an accomplishment,” comments Heikes. “It requires a lot of effort from many dedicated and talented employees combined with a prolific bull that has market demand. In celebrating SUPER’s success, we also thank the cooperative’s production employees in Tiffin, Ohio, and Ithaca, New York, for their efforts.”

J Martin Super 1024

With his production achievement, SUPER joins the ranks of other well-known Genex sires in the millionaire’s club: 1HO07235 TOYSTORY, 1HO05045 LYNCH and 1HO007380 REX. SUPER is available in both conventional semen and GenChoice™ sexed semen. 

J Amighetti Super Albione-ET 8

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J SUPER Daughters at Harmony-Ho Holsteins, a GENESIS Cooperator Herd ©2015 CRI


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M A N A G E M E N T

A SMARTER WAY TO START By: Katie Wolf // Product Program Manager, CRI

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alves are the future of an operation, so ensuring they get off to a good start is imperative. That start – on their journey from birth to freshening – begins with colostrum.

To ensure good calf health and growth, colostrum must be strong, clean and fast. Colostrum needs to be strong enough, and by that we mean it needs sufficient IgG concentration to provide enough protection to the newborn calf – 50g of IgG per liter or approximately 21% BRIX. If you’re using a colostrum replacer, be sure to purchase a product that contains at least 100g of IgG or globulin protein. Colostrum also needs to be clean enough to avoid infecting the calf with bacteria that could potentially cause disease such as Salmonella, Mycoplasma or Johne’s disease. Lastly, it is important for colostrum to be fed quickly, as the calf’s ability to absorb the large globulin proteins decreases significantly within the first 6 to 12 hours of life. At Genex, we understand the importance of colostrum quality and convenience. That’s why we are offering Nurture colostrum products: Genesis 50 Colostrum Supplement, Genesis 150 Colostrum Replacer, and Genesis Multi Colostrum Replacer & Supplement. Genesis 50 Colostrum Supplement can help dairy producers manage the colostrum program for their newborn calves. We like to think of this feeding as an insurance policy – use it to protect the investment you’ve already made in that calf before it was even born. The supplement dose provides 50g of globulin protein and should be fed as a separate feeding, preferably after maternal colostrum has been fed. Supplementing maternal colostrum with Genesis 50 helps ensure the calf receives enough globulin protein and other nutrients essential to calf nutrition and growth. Genesis 150 Colostrum Replacer can be fed instead of maternal colostrum, when colostrum is unavailable or is of questionable quality. The replacement dose provides 150g of

globulin protein and should be fed as the calf’s first feeding within two hours of birth. Genesis 150 provides everything the newborn calf needs in just one feeding, so the second feeding can be colostrum, milk or milk replacer. Genesis Multi Colostrum Replacer & Supplement is a highly concentrated colostrum product that can be used as either a supplement to or a replacer of maternal colostrum. It is available in a 13.2lb pail, and the cup needed to measure out doses for each application is already inside. To use as a colostrum replacer, just mix three scoops of Genesis Multi with 1.5 liters of warm water (110-120° F). To use as a supplement, simply mix one scoop of Genesis Multi with .5 liters of warm water. The pail contains enough product to prepare 12 replacement feedings or 36 supplement feedings. While the Genesis Multi Colostrum Replacer & Supplement comes in a pail, the Genesis 50 and 150 are offered in a Perfect Udder ® package – a clean, safe and easy method of feeding. It is a disposable package that helps minimize potential points of contamination and disease transfer between calves. The package has a premeasured dose of colostrum replacer or supplement. All you have to do is add water to the fill line, shake for 30 seconds, then screw on either the tube or the nipple to feed the calf. After you’re done feeding the calf, you can throw everything away. It’s that easy! No more whisks, blenders or dirty dishes. Genesis 50, Genesis 150 and Genesis Multi are your hassle-free, stress-free colostrum sources. Contact your Genex representative for more information. 

A Author Bio: Katie Wolf is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She joined Genex and CRI in 2002 and manages the cooperative's array of herd management, nutrition additions and reproductive products.

Genesis Colostrum Replacer and Supplement because getting your calves off to a healthy start matters.

Genesis 50 and 150 Offered in Perfect Udder® Package Made with producers in mind.

Perfect Udder is a registered trademark of Dairy Tech, Inc. Genesis is a trademark of Provimi North America, Inc. ©2015 CRI

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Revolutionizing Genetic Selection

for a Better Future THROUGHOUT HISTORY THE DAIRY INDUSTRY

average milk per cow

HAS DONE A REMARKABLE JOB OF USING

Genetic SELECTion

*per year

Then 1977

11,207 lbs.

NOW 22,258 LBS 2014

TO

improve productivity

Over time the world changes, and like other industries

dairy has

evolved

Nearly Double! Source: USDA

FARM EVOLUTION THEN & NOW Then 1992

131,509 farms AVG. Herd SIZE = 74

NOW 45,344 farms

significantly Throughout the past 30 years the

needs

of consumers and

dairy farmers alike have

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drastically evolved

2014

AVG. Herd SIZE = 204

MORE Farms SMALLER HERD SIZEs

LARGER HERD SIZES FEWER FARMS Source: USDA

To maximize efficient production of safe and affordable animal protein progressive dairy farmers NEED their dairy herds to excel in:

feed efficiency animal health fertility all while continuing to

INCREASE PRODUCTION LEVELS Š2015 CRI


TO BETTER MEET PRODUCER NEEDS

has developed a progressive

INDUSTRY PIONEER,

with modern operations in mind

GENEX, WITH ITS REPUTATION AS AN

genetic selection tool

ICC$ includes GLOBAL data sources to rank ALL industry bulls on their relative ability to sire the Holstein herd modern producers require

ICC$ Sub-IndexeS

Farmers can trust

Production Efficiency (PREF$)

Selects for higher yields with lowered feed costs

Health (HLTH$)

Designed for health and longevity

Fertility and Fitness (FYFT$)

Meets producers’ critical need for repro efficiency

Milking Ability (MABL$)

ICC$ rankings to help select

elite sires to use in their operations. Ask your Genex representative for more information on ICC$. View the Genex lineup at bit.ly/GenexHolsteins.

Strives for trouble-free cows to milk

Calving Ability (CABL$)

Focuses on live calves born without difficulty

Watch the ICC video: bit.ly/Genex-ICC

What makes icc$ different? A Global Index Designed for the Commercial Cow

Incorporates genomic information from multiple countries to breed for complete profit and efficiency.

ICC$ Compared to Lifetime Net Merit

Greater emphasis on longevity and health without sacrificing yield and udder traits.

ICC$ Compared to GTPI ©2015 CRI

®

Improved selection for healthier cows with high yield, great udders and optimal body size & condition. 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

JERSEY HIGHLIGHTS NEW ARRIVALS TO THE JERSEY GENERATION

YOU CREATE YOUR OWN

1JE00893 JEEZY-GR is a standout high JPI™ sire at +188. This Galvanize son out of an Impuls adds a lot of production: +1289 Milk and +48 Protein. He also debuts at +8.9 JUI™ and +465 Cheese Merit $ (CM$). JEEZY is JH1C.

WHEN CHOOSING THESE

1JE00891 TODD-GR is an early Marvel son with an elite +505 CM$ and exciting +15.4 JUI. He ranks +186 JPI with +0.1 Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and +0.9 Heifer Conception Rate (HCR). Adding component pounds, TODD stands at +102 combined Fat and Protein (CFP) with +0.14% Fat. Note he is JH1C. 1JE00896 MONUMENT is the lineup’s first Pharoah son and hails from a outcross pedigree. His dam is a VG-86% Jevon from the impressive M family at Wilsonview. MONUMENT is +177 JPI and has exceptional health traits: +4.9 Productive Life (PL), +1.6 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) and +2.81 Somatic Cell Score (SCS). He complements this with a +1.9 CCR and +0.2 HCR. MONUMENT also comes in at +9.9 JUI and over +1150 Milk. 1JE00880 KING KONG is an exciting PLUS son from the D&E herd in Texas. This +172 JPI bull will improve udders with a +10.2 JUI and adds production (+1144 Milk). He is JH1C, but adds +91 CFP. 1JE00899 CHAMPION a Perform son from the Ahlem Farm Partnership makes his mark as one of the lineup’s highest JUI sires at +20.1. He is +164 JPI, +469 CM$ and adds fertility with +0.5 CCR and +1.5 HCR. CHAMPION traces back to the matriarch BW Avery Katie ET121-ET, EX-93%. 1JE00884 ANTWON joins the lineup as another Marvel son specializing in udders (+21.2 JUI). ANTWON is +161 JPI, +415 CM$ and delivers exceptional health traits: +5.3 PL, +2.2 DPR and +2.88 SCS. He also records outstanding fertility rankings (+2.9 CCR, +0.3 HCR). Note he is JH1C. 1JE00888 OMAR is a new release full brother to popular sire 1JE00889 PROP JOE. OMAR shows a balanced genetic profile and debuts at +145 JPI, +454 CM$ and +10.9 JUI. Furthermore, he combines a +0.8 DPR and +3.9 PL with +67 Fat (+0.26%). 1JE00901 BAXTER, the lineup’s first Layne son, will improve udders with a +14.3 JUI, +143 JPI and +447 CM$. He also has exceptionally low SCS at +2.76 and a +5.1 PL. 

