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AUGUST 2016 MAKING BET TER BREEDING DECISIONS | FINDING THE REPRO ROBBERS | PROOF REPORT

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

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International


“I want a functional, durable, long-lasting cow that produces lots of high component milk. The less events she has on her cow card the better. That’s a great cow for any commercial dairy farmer.”

– Darin Dykstra, Dykstra Dairy, Maurice, Iowa

THAT’S AN IDEAL COMMERCIAL COW. ©2016 CRI


TA B L E

O F

C O N T E N T S

HORIZONS

August 2016 Vol. 22/No. 2 Published three times a year for dairy producers in the U.S. |

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE Genex Cooperative, Inc.

P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 info@crinet.com 888.333.1783 www.crinet.com

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

K On the Cover: Darin Dykstra of Dykstra Dairy, a GENESIS cooperator herd, strives for the ideal commercial cow. Commercial cows will help him meet his mission of producing food efficiently and producing more with less.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Paul Greene, President Berlin, N.Y., 518.658.2419

John Ruedinger, 1st Vice President Van Dyne, Wis., 920.922.9899

Bobby Robertson, 2nd Vice President Tahlequah, Okla., 918.822.0020

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

Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, Wis., 715.289.3860

Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, Ariz., 520.251.6455

Terry Frost Roundup, Mont., 406.323.3415

Lamar Gockley Mohnton, Penn., 717.283.5586

Harold House Nokesville, Va., 571.722.3356

Kay Olson-Martz Friendship, Wis., 608.564.7359

Jody Schaap Woodstock, Minn., 507.215.2257

Daniel Tetreault Champlain, N.Y., 518.298.8690

Bill Zimmerman Foley, Minn., 320.355.2191

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

REPRINTS Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without Genex Cooperative, Inc.’s permission.

CONTENTS 10

Perspective 4 | Manufacturing at Its Finest In the News 6 | Co-op Awards Scholarships to Ag Students 9 | Employees Recognized for Outstanding Service 10 | CRI Employees Build Co-ops,

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Relationships and Memories

12 | Genex Debuts Six New Jersey Sires 14 | 10 Genex Sires Top +1000 ICC$ Membership Matters 7 | The Power of Ownership

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Herd Management 11 | Replenish Cattle Without Affecting DCAD 18 | Silently Robbing Your Herd of Repro Performance (Among Other Things)

21 | Mastitis Makes an Impact 23 | A Career Assessment for Dairy Females

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Genetically Speaking 16 | Our Ideal Commercial Cow Reproductive Management 28 | Improving Fertility

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.

©2016 CRI

MISSION: CRI is the global leader delivering excellence, innovation and value to members and customers as a strong cooperative. 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. H O R I Z O N S

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P E R S P E C T I V E

MANUFACTURING

AT ITS FINEST By: Glen Gilbert // Vice President of Production, Genex

The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.

– Charles Swindoll

S

emen production in the bull is a dynamic process. The bull basically has a sperm factory that never takes a break. It constantly produces sperm 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year. It does not take time off for holidays or bad weather, although weather can impact how the factory performs. So can a bull’s health, his body condition, nutritional status, age and his environment.

The “assembly line” production process takes about 10 weeks to produce a sperm capable of fertilizing an egg. It’s a complex process in which cells divide to reduce their chromosomes (amount of DNA) by half, dramatically change their shape and grow a tail capable of motion. Any imperfection in the process, such as breaks in the strands of DNA, results in a defective sperm that won’t be fertile.

Climate Control

The thermostat in the factory is set to maintain the temperature at 4 degrees below body temperature. If the factory runs hotter than this, defective sperm is the result. To help ensure quality sperm, males are equipped with a sophisticated “air conditioner” that works to maintain the proper temperature. Features of that air conditioner include a large number of sweat glands along the surface of the bull’s scrotum, the ability to raise or lower the factory depending on the outside temperature and a system where warm arteriole blood coming from the body is cooled at the top of the scrotum by cooler blood returning from the testis. In over-conditioned bulls, fat deposits in the top of the scrotum interfere with this cooling mechanism and result in a factory that is too warm. Bulls that are overconditioned, as is the case with some beef bulls when they first arrive at Genex, will tend to produce semen with a high number of defective sperm. For many of those beef bulls, it is a balancing act between the animal “looking good” and producing good quality semen. Of course, things such as hot summer temperatures or illness with fever can overwhelm the factory’s cooling capacity and result in defective sperm too. Even brief thermal insults lasting only a few days can impair normal semen production for several months. A bull with “good quality” semen one day can have a change in quality the following day. That is why the Genex laboratory staff examines each and every collection that arrives in the laboratory in numerous ways.