It ’s Coming this July…

THE GENEX ISSUE OF

JERSEY JOURNAL

Genex and the Jersey Journal are teaming up for a special issue highlighting the Genex story and promoting the overall growth of the Jersey breed.

BE A PART OF THIS GREAT ISSUE! Place an ad to share your Genex success story and feature Genex-sired females influencing your herd. Place an ad and earn big savings:

✔ Place a 2/3 or full page ad and earn a $200 Genex semen credit ✔ Place a 1/4, 1/3 or 1/2 page ad and earn a $100 Genex semen credit

All Genex-based ads earn contract rates. REAP Advertising Advantage can be used if applicable to REAP herds. Contact Jersey Journal staff to reserve your space by June 1, 2015 and save an additional 10% on advertising! To place your ad, contact: Kim Billman at kbillman@usjersey.com, 614.322.4451 or Tracie Hoying at thoying@usjersey.com, 614.322.4471. 1 2

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H O R I Z O N S

OPPORTUNITIES, OUTSTANDING SIRES 1JE00892 VANDRELL-GR is the Genex JPI and CM$ leader. This Visionary son directly out of PR Faria Brothers Action Dean Smith, EX-92% is +12.0 on JUI and over +1150 Milk with +558 CM$ and +221 JPI. He’s got outstanding health traits with a +4.3 PL, +0.4 DPR, +1.4 CCR and +3.2 HCR. Additionally, VANDRELL posts an impressive +102 CFP and stands at 109 PregCheck™. 1JE00791 DIVIDEND added daughters and took the No. 6 spot on the JPI daughterproven list (+189). In addition, he is +523 CM$ with a +17.0 JUI. A Valentino son from the famous Pearlmont Impuls Daffy family, DIVIDEND adds all‑around profit while also improving type. 1JE00848 ILLUSION is a Visionary son worthy of note with his +197 JPI and +519 CM$. ILLUSION improves type with a +1.2 PTAT and +13.1 JUI. He is JH1C. 1JE00792 MACHETE continues to display an elite CM$ number (+545). Adding daughters, MACHETE now hits the top 15 proven JPI listing at +178. This Vibrant son hails from the famous Maid cow family, adds longevity (+7.0 PL) and exhibits impressive fertility numbers (+1.6 CCR, +1.3 HCR). 

Genex Announces Youth Contest! Youth are encouraged to share their enthusiasm for the Jersey breed. To enter the contest, simply answer the question “How does the next Jersey Generation look in your eyes?” Use your creativity; answer the question through a blog post (less than 500 words), YouTube video (less than three minutes) or picture collage with captions (Instagram/ Facebook). Tag your entry with the hashtags #GenexYouth and #TheJerseyGeneration. Send entries or Web link to Leah James, ljames@crinet.com by June 1, 2015. The contest is open to all Jersey youth 8-21 years of age. Award winners will be recognized in conjunction with the AJCA-NAJ Annual Meetings held in East Peoria, Illinois, June 24-27, 2015, and winning entries will be shared in the July issue of the Jersey Journal. Winners will also receive a Genex prize package. ©2015 CRI


THE JERSEY GENERATION DAUGHTER-PROVEN PROFITABILITY

Jer-Z-Boyz Dividend 41589, Daughter of DIVIDEND Photo by Frank Robinson

Ahlems Machete Princess 41161-ET, Daughter of MACHETE Photo by Frank Robinson

1JE00791 Sunset Canyon DIVIDEND-ET JH1F, JH2F

Valentino x Restore x Impuls The complete package! • Breed-leading +189 JPI™ with unmatched +17.9 JUI™ • Fertility improver: +1.6 SCR, 102 PregCheck™ • Exceptional production: +1036 Milk, +78 CFP and +523 CM$

1JE00792 Sunset Canyon MACHETE-ET JH1F, JH2F

Vibrant x Impuls x Lemvig Heath trait specialist with unmatched yield! • Standout +545 CM$ • Heath trait specialist: +7.0 PL, +0.2 DPR, +2.80 SCS • Adds component yields at +42 Fat and +36 Protein

ELITE GENOMIC SIRES 1JE00892 GR Faria Brothers VANDRELL-ET JH1F, JH2F

1JE00893 GR Faria Brothers JEEZY-ET JH1C, JH2F

Visionary x Action x OA • Unmatched genetic yield: +221 JPI, +558 CM$ • Improves udders (+12.0 JUI) while maintaining +102 CFP • Fertility king with 109 PregCheck • Available in GenChoice™

1JE00896 Wilsonview Pharoahs MONUMENT JH1F, JH2F

Pharoah x Jevon x Impuls • Exciting outcross pedigree • Health trait king: +4.6 PL, +1.6 DPR and +2.81 SCS • Adds JPI yield (+188) while improving udders (+9.9 JUI)

NEW

Galvanize x Impuls x OA • Big JPI ranking +188 with a +8.9 JUI • Yield specialist with nearly +100 CFP • Adds fluid pounds +1289 while maintain low SCS +2.85 • Available in GenChoice™ NEW

1JE00880 D&E Plus KING KONG-ET JH1C, JH2F

NEW

Plus x Legal x Abe • Profitability with yield (+1144 Milk, +91 CFP) • Improves farm profit at +172 JPI and +456 CM$ • Adds type with +1.0 PTAT and +10.2 JUI

WE’VE WITNESSED THE PROFITABILITY OF THE JERSEY COW. WE ARE EXCITED TO BE A PART OF THE JERSEY GENERATION. Visit: http://genex.crinet.com.

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International

888.333.1783 • www.crinet.com USDA-CDCB/04-15, IB-M/USA/04-15, AJCA/04-15, Genex/04-15

©2015 CRI


H E R D

M A N A G E M E N T

HEAT DETECTION AND SO MUCH MORE By: Jenny Hanson // Communications Manager, CRI

B

ack in October, Genex and SCR Dairy Inc. announced a new partnership in which Genex markets the SCR Heatime® system. As explained in the December issue of Horizons, the Heatime system combines one-of-a-kind rumination monitoring with accurate heat detection, allowing dairy producers unmatched access to information about cow health, nutrition, reproduction and comfort. While I thought that article did a great job of articulating the ease of use and benefits of Heatime, I wanted to hear producers’ thoughts on the system. I spoke with two Genex members who, since October, have purchased and begun utilizing the system. Below you’ll find the thoughts and opinions of Frank Orner, owner of an 80-cow herd in Rockton, Pennsylvania, and David Myers, owner of a 300-cow herd in Summerhill, Pennsylvania. These individuals are among the Genex members with herd sizes ranging from 80 to 1,200 cows that have already made the investment in pursuit of optimal cow health, improved reproduction and greater peace of mind for years to come. Both were eager to share their Heatime story. As you read, you’ll see why.

Why did you decide to install the SCR Heatime system?

Do you use the system on both cows and heifers?

Frank: About six or eight months ago we were missing cows in heat. We’d think the cow was in heat and breed her. Then 42 days later we’d catch her in heat and breed her again. That led me to believe we were missing some heats in between. About that same time, we were having a hard time catching heifers in heat, getting them bred at the right time and getting them settled. I’d been interested in activity monitors for a while and decided to ask others if they knew of anyone using one.

Frank: I only got the activity collars for the heifers; those collars don’t collect rumination information. The plan is to leave the collars on the heifers until they are confirmed pregnant. At that time, we remove the collars, move the bred heifers out of that barn in order to bring in more breeding age heifers and put the collars on the new group of heifers.

g Long-range wireless base unit transmits information from tags to the system terminal (for Heatime HR system) or PC (for Heatime Pro system) from wherever the cows are.

I ended up talking to Ben Wilson from SCR. I knew him from when he worked for Atlantic Breeders (a Genex predecessor organization). After some discussion, he told me to think about it a little more and get back to him. Not long after, Genex Area Marketing Manager Pete Hamming told me Genex was going to offer Heatime. I knew I wanted to get in on the ground floor. David: I thought every now and then we may be missing heats. I was also concerned about the timing of our breeding – when the cows were coming into heat and when they were going out of heat. In other words, I had the feeling since we were only breeding once a day that maybe I had been jumping the gun a little bit. Maybe I should have waited until the next day to breed some of these cows. I was intrigued by the rumination data too.

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H O R I Z O N S

We have enough collars to keep them on all 80 cows. We want the collars on cows all the time so we can watch activity as well as rumination levels to identify health problems. We can see how they are doing as dry cows and follow them through the transition. David: I plan to have collars on each of my 300 cows all the time. I only have about 140 on now, but hope to get more on soon. I like to put them on the heifers three weeks or so before freshening. This way, on the rumination numbers, I can analyze both cows and heifers to see how they eat and ruminate before they freshen. My experience has been if their rumination is up and down before they freshen, it will stay the same after they freshen – only after they freshen it jumps to a higher level. I think starting with collars on a portion of the herd has actually helped me to learn the system. I can look at a cow and then look at the monitor to see where the cow is in terms of activity and rumination. At this time, we are not using Heatime on our heifers. If someone has a heifer barn they aren’t by all the time and they want to breed A.I., I could see how Heatime would be very valuable for catching heats.

©2015 CRI


H E R D

How has the Heatime system helped you? Frank: We’re early into it since it was installed in January, but we’ve already found some cows and heifers in heat we otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s doing everything they said it would. The only thing we have changed in our breeding program is we are holding off and not breeding some cows until the next day. The system gives you a better idea on the window of time to ovulation. I think our timing might not have been as good just going off visual signs of estrous. We also started watching rumination data and using the health reports. I do like to be able to look at the information to see how a cow is increasing in rumination after freshening. We haven’t had a real problem cow yet that isn’t transitioning properly, but I’m sure if one doesn’t transition well the system will show it.

M A N A G E M E N T

“The activity monitoring is almost like having another person here to observe heats.” – David Myers, Summerhill, Pennsylvania

Do you feel the system is worth the investment? Frank: I think it’s going to be worth the cost in just getting cows bred at the right time. I think it’s going to help decrease the age at first calving, days open and the calving interval. I think those benefits alone will pay for it.

“Before I even saw [the cow] limping, the system showed her decrease in rumination.”

– Frank Orner, Rockton, Pennsylvania

We did have one cow that started to develop foot rot. Before I even saw her limping, the system showed her decrease in rumination. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with her about 12 hours before she actually went lame on the foot. I think this is going to be very valuable for finding cows that are just a little off. Then I can get the issue straightened out before there’s a loss in milk production. David: It’s been a learning experience for me. Haim Fleminger of SCR told me I’d really like the heat detection activity monitoring part. He said I’d understand that part right away but it would likely take about six months until I really learned the rumination monitoring. I probably looked puzzled at that, but after having the system in place for four months I better understand and appreciate the rumination numbers. The information available is almost unlimited. By looking at the numbers, I can tell the timeliness of the feeding or if the feed bunk would happen to be empty. The activity monitoring is almost like having another person here to observe heats. It’s nice to know exactly when these cows come into standing heat and how long they stay in standing heat. In addition, I did very limited timed synch breeding before, and I do even less now. I think we’re also more accurate now in picking out cows that are pregnant as well as ones that are cystic or off cycle. I do want to point out I am the person in with the cows doing heat detection and things like that. I feel learning the system has been easier for me since I am the person that walks the cows. I know what the cow normally looks like and can go see what the monitor tells me and vice versa.

J David Myers of Summerhill, Pennsylvania, incorporated the SCR Heatime system into his 300-cow herd and feels it has been one of the better investments he has made.

In addition, the rumination information is going to be very valuable. At this point, I don’t know how much the return will be on that. I do think it could be fairly substantial. If we can avoid drops in milk production – due to feed or other issues – that’s going to pay dividends big time. David: I expect this is going to be one of the better investments I have made – I really do. Plus, it’s been relatively trouble-free, even for someone like me who’s not real computer literate. I think the average dairy producer could look at this system and have it figured out relatively quickly. I think as I get more into this, I’ll likely be able to spend less time in the barn too.  A Author Bio: Jenny Hanson is a graduate of the University of WisconsinRiver Falls with a degree in agricultural communications. She joined Cooperative Resources International in 2005 and has served as editor of the Dairy Horizons since 2006.

Contact your Genex representative for more information. ©2015 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

PEOPLE, PROTOCOLS

& TEAMWORK

By: Kristi Fiedler // Associate Vice President – U.S. Technical Services, Genex

W

hen I was a dairy herd consultant in the mid-2000s, I worked with many dairy managers that were very excited to reach a 20% pregnancy rate. At the time, these herds were top performers. Today, that performance level is considered average. According to the Dairy Performance Navigator  database – a benchmark performance tool by Genex Cooperative, Inc. and Cargill – a 19.6% pregnancy rate is average (n=659). The top 10% of herds (n=66) achieve a 29.3% pregnancy rate. SM

Each year Genex recognizes members and customers who achieve those top-notch reproduction results. The 2014 Genex Excellence in Reproduction Award winners (shown in Table 1) achieved an average pregnancy rate of 32.3% (n=9), ranging from 28-35%. So, how do these farms perform at this outstanding level?

o Table 1. Excellence in Reproduction Award Winners' reproduction program results

PREGNANCY RATE

HEAT DETECTION RATE

CONCEPTION RATE

SEXED SEMEN CONCEPTION RATE

52%

80%

60%

59%

50%

78%

65%

57%

50%

71%

70%

NA

35%

66%

53%

34%

72%

51%

33%

73%

44%

34%

72%

51%

32%

76%

41%

32%

76%

41%

34%

67%

53%

30%

65%

45%

28%

67%

42%

HEIFERS Coleman Ponderosa Coleman, Wisconsin

Lawnhurst Dairy Stanley, New York

Gardeau Crest Dairy Perry, New York

<5OO COWS Kliebenstein Farms Darlington, Wisconsin

Holmesville Dairy Argyle, Wisconsin

Kodesh Dairy Rice Lake, Wisconsin

5OO-2,OOO COWS Schilling Farms Darlington, Wisconsin

Lawnhurst Dairy Stanley, New York

Locust Hill Farm Mannsville, New York

>2,OOO COWS Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy LLC Kewaunee, Wisconsin

Aardema Dairies Wendell, Idaho

Darlington Ridge Farms Darlington, Wisconsin

PREGNANCY RATE: Percent of eligible females in a herd that conceive every 21 days. HEAT DETECTION RATE: Percent of eligible females seen or detected in heat during a 21-day period. CONCEPTION RATE: Percent of females confirmed pregnant when presented for pregnancy diagnosis. SEXED SEMEN CONCEPTION RATE: Percent of females inseminated with sexed semen that are confirmed pregnant when presented for pregnancy diagnosis. 1 6

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H O R I Z O N S

©2015 CRI


R E P R O D U C T I V E When I asked these repro award winners what factors contribute to their success, the most common answers were people, protocols and teamwork. People was their number one answer. As Don Jensen of Lawnhurst Dairy stated, their success is attributed to “having the right people do the right job every day.” Whether it is a professional breeder or the herd inseminator doing the daily heat detection and artificial insemination (A.I.), the people breeding the cows every day are the most important part of the reproduction program. Each person needs to be thoroughly trained, retrained and passionate about what they do.

“ Reproduction programs can be complicated and frustrating at times, but by setting realistic goals and focusing on people, protocols and teamwork, success can be achieved.” The second most common answer was protocols and protocol compliance. Chris Szydel, herd manager at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy LLC, says their motto is “no cow left behind.” This means every cow or heifer gets her synchronization shot on time every time.