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©2016 CRI


P E R S P E C T I V E

Screening for Fatal Flaws

Sperm need to be able to swim, have an adequate energy supply, be able to move up through the uterus into the oviduct, attach to the lining of the oviduct and wait for a signal from the female that her ova will be passing by soon. Then, the sperm needs to have enough energy to pull away from the lining of the oviduct by becoming hyper-motile, possess the necessary membrane structure that can attach to the ova and have the enzymes necessary to digest its way through the covering of the egg. Finally, the sperm needs to have the right complement of DNA that will combine with the ova’s DNA to create an embryo. Once inside, its DNA must be fully functional and not have any lethal genetic defects. Every bull will produce some sperm that have flaws. Some sperm can’t swim. Some don’t have adequate energy stored. Some have faulty membranes, and some have don’t have properly packaged DNA. Any one of these flaws causes that individual sperm to be useless. However, as long as enough of the entire population has the necessary traits, a bull’s semen will be fertile when deposited at the right time and the right place in a female’s reproductive tract. Collectively these necessary physical characteristics of a population of sperm are referred to as “semen quality.” Each collection arriving in a Genex laboratory is screened to ensure it has sufficient numbers of sperm with those quality characteristics. If an ejaculate does not have adequate quality, it ends up in the dumpster. This past year Genex laboratory staff evaluated the physical characteristics of over 51,000 ejaculates collected from 615 Genex bulls. Of these, approximately 6,500 ejaculates ended up in the trash after the initial screening because the population of cells in the ejaculate had too many defects.

Production Protocols

Those collections that pass the initial screening tests are allowed to proceed to the next steps in the Genex production process: adding preservation media and freezing. Following the protocols precisely for preservation and freezing is important in order to yield an adequate number of normal sperm per straw after freezing. Protocols are also important because each part of the process can influence others, even the preservation media and the method by which it is added to the semen, the precise ratio of semen to extension media, the rate of temperature change of the extended semen to 40 degrees (F), the period of time the semen spends at 40 degrees, and the rate of temperature change between 40 degrees and liquid nitrogen temperature.

©2016 CRI

Quality Control Commitment

As for production protocols, from the time a bull leaves his stall to go to the collection arena until his semen comes out of the freezer, no less than 56 distinct steps are carefully carried out and monitored. Throughout the process, staff work by the motto, “If there’s any doubt, throw it out.” That motto and the laboratory staff’s work doesn’t end when the semen is frozen in liquid nitrogen. Instead, straws from each batch are then thawed and again inspected in the laboratory to ensure an adequate number of quality sperm survived the freezing process. Demonstrating the cooperative’s commitment to quality, in the past year 1.5 million straws went into the dumpster after failing this inspection.

Dedication to quality control means:

If there’s any doubt, throw it out. Meeting Members’ Expectations

In total, in the last 12 months staff have collected enough sperm from Genex bulls to make approximately 18 million straws of semen. Of that, enough semen to make 7.5 million straws ended up in the dumpster because the sperm did not have the right physical traits to live up to the cooperative’s values of quality and integrity. The Genex production and laboratory staff’s commitment is an important reason the cooperative is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics. 

A Author Bio: Glen Gilbert, a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a master’s in dairy science/reproductive physiology, has worked in the cooperative’s Production Division since 1977. He is responsible for semen and embryo production operations, including animal health and farm activities, at all Genex facilities.

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CRI RESEARCHERS GATHER IN SHAWANO

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arlier this summer, CRI scientists and other staff members associated with research and development gathered to discuss the status and plans for major areas of CRI research programming. With 29 people in attendance, the collective group represents the significant increase in CRI’s commitment to research and development. 

MORLEY NAMED MOFA GLOBAL COO

CO-OP AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS TO AG STUDENTS

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our students were awarded the Cooperative Resources International (CRI) Collegiate Scholarship. Laura Jensen of Comstock, Wisconsin; Jordan Siemers of Newton, Wisconsin; Lars Schilderink of Hart, Texas; and Stetson Ellingson of St. Anthony, North Dakota, earned $750 scholarships to be applied to their college education. “Students applying for the CRI Collegiate scholarship exemplified the importance of agriculture and the role it plays in their lives, specifically their involvement on a dairy or ranch of an AgSource or Genex member,” states Terri Dallas, CRI Vice President of Information & Public Relations. “The pool of strong applicants was impressive, and their dedication to agriculture is humbling.”