M A N A G E M E N T

At Pagel’s Ponderosa protocols are diligently followed because they use a crossbreeding scheme in addition to a synchronization program. Limousin semen is also used after multiple services. To successfully fulfill the breeding program, reproduction protocols need to be clearly stated and understood. This leads to the last factor of a successful reproduction program: teamwork. Teams encompass many different areas on the farm and need support from allied industry. A high performance dairy needs a solid nutrition program, veterinarian support, expert breeders and quality farm management to put it all together. Duane Kodesh of Kodesh Dairy agrees it takes a team. He states, “We’ve all clicked together to get the job done” in reference to his employees, family members, nutritionist and Genex breeder. Gardeau Crest Dairy uses Genex professional A.I. service to paint and breed heifers every day. They monitor the overall program through weekly pregnancy check results. The goal is to have no more than one heifer open at pregnancy check. If more than one is open, Swyers assumes heats are being missed and works with the breeders and nutritionist to determine the cause; he believes heifers need a balanced ration so they have enough energy to show good heats, yet are not too fat. It takes communication to ensure that balance is met for optimal heifer performance.

It’s important to recognize each award recipient utilizes a different protocol on their farm. They range from 100% Double Ovsynch® on first service to all heat detection with some prostaglandin shots, if necessary. The commonality is each dairy has defined a standard operating procedure or protocol (SOP) that fits that individual operation. They then follow those SOPs every day. Each dairy has established a voluntary waiting period (VWP) for first service. Following the VWP, they all do an excellent job breeding cows within a set time period. For example, Schilling Farms has a VWP of 68 days in milk (DIM). At 68 DIM cows can be cherry picked (heat detected) for breeding. Any cow that is not cherry picked continues through a 12-day Presynch/ Ovsynch program to be bred at 80-86 DIM. Getting cows bred within a stated time period for first service is one component to achieving high pregnancy rates. Another key component is identifying which cows are open and rebreeding them as quickly as possible. The quickest and most efficient way to identify open cows or heifers is accurate heat detection. Assuming optimal cow comfort and health, animals should cycle into heat 18-24 days after breeding (if they did not conceive). The winners of the Genex Excellence in Reproduction award average 70.2% heat detection on milking cows with a range of 65-72%. These numbers are astounding considering it means they find 70% of the cows eligible to be bred each 21-day cycle. This can only be done with accurate daily heat detection, healthy and comfortable cows, passionate people who care and timely herd pregnancy checks to identify open cows. Dan Sywers of Gardeau Crest Dairy believes in tail painting heifers daily. In his opinion, it is the simplest and most cost effective tool for heat detection. Gardeau Crest Dairy averages 70% conception and heat detection rates and holds a 50% pregnancy rate to conventional semen following a 360-day VWP on virgin heifers. The protocols are simple: 1) move heifers into the breeding pen prior to the VWP; 2) tail paint and breed daily; 3) prostaglandin shots are given every other week to heifers that are not bred; 4) if a heifer doesn’t show heat after two prostaglandin shots, she is checked by the veterinarian. If something is wrong internally, the heifer is sold. If she seems normal, she gets a CIDR. According to Dan, approximately one heifer a month receives a CIDR. If the heifer is not confirmed pregnant at 15 months of age, she is sold. ©2015 CRI

J Teamwork is essential at Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy LLC. Herd manager Chris Szydel, conducting A.I., and Kim Egan of Genex are two members contributing to the dairy's repro success.

In summary, these herds have reached outstanding reproductive performance on their operations, and they attribute that to excellent people, compliance to protocols and teamwork. After 10 years of working with dairies, I know repro programs can be complicated and frustrating at times, but by setting realistic goals and focusing on people, protocols and teamwork, reproductive success can be achieved. Work together with your employees, veterinarian, nutritionist, A.I. company and other trusted resources to develop a protocol that works in your system. Then, follow it every day. Communicate regularly and continually strive to encourage passion for reproduction success. 

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. She then joined Genex providing genetics and reproductive consulting in northeast Wisconsin. Today, she overseas Genex consulting services across the U.S. Kristi also has a master’s degree in management.

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

KLIEBENSTEIN FARMS

IN REPRODUCTION

Darlington, Wisconsin

< 5OO COWS Award Winners

PLAT I N UM

G Morgan and Nate Kliebenstein own and manage a 116-cow herd in southwest Wisconsin.

T

ucked in a valley between the rolling hills and winding roads of southwest Wisconsin is Kliebenstein Farms owned by Nate and Morgan Kliebenstein. At first glance, one can imagine the farm’s progression over time. There’s a white stanchion barn, which each generation before expanded section by section. Then, there’s a freestall barn constructed in 2008. A double-8 parabone parlor was retro-fitted inside the former stanchion barn and later expanded to a double-10. Higher up the hill is a second freestall barn, built in 2014, to house breeding age and pregnant heifers as well as dry cows and bedded packs for calving. While the progression of farm buildings tells of a history similar to many other family farms, the story of how Nate and Morgan came to be the owners is unique. While Nate’s father previously farmed at the location, Nate aspired to be a lawyer. In 2004, he graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in political science. It was then he re-evaluated his future and instead of going to law school decided dairy farming was his true calling.

In the meantime, his father had retired and dispersed the milking herd. Nate, however, was able to purchase the family’s 116-head of youngstock. The farm had also been listed for sale, but luckily had not yet sold. Instead the majority of the land had been enrolled in a 15-year CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) meaning it cannot be farmed until 2017. Morgan grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa. After attending Iowa State University, she joined Genex as a Dairy Procurement Specialist. It’s a job that keeps her on the road and in an office much of the time. Then, Morgan and Nate met on an online dating site for farmers, a story previously highlighted in popular agriculture press, and got married. Today Morgan tries to balance her role at Genex and on the farm; she enjoys the opportunity to make the first mating recommendation for their heifers and favorite cows in addition to ordering all the semen and maintaining the herd's registry status with Holstein Association. Raising their daughter, Evelyn, in this agricultural environment is important to the couple too.

In the Know

For 2014, Kliebenstein Farms averaged a 35% pregnancy rate, 56% first service conception rate and 96% of the herd pregnant by 150 days in milk (DIM). It’s a level of success that earned Nate and Morgan the platinum Excellence in Reproduction Award. When asked how they attained such a high repro level, they put it simply: we have healthy cows, and we know our cows.

“I feel having a small herd helps us,” explains Nate. “I walk through the barn, and I know which cows are pregnant and which aren’t. I am a big proponent of really knowing the cows.”

G O LD

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HOLMESVILLE DAIRY

Argyle, Wisconsin

H O R I Z O N S

S I LVER

Morgan agrees. As she points at Nate’s head, she adds, “A lot of the success is attributed to what is up there.” Genetics also play a role. “We don’t use any negative Sire Conception Rate bulls,” says Morgan, “though we will use some bulls that don’t yet have a Sire Conception Rate or PregCheck™ evaluation. Additionally, we look at health traits, udders, Protein and pedigree variety. We are big proponents of the new Ideal Commercial Cow index, as we feel it very closely follows our breeding strategies”

How it Works

Even more impressive than their reproduction figures is the fact they were achieved primarily from observing natural heats. Over the course of the year, less than 10% of the cows even required Lutalyse®. As Morgan explains, “We have a voluntary wait period of 60 DIM. We wait for natural heats and monitor heats before the 60 days. Dakota Bockenhauer, a Genex Reproductive Technician of two years, walks the herd daily applying Reveal™ and observing signs of estrus.” The occasional cow that does not show heat by or shortly after 60 days is given Lutalyse. Cows are pregnancy checked at 30 days since last heat. If open, the cow is given Lutalyse. If cystic, she is enrolled in Ovsynch. In addition to knowing the cows, Nate notes other factors that contribute to their success, “First, we don’t push our cows. We milk twice a day with an 80 lb average goal. Second, communication is key. It takes good communication between Genex, us and our employees.” Now, maintaining – if not improving upon – their good reproduction results is their goal. Of course, that’s because they recognize the many benefits of strong reproduction. One of which is clearly evident. “We are at that lovely state of being able to voluntarily cull,” shares Morgan. 

KODESH DAIRY

Rice Lake, Wisconsin

H O N O RA B LE MENTI O N

WESSEL FARMS, LLC

Mineral Point, Wisconsin

©2015 CRI


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

M A N A G E M E N T

EXCELLENCE

SCHILLING FARMS

IN REPRODUCTION

Darlington, Wisconsin

5OO-2,OOO COWS Award Winners

PLAT I N UM

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

S

chilling Farms, a 645-cow Holstein her, has earned the Platinum Genex Excellence in Reproduction Award two years in a row. It’s a sign of consistency – both in their protocols and their results.

Prostaglandin is given seven days later on the next Tuesday morning. GnRH is then given 48 hours later on Thursday morning. Artificial insemination takes place that same day about 8 hours later.

Contributing to the Cause

The Schilling family, including father Bill Schilling and sons Andy and Brian, credits their herd’s reproduction success to several factors. Brian, the herd manager, indicates the entire herd management team worked together to achieve the 34% pregnancy rate and 51% conception rate average for the year. “Communication between employees, our Genex representatives and veterinarian has been a key to reproductive success,” explains Brian. In addition, the use of set protocols for synching and resynching the herd has helped maintain a necessary level of compliance. Also contributing to the cause is the Schillings’ focus on cow comfort, foot health, cooling during summer months, nutrition and fresh cow care. As Brian notes, “These factors are essential for reproductive success too.”

Cows are ultrasounded at 33 days carried calf to determine pregnancy status. At that time, any cows that are open and have a corpus luteum (CL) are resynchronized with Ovsynch. Cows that are open and do not have a CL are given 2cc of GnRH and enrolled in Ovsynch seven days later. Pregnant cows are re-ultrasounded at 60 days carried calf to confirm pregnancy diagnosis, determine fetal sex and check for twins. In dealing with problem breeders, “We try to identify any potential problem cows early and stop investing money in breeding them,” explains Brian. Cows are given the “do not breed” classification if they are open, over 200 DIM and have lower milk production.

Ovsynch48 GnRH

Tried and True Protocols

At Schilling Farms, cows are cherry picked for breeding based off heats found after a 68-day voluntary wait period. The local Genex team, led by Reproductive Program Senior Technician Tim Heiring, heat detects daily and applies Reveal™ tail paint. The majority of cows are enrolled in a synchronization program with first service occurring between 80 and 86 DIM. Their synchronization program of choice is Ovsynch48. Cows enrolled in the program are given GnRH on Tuesday morning.

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With great reproduction results and selection of high genetic merit sires (averaged +$620 Lifetime Net Merit and +$707 on the Ideal Commercial Cow index for the year), the future of the Schilling herd is bright and full of opportunity! 

TORREY FARMS DAIRY INC.

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LAWNHURST DAIRY

Stanley, New York

S I LVER

LOCUST HILL FARM

Mannsville, New York

H O N O RA B LE MENTI O N

Elba, New York

SENECA VALLEY FARM

Burdet t, New York ©2015 CRI

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EXCELLENCE

PAGEL’S PONDEROSA DAIRY LLC

IN REPRODUCTION

Kewaunee, Wisconsin

> 2,OOO C O W S Award Winners

PLAT I N UM

J Santos Rodriguez and Alfredo Reyna (above left) inseminate cows while JJ Pagel (above right) reads eartags and instructs them on the type of semen to use for each cow.

Genetics Do Matter

Protocols are important not only for the synchronization program, semen handling and A.I. technique, but also to genetically manage the herd. The dairy utilizes crossbreeding to increase component levels since they are paid on cheese yield. Additionally, their crossbred animals should eat less and take up less space. As JJ puts it, “A smaller, high-producing, efficient animal is what we are trying to produce.” J Members of the Pagel’s Ponderosa reproduction team include: Ryan Schultz, Chris Kinnard of Genex, Lalo Rodriguez, Chris Szydel, Cosme Mendez, JJ Pagel, Luis Rodriguez, Santos Rodriguez and Alfredo Reyna.

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eople, Protocols and Teamwork – there’s really no better way to describe what makes the reproduction program at Pagel’s Ponderosa so successful. Pagel’s Ponderosa is the largest family-owned dairy in Wisconsin. Their mission: “It's the promise of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy to deliver the highest quality dairy products. We will monitor the farms by-products in an effort to benefit the community and provide a safe environment.”

Much More than Organized Chaos

Stepping into the barns on a certain Friday, one might think the Pagel’s Ponderosa reproduction program is chaotic; while in truth, it’s more like a well-oiled machine. There’s JJ Pagel, General Farm Manager, moving quickly down the feed lane examining his clipboard with color-coded cow numbers and clipping colored clothespins to the headlocks. Behind the cows are six people expertly handling five different semen products and another person reapplying spray paint for visual heat detection. How does the reproduction program work? In addition to daily heat detection and artificial insemination (A.I.), the dairy utilizes Double Ovsynch. Cows are enrolled in this program on a biweekly basis, which means there are a large number of cows to breed via timed A.I. every other Friday. More than threequarters of the 5,000-cow herd is bred through timed A.I.

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AARDEMA DAIRIES

Wendell, Idaho

S I LVER

The goal cross is HO x JE x HO. This means record-keeping is important to ensure the mating sire is of the correct breed. Taking record-keeping to the next level, GenChoice™ sexed semen is also used on the top 10% of first lactation cows. Dr. Kim Egan of Genex analyzes the cows’ energy-corrected milk production level and genetics to determine the top 10%. To qualify for GenChoice breeding, the cows must also have a parent average Daughter Pregnancy Rate greater than +1.0. Balancing out that use of sexed semen, the bottom 3% of the cow herd is bred with Limousin semen on all services. Additionally, Limousin semen is used on all cows that require a fifth service or greater. Together, this amounts to approximately 10% of breedings to Limousin. The resulting calves are sold ® Ovsynch through the Breeding to Feeding™ program or raised on the farm.

Cow Synchronization Protocols

Now back to those color-coded clothespins. On a timed A.I. breeding day, JJ keeps by placing the A.I. PGF2∝the breeders GnRH moving GnRH correct color clothespin on the headlock above a cow to be bred: green = Holstein semen; red = Jersey semen; blue = Limousin semen; red with purple GenChoice; and green 10 0 7 tape = Jersey 9 Treatment Day= Holstein GenChoice. 12-24 hrs with purple tape

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In summing up their success, Herd Manager Chris Szydel shares, “It comes down to a great set of protocols, great compliance, PGF2∝ communication and great support from Genex.” 

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M A N A G E M E N T

EXCELLENCE

COLEMAN PONDEROSA

IN REPRODUCTION

Coleman, Wisconsin

HEIFERS Award Winners

PLAT I N UM

Jahnke of Genex providing relief service). Denise utilizes spray paint for visual heat detection on the breeding age heifers, while Reveal™ livestock markers are used to signify heifers that are confirmed pregnant.

J Members of the Coleman Ponderosa team and local Genex representatives include (from left): Wade Deheck, Pete Weber of Genex, Jeff Jahnke of Genex, Bruce Baugnet, Jeff Fischer of Genex, Denise Gauthier, Dan Rosner, JJ Pagel and Kevin Gant.

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oleman Ponderosa is the heifer facility for Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, winner of the platinum Excellence in Reproduction award in the more than 2,000-cows category. Just like the dairy, the heifer reproduction program has produced incredible results; in previous years, Coleman Ponderosa has earned silver, gold and platinum awards. This year, however, marks a special moment for the whole Pagel’s Ponderosa and Coleman Ponderosa team.

The genetic program includes crossbreeding and that fact impacts heifer’s age at first service. Crossbred heifers are inseminated starting at 380 days of age. From 380 to 386 days, heifers are cherry picked for breeding based on observed heats. If not inseminated by 387 days, they receive Estrumate®. In contrast, Holstein heifers are bred starting at 400 days of age. From 400 to 406 days of age, they are cherry picked for breeding based on observed heats. If not inseminated by 407 days, they receive Estrumate. Denise explains the use of different breeds and semen product types. "The top 50% of heifers are bred with GenChoice sexed semen on the first service. The first and second services are also to a designated mating sire. If a third service is necessary, Jersey semen is used. If a fourth service is needed, Limousin semen is used."

“We were very excited to find out we’ve received double platinum awards,” remarks JJ Pagel humbly. “It’s something no other dairy has achieved, and something we can only strive to do again.”

The Award-Winning Strategy

Pagels purchased the Coleman Ponderosa facility in 2008 with the intention of milking cows at the location. Over time intentions changed, and today the facility houses around 2,000 heifers. Heifers make the one hour haul from the calf ranch, located near the dairy, to Coleman Ponderosa at around 10-11 months of age. They are transported back to the dairy at 200 to 220 days carried calf. What happens in the months between is the result of excellent care from the Coleman Ponderosa team.

“The quality of the animals arriving here really helps us to succeed too,” acknowledges Denise Gauthier of Coleman Ponderosa. “When the heifers arrive from the calf facility they are clean and healthy. That makes our job easier.” Denise is the member of the Coleman Ponderosa team charged with running the reproduction program. She conducts heat detection and A.I. in four pens daily (with Jeff

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©2015 CRI

LAWNHURST DAIRY

Stanley, New York

S I LVER

People, Protocols, Teamwork

“People, protocols and teamwork are our top factors in repro success,” comments Denise, “especially the protocols.” On the topic of teamwork, JJ explains that factor includes farm personnel as well as allied industry. “It’s truly an honor to work with the Genex people that we do – Pete Weber, Dr. Kim Egan, Jeff Fischer, Jeff Jahnke, Chris Kinnard and others.” Denise echoes those same sentiments sharing, “If I have questions, I know I can call anyone from the Genex team.” 

GARDEAU CREST DAIRY

Perry, New York

H O N O RA B LE MENTI O N

TORREY FARMS DAIRY INC.

Elba, New York

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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

EFFECTIVE TEAM MEETINGS FOR REPRODUCTIVE IMPROVEMENT

K Small group meetings provide the perfect venue for input by all involved.

By: Bob Saar // Regional Account Specialist Manager, Genex

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or many dairy producers, the task of holding a team meeting to increase herd reproduction rates may seem like a great idea in theory, but once the actual planning begins, the questions on logistics appear to outweigh the benefits. Questions of concern may be: • Who do I include in the meeting? • Where do we hold it? • What should be on the agenda? • Who will run the meeting? • How do I keep it running smoothly?

requested a definite beginning and end time. We started the meeting on time, minus two key people. They arrived about 10 minutes late and proceeded to ask a question that had already been discussed. The producer told them we had already discussed it, and they could have been involved in the discussion had they been on time. This was not a pleasant experience for anyone involved. Despite these early mishaps, I was convinced that bringing people together to discuss concerns and problems the dairy producer was dealing with was a worthy cause. I took a look at the problems we had been experiencing and developed a plan to get the most out of our collaboration.

In fact, those were the very questions I encountered as I began hosting these meetings, and I have to admit, my first experiences had their share of bloopers and blunders. Some of the meetings I held back in the early 2000s were probably disasters and a waste of time. They lacked an agenda and purpose, ran too long, lacked notes and target points each member needed to follow up on, and had way too many people in attendance. In addition, the meetings were laden with stray conversations and lack of control. Many times, one or two vocal individuals controlled the tempo and topics of the meeting. I was completely unsatisfied with the approach that I took on these early meetings as it wasted people’s time and productivity. One of the very first meetings I held went way too long, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 ½ to 3 hours. Another meeting I was involved in had 18 people in attendance with two to three people from every company involved. This was complete over-kill. At yet another early meeting, a producer

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J Holding the meeting in a quiet place, free from distractions, gives participants the opportunity to concentrate on areas of reproduction that need improvement.

©2015 CRI


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

HELPFUL TIPS: HOLDING A SUCCESSFUL MEETING

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Several items need to be thought through prior to arranging the first meeting, these include: 1. What is the key purpose or goal of forming the group? When dealing with reproduction, there are some specific questions you need to answer. How do we compare to our goals? How well are cows transitioning? Nutritionally, are we set up for production and reproduction? If using protocol programs, how is compliance? Are we achieving enough pregnancies a week to maintain the herd? 2. Who should be involved? An ideal number of participants would be six to eight, and can include, but are not limited to, the farm owner, herdsperson, nutritionist, A.I. representative, banker and veterinarian. 3. An agenda should be prepared and sent to all participants in advance of the meeting to allow for proper preparation. This agenda needs several key components: • Discussion points with designated individuals to cover each point • A review of assignments from the previous meeting • Beginning and ending times. No longer than 1 ½ hours. • A review of where the team stands with the group’s goals 4. Where can the meeting be held that is quiet and away from areas that need to be accessed by farm employees? I have found that getting people off the farm for a breakfast or lunch meeting is productive. Alternating who will pay the cost of these meetings among the people involved has worked well. 5. Procure a LCD projector to use for displaying presentations, charts and data. The use of this technology keeps everybody on the same page, as it prevents individuals from looking ahead in paper hand-outs. If paper hand-outs are necessary, make sure participants bring enough copies for everyone in the group.

©2015 CRI

In order for productive meeting results, the structure and purpose need to continue once the meeting begins. • During the first meeting, set goals and ground rules for the meetings. One rule I strongly suggest is that all phones need to be turned off. Other rules can be determined by the group, but could include how much time is allotted for each person to discuss a topic. • Establish a facilitator. This is simply the individual that will control the flow of conversation to keep it focused on the tasks included in the agenda and following the ground rules established for the meetings. • Designate someone to be the note-taker • Make sure everyone is called upon for their input. Many times there are quiet individuals that need a little prompting to participate. • Determine no more than three action items that need to be completed for the next meeting and assign them. • Conclude by deciding on a date, time and place for the next meeting. Successful meetings don’t just happen; they are planned and prepared for well in advance. Participants need to understand they don’t just show up. Their preparation and input is important and necessary. By following these tips, I am confident your meetings will garner the positive results desired by all. 

A Author Bio: Bob Saar joined a Genex predecessor organization in 1976. Over the years he held numerous positions, all with a mission of assisting farmers in realizing their profit potential. Bob officially retired from Genex in 2014 and now works part-time managing and mentoring the Regional Account Team.

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M A N A G E M E N T

THE POWER OF BENCHMARKING By: Joe Binversie // Value Added Programs Manager, Genex

Dairy Performance Navigatorâ&#x20AC;&#x160;SM (DPN) is a web-based program providing dairy producers with herd performance analyses, performance trends, reliable benchmarks and the ability to better establish herd goals. The program was developed in collaboration between Cargill Animal Nutrition, AgSource Cooperative Services and Genex.

EA SU R E

DPN continues to evolve as well. Each year new herd analyses are offered and new benchmarks developed to meet the needs of the modern dairy producer. For instance, monthly milk production benchmarks were recently added. Now a herd that milk tested in April can compare milk production to other herds that also tested in April.

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Since its 2013 launch, DPN has grown in popularity among producers. In the past four months, data from over 690 U.S. herds (totaling about 1.25 million animals or 642,000 cows) has been added; with benchmarks always based on data from the last 120 days, the program truly provides powerful, current and reliable benchmarks.

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Herds using Dairy Comp 305 herd management software and herds on DHI test are able to participate in DPN. Cargill and Genex consultants prepare DPN reports to analyze and discuss herd strengths and potential performance issues with dairy owners, managers and other management team members. DPN enables the team to better develop solutions to maximize herd profitability. To participate in DPN, contact your local Genex representative.

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In all, DPN offers herd analysis in nine management areas: inventory, cow reproduction, heifer reproduction, culling, milk production, milk quality, dry period analysis, health analysis and genetics.

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enchmarks enable producers to evaluate where their dairy stands in terms of herd performance and to establish goals to get their herd to the desired performance level. The Dairy Performance Navigator (DPN) program not only makes the benchmarking process easy, but is also customizable.

At A Glance: Herd Comparison Options

With DPN, Genex consultants can assist dairy producers in benchmarking their herd against peer groups of their choice. When determining a benchmark comparison group, DPN offers four entry fields to create customized benchmarks.

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

As Table 1 shows, the benchmark selection options include the dairy breed (Holstein or Jersey), a metric (top 10%, average or choice of quartiles), specific criteria (average milk production, cow pregnancy rate, heifer pregnancy rate, average linear score or Net Merit) and a herd breakdown (all herds, herds by size or geographical region). Therefore, numerous benchmark peer groups are possible. o Table 1. Benchmark Selection Options Breed Holstein Jersey

Metric Top 10% Average Quartile 1 Quartile 2 Quartile 3 Quartile 4

Criteria Average Milk Cow Preg Rate Heifer Preg Rate Average Linear Score Net Merit

Herd Size < 125 cows 125-500 cows 501-2,000 cows > 2,000 cows

Breakdown All Herds Herd Size Region

M A N A G E M E N T

Explained further, when preparing a DPN report, the Genex consultant can configure the peer group for comparison according to the needs of the producer. If a producer wants to compare the herd’s current milk production level against the top milk producing herds in DPN, then Average Milk is chosen as the benchmark criteria. When evaluating a herd’s reproduction program, Cow Pregnancy Rate might be the benchmark criteria of choice. If so, the reproduction program would be compared against the top reproduction herds within the DPN database as ranked by Cow Pregnancy Rate. In another situation, a herd may have high milk production so the producer may want reproduction performance compared against similar high producing herds. This situation is illustrated in Table 2. In the example, the average lbs of milk per cow for the dairy is above the benchmark for the Top 10% of herds (103 lbs for the dairy versus the 100 lbs benchmark). Thus when evaluating the reproduction program it may be more useful to use the same benchmark peer group of the Top 10% of milk producing herds (Table 3) rather than basing the benchmark on Cow Pregnancy Rate.

Region Northeast Southeast Midwest Southwest Northwest

o Table 2. Average Production: The herd is being compared against the Top 10% of Holstein herds in DPN as determined by average milk production and herd size. Benchmark herds determined by Average Milk for Holstein Herds between 501 and 2000 animals. Top 10% (n=24) 100 173 118 91 3.8 3.1 16 384 49 636 83 154

Average Milk per Cow Average Days in Milk Average Peak Milk Average Days to Peak Average Percent Fat Avg Percent Protein % Inverted Fat/Pro # Cows >100 lb Milk % Cows >100 lb Milk # Cows >75 lb Milk % Cows >75 lb Milk Avg Milk of Top 5%

Rolling 12 100 177 128 111 3.7 3.1 15 352 49 591 82 155

Benchmark data

3/25/2015 103 175 123 89 3.8 3.1 7 394 52 636 85 160

2/25/2015 100 168 125 95 3.7 3.1 11 364 48 614 82 157

1/23/2015 100 158 126 100 3.7 3.1 12 360 48 615 82 157

12/24/2014 99 160 127 104 3.7 3.1 13 357 47 631 84 153

11/26/2014 95 167 127 109 3.8 3.1 10 304 41 555 76 155

10/30/2014 97 174 127 112 3.7 3.2 18 335 46 553 77 158

Current test date production values

o Table 3. Reproduction Summary: The herd is being compared against the Top 10% of Holstein herds in DPN as determined by average milk production and herd size. Benchmark herds determined by Average Milk for Holstein Herds between 501 and 2000 animals. Overall Conception Rate 1st Service Conception Rate Herd Preg Rate Preg Rate 1st Lact Preg Rate 2nd Lact Preg Rate 3rd+ Lact % Preg Cows Preg by 150 DIM % of Herd Pregnant Service Rate Average DIM at 1st Service Average DIM at 2nd Service % Abortions

Top 10% (n=24) 38 43 21.9 24.6 22 20.1 76 52 54.3 73 112 10

Benchmark data ©2015 CRI

Rolling 12 39 46 22.4 23.7 24.1 19.5 74 54 55 74 110 14

3/25/2015 41 48 22.5 22.3 23.7 21.4 78 55 51.5 73 108 14

2/25/2015 41 48 22.6 22.2 23.9 21.5 77 53 52 73 108 13

1/23/2015 40 47 22.7 21.6 25.8 20.7 75 49 53.2 74 109 14

12/24/2014 40 48 22.6 21.7 24.4 21.6 72 49 53.7 74 109 14

11/26/2014 39 47 22.6 22.5 24.3 20.8 72 50 53.6 74 110 14

10/30/2014 39 46 22.1 22.3 23.9 20.1 73 50 52.8 74 112 15

Current test date reproduction values H O R I Z O N S

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o Table 4. Sire Genetic Values: Herd is being compared against the Top 25% (Quartile 1) of Holstein herds in DPN as determined by sire NM$ and herd size. Benchmark herds determined by Net Merit for Holstein Herds between 501 and 2000 animals.

Herd averages Benchmark data

LNM$ LNM$ n=62 CM$ CM$ n=62 Milk Milk n=62 Prot Prot n=62 Fat Fat n=62

Heifers < 1 Yr Old 602 537 622 556 942 808 36.1 32.4 53.3 44.4

Heifers > = 1 Yr Old 446 433 466 450 552 599 24.5 24.6 23.8 31.5

1ST Lactation 319 344 338 360 359 388 19.9 17.8 13.9 22.6

2ND Lactation 234 270 249 281 75 351 8 14.9 11.8 20.3

>2ND Lactation 174 183 181 189 226 296 8.1 10.8 8.7 14.6

NOTE: The table is not shown in its entirety. The full table also includes the genetic fields of Somatic Cell Score, Productive Life, Daughter Pregnancy Rate, PTA Type, TPI®, Udder Composite and Foot & Leg Composite.

o Table 5. Service Sire Genetic Values: Herd is being compared against the Top 25% (Quartile 1) of Holstein herds in DPN as determined by sire NM$ and herd size. Benchmark herds determined by Net Merit for Holstein Herds between 501 and 2000 animals

Herd averages Benchmark data

LNM$ LNM$ n=62 CM$ CM$ n=62 Milk Milk n=62 Prot Prot n=62 Fat Fat n=62

Heifers >= 1 Yr Old 702 626 727 648 919 943 39.9 37.9 69.6 55.2

1ST Lactation 653 586 674 605 986 972 38.6 37.2 58.8 49.5

2ND Lactation 547 561 563 581 922 910 33.5 35.5 41.6 47.8

>2ND Lactation 541 556 561 576 917 894 35.6 35 38.4 47.3

NOTE: The table is not shown in its entirety. The full table also includes the genetic fields of Somatic Cell Score, Productive Life, Daughter Pregnancy Rate, PTA Type, TPI, Udder Composite and Foot & Leg Composite.

Benchmarking by Herd Genetics

Additionally, the average LNM$ of service sires is significantly greater for heifers ($702) and first lactation cows ($653) in comparison to mature cows (Lact=2; $547 and Lact>2; $541). Thus by utilizing a breeding strategy of inseminating the top genetic females with higher quality genetic sires, the herd is ensuring a more rapid increase in overall herd genetics.

There are two tables in DPN that do an excellent job of analyzing a herd’s genetic program. The first is Table 4. This Table summarizes the genetic averages of the females (cows and heifers) present within a herd. For instance, Table 4 lists a herd’s average Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$) for heifers less than one year old to be $602. In comparison, the benchmark for the Top 25% (Quartile 1) of herds sorted by sire NM$ is significantly lower at $537.

Just as the needs of modern dairy producers evolve and grow so does DPN. Along with improved analyses, DPN benchmark options continue to be developed and enhanced as well. One benchmark option to be released later in 2015 is the ability to compare a herd against peer herds that are or are not using recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST). Other potential benchmarks being considered for future updates include: milkings per day (2x versus 3x), housing type (freestall, dry lot, tiestall) and bedding type (sand, mats, biosolids).

An interesting way to benchmark a herd in DPN is genetically, by sire Net Merit (NM$). This benchmark criteria sorts herds based on the average sire NM$ of all females (heifers and cows) in a herd. By choosing NM$ as the benchmark criteria, a herd’s genetics and even performance (reproduction, milk production, milk quality, etc.) can be compared against the top genetic herds in DPN as ranked by herd NM$.

When following this herd’s trend for average LNM$ from mature cows (>2nd Lactation) down to heifers less than a year old, we see a significant improvement in herd genetics: $174$234$319$446$602. A second table that is valuable for evaluating a herd’s genetic program is shown above. This table summarizes the genetic averages of service sires currently being used to breed cows and heifers. As shown, the average LNM$ of the service sires being used to breed heifers is $702. This far exceeds the $626 benchmark average of the Top 25% of herds in DPN sorted by herd NM$.

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Fast Forward: Future Benchmarking Options

In all, DPN is a powerful tool to help guide the future growth of a dairy operation. If interested in utilizing this tool, contact your Genex representative. Together, you, your management team and your Genex consultant can analyze and discuss herd performance through DPN and develop solutions to maximize herd profitability.  A Author Bio: Joe Binversie earned a bachelor’s degree in dairy science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to earn a master’s degree in animal physiology from Mississippi State University. His master’s research focused on synchronization protocols in dairy cattle. Today, Joe oversees the development of value-added Genex programs such as DPN, Calf Math™, MPG™ and more.

©2015 CRI


MISSION MISSION

VALUES VALUES INNOVATION

Deliver new solutions to meet emerging needs.

INTEGRITY

Operate with honesty and fairness.

LEADERSHIP

Demonstrate leadership in our industries, in our programs and from our people.

QUALITY

Offer highly-valued and reliable products and services.

STEWARDSHIP Treat our land, our communities, and business resources as our own.

OUR PURPOSE OUR PURPOS GENEX STATEMENT OF PURPOSE Genex is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers.


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G Luca Zago (at left) of CRI distributor Novagen and herd manager Luca Ramazzotti stand before the Sei Ore herd, which produces milk for a popular Italian cheese called Grana Padano.

SWORD FIGHTING, CRI GENETICS & ITALIAN CHEESE:

THE STORY OF SEI ORE FARM By: John Foster // Area Sales Manager, CRI Europe

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ei Ore (or Six Hours) is a farm located in Remedello, in the middle of the Po Valley in north Italy. As the story goes, the farm got its name from an ownership dispute. The dispute, said to have taken place in the 13th century, involved a six hour sword fight. Sei Ore Farm is owned by the Lonati family, who is also involved in the steel, mechanical and textile industries. Tiziano Oneda is the farm director, and Luca Ramazzoti has been manager for the last 21 years. Milk production is the main enterprise at Sei Ore, although substantial income is also generated by the sales of excess stock to other farms. In 2014, 186 first and second lactation cows were sold at an average price of nearly 2000 euros. Luca contacts the buyers regularly to check how the animals perform and to ensure future business.

G Sei Ore consists of two farms. The main farm, pictured here, houses 455 Holstein cows. The other houses 250 young stock.

The dairy averages 36 kgs (79.4 lbs) milk per cow per day with 3.72% fat, 3.35% protein. In the last year Sei Ore produced 5.100.000 kg milk with 420 cows (50% first calving). The casein level, now 2.61%, is important because their milk (and that of three other area dairies) goes to the Ambrosi cheese company to produce Grana Padano. Grana Padano is a top-quality hard cheese produced north of the river Po in the Lombardy region. This special version of Grana is exported and sold, including in New York, at 50 euros/kg. To sell milk for the production of Grana Padano, the dairy must guarantee no genetically modified (GM) products are used on the farm. They have to check and establish that the soya, sunflower and other imported products fed on the farm are GM free. 2 8

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Their milk base price is now 36 euro cents, but with high components, low SCC and the GM-free guarantee they presently get 42 euro cents per litre. Cost of production is 36 euro cents leaving only a small margin at the moment. The farm is 250 hectares (618 acres) and the milking cows are fed 43 fresh kgs per day giving 24 kgs dry matter intake; 16 kgs fresh maize silage is included together with wholecrop silage, sorghum silage, grass hay, ground maize grain, soya and sunflower being the main ingredients. Reproduction is based around a voluntary waiting period of 55 days since calving after which Ovsynch is used. Heifers are bred at 12 months old off natural heat or Ovsynch. The CRI mating program, MAP, has been used on the farm for more than 10 years and has been key to the success of the breeding program. Luca Zago from Novagen, CRI’s Italian distributor, has been involved with the farm during this time and discusses the MAP results to select suitable bulls for the farm. Luca Ramazzotti is especially pleased with his milking 1HO08778 SUPER and 1HO09321 SUDAN daughters; he’s also awaiting the first daughters from 1HO09527 MASSEY and 1HO09192 HILL. Lifetime Net Merit, Productive Life and avoiding inbreeding are very important for Luca. Presently he is also using many genomic-proven sires including 1HO11511 TAMPA, 1HO11545 LAWMAN, 1HO11056 TROY and 501HO11484 TUFFY (GenChoice™). With the quota system in Europe ending in April, Sei Ore plans to expand to 600 milking cows. Management is also in discussion with a partner farm about working together – with 1200 cows in total – in a contract with Ambrosi for Grana Padano production. For Luca, the work at Sei Ore is much more than a job! He describes it as "My House." You can feel his passion and see the attention to detail which makes the farm such a success!  A Author Bio: JOHN FOSTER grew up on a dairy in Yorkshire in north England before studying agriculture at Nottingham University. He has worked in the cattle genetics industry for nearly 30 years; since 2000 he has marketed CRI genetics in Europe. He represents CRI in 12 European countries.

©2015 CRI


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John Deere Financial and Genex are pleased to provide you with unique finance options to meet the specific needs of your operation. Whether thinking about the next day, next season or next generation you can count on us to help. To learn more, visit JohnDeereFinancial.com/Customer Advantage Multi-use accounts are a service of John Deere Financial, f.s.b.


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

YOUR TOP FACTORS FOR

REPRO SUCCESS In early April, we took to social media to find out what you – our members and customers – felt was the most significant factor contributing to reproductive success in your herd. Here’s what you had to say!

Timely breeding

Animal condition

Post-calving herd health protocol

CIDR synch, consistent and accurate breeder

Good communication between all involved in repro management

Heat detection

Nutrition, especially for dry cows and post calving

A vet who cares!

Nutrition and good bulls

Teamwork, great nutrition, herd health checks and high fertility bulls

Ovsynch program and putting the time in to watch for heats

Nutrition and following Ovsynch protocol

Ovsynch used properly along with heat detection

Teamwork and regular meetings

Teamwork both on-farm and with industry

Nutrition and good heat detection

Following protocols

Pedometers for heat detection and bulls with high SCR

Communication and people - from the heat detector to the breeder

Nutrition, good quality semen and time available for heat detection

Environment, nutrition, timing and handling

A combination of nutrition, good communication and teamwork

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GIVE CALVES THE PUSH ™ THEY NEED CALF NUTRITIONAL PASTE

Utilize this protein and energy packed paste to jumpstart calves following birth or other stress challenges.

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H O R I Z O N S

R

esearch has shown ketosis (clinical and subclinical) affects 40-60% of dairy cows, at an average cost of $289 per case. Cows with ketosis not only produce less milk, but are more likely to develop other health related issues such as a displaced abomasum, fatty liver and an increased chance of herd removal in the first 30 days.

KetoMonitor

TM

Measure Ketosis Prevalence in Your Herd

Stop Ketosis from silently robbing profits from your dairy herd.

Learn more at www.agsource.com/ketomonitor NOW AVAILABLE exclusively from AgSource

Good nutrition and care (before, during & after) plus a good team of people who know their heat cycles

AGSOURCE LAUNCHES KETOMONITOR™ KETOSIS MANAGEMENT TOOL

Traditionally, monitoring clinical and sub‑clinical ketosis has been difficult and time consuming because most detection methods involve testing individual fresh cows on a weekly basis. However, thanks to new research by the University of Wisconsin Dairy Science Department and School of Veterinary Medicine, under the leadership of Dr. Heather White, Tawny Chandler and Dr. Gary Oetzel, in cooperation with AgSource Cooperative Services, DHI milk samples can now be used to evaluate monthly ketosis prevalence in a herd. AgSource’s KetoMonitor™, introduced in January, is a comprehensive tool combining laboratory analysis and individual cow data collected on test day to provide producers with a report that estimates a herd’s ketosis prevalence. This report evaluates early fresh (5-11 days in milk) and overall (5-20 days in milk) prevalence levels for two groups: first lactation animals and second and greater lactation animals. KetoMonitor is designed to alert producers to any changes that may impact transition cow health, guide management and nutrition decisions, and customize on-farm blood testing protocols. Although not designed to be an individual cow test, it also flags early fresh cows that are likely to have ketosis.

For more info about KetoMonitor contact Erin Berger at eberger@agsource.com SHOP NOW! profitshop.crinet.com or call AgSource customer service at profitshop.crinet.com 800.236.4995.  ©2015 CRI

G


GENESIS 25 YEARS AND COUNTING! More than 25 years ago, the GENESIS Cooperative Herd was built on a foundation of rapid genetic progress and accurate female genetic evaluations. In other words, we focused on management of elite commercial females in a real-world setting. Today, the result is sires that provide our members and customers the opportunity to easily improve the genetics of their herds and a no fuss means to manage inbreeding. Follow along in coming issues of Horizons as we continue to show you the significance of GENESIS and highlight our cooperator herds.


291 Woodlawn Rd W Unit 4C Guelph, Ontario N1H 7L6 Phone 888/354-4622

PUBLICATION NUMBER 40022882 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

IDEAL in any

situation.

A profit-indicating measure to rank Holstein sires that puts greater emphasis on longevity, health, and optimal body size and condition without sacrificing yield and udder traits.

Š2015 CRI

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HORIZONS  

Genex Dairy HORIZONS, April 2014

HORIZONS  

Genex Dairy HORIZONS, April 2014