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OFA Global announces Dave Morley as Chief Operating Officer, with the retirement of company founder Ludwig Simmet. MOFA Global, a sister subsidiary to Genex, is a leading provider of assisted reproduction technologies for porcine, bovine, equine and canine. “Dave’s training, manufacturing experience and involvement in employee programs make him an excellent COO choice,” states Doug Wilson, CEO of Cooperative Resources International (parent company of Genex and MOFA Global). “His experience and dedication, coupled with mentoring by Simmet, will enable MOFA Global to continue leading the industry in providing quality products and customer service throughout North America and around the globe.” Since December 2001, Dave has served as MOFA Global’s Vice President of Operations, overseeing operational aspects from purchasing and manufacturing to assembly and shipping. During his tenure, he also contributed to international marketing organization and growth, assisting with the acquisition of MOFA Global Mexico and operations at MOFA Global Canada. In addition, he helped lead building projects for both MOFA Global and the CRI International Center for Biotechnology.  6

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Laura Jensen is the daughter of Neil and Janice Jensen, members of Genex. She has an active role on her family’s dairy, Idle Gold Farm, and is currently attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she studies animal science with an emphasis in dairy production. Jordan Siemers is the son of Dan and Janina Siemers, members of AgSource Cooperative Services. He applies his agricultural experiences at Siemers Holsteins while pursuing a degree in animal science with a dairy management concentration from Cornell University. Lars Schilderink is the son of Laurens and Ilona Schilderink. He gained agriculture experience in cattle production while working for Genex members Spandet Dairy LLC and Spandet Heifer Yard. This fall, he will attend California Polytechnic State University where he will study agribusiness. Stetson Ellingson, the son of Genex members Chad and Julie Ellingson, is pursuing a degree in agribusiness from North Dakota State University. He plays an active role in cattle health and production on his family’s ranch, Ellingson Angus. 

Collegiate Scholarship 2016 Recipients

Laura Jensen

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Jordan Siemers Cornell University

Lars Schilderink

California Polytechnic State University

Stetson Ellingson North Dakota State University

©2016 CRI


M E M B E R S H I P

M AT T E R S

THE POWER OF OWNERSHIP

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s a Genex member you have the opportunity to guide the future of your cooperative. How does it work? Each fall, you can choose to be included on the delegate election ballot for your membership district. If elected, you are asked to attend the Genex annual meeting and a fall input meeting to give input and gain knowledge. Learn more below. 

What’s the Time Commitment?

Genex is the strong cooperative it is today because past producers, like you, took initiative, became members and delegates, developed a vision and made that vision a reality. Consider the impact you could make on this cooperative. – PAUL GREENE, GENEX PRESIDENT

Delegates are asked to attend two meetings per year: • Annual meeting held January 24-25, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minnesota • Fall input meetings held in October and November at locations around the U.S.

2016 Fall Delegate Meetings October 18 – Albany, New York October 19 – Syracuse, New York October 20 – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania November 1 – Alexandria, Minnesota November 2 – Rochester, Minnesota November 8 – Atlanta, Georgia November 9 – Kansas City, Missouri November 17 – Appleton, Wisconsin November 18 – Las Vegas, Nevada

Does Genex Pay Expenses?

Delegate and alternate expenses associated with the meetings are paid by the co-op. Plus, delegates and alternates are paid a per diem.

Can Someone Else Represent My Farm As a Delegate?

The owner of the farm can designate a family member or an employee to represent their farm and include their name on the ballot.

How Do I Become a Delegate?

Each fall a nomination postcard is sent to each Genex member. Complete and return the postcard nominating yourself as a delegate. Then, you will be included on the election ballot for your membership district. 

• BE ACTIVE IN THE CO-OP BY SERVING AS AN ELECTED DELEGATE! • MEET FACE-TO-FACE WITH GENEX SENIOR MANAGEMENT! • REVIEW CO-OP OPERATIONS! • PROVIDE VALUABLE INPUT ON CO-OP AND INDUSTRY TOPICS! ©2016 CRI

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International

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FIND OUT FIRST ON FACEBOOK!

GENEX EMPLOYEES’ DONATION HELPS FIGHT HUNGER

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e the first to know about Genex sires, products and more. Join us on Facebook for up-to-date information and sneak peaks into the cooperative. Also, follow us on Twitter and YouTube! 

t the Genex Dairy Marketing & Sales Conference held in July, cooperative employees donated $2,841.36 to Invest an Acre. This program is designed to engage farmers, agribusiness and rural communities in the fight against hunger in rural communities across America.

All donations are matched by Invest an Acre, making the Genex contribution total $5,682.72! Every $1 donated equals three meals, meaning co-op employees provided nearly 8,500 meals to those in need in local communities! 

CARSON NAMED DAIRY PROCUREMENT MANAGER

BUY ONLINE, ANYTIME. GENEX PROFIT SHOP.

A

s the cooperative’s new Dairy Procurement Manager, Scott Carson provides leadership in developing and procuring dairy sires, including from the GENESIS Cooperative Herd, for Genex and the CRI International Marketing Division. Scott joined Genex in January 2009. Prior to coming to Genex, he owned and operated Celestial Jerseys. 

SHOP NOW!

profitshop.crinet.com

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Talk to your Genex Representative or call 1-888-333-1783 to order.

SCAN HERE or visit www.estrotect.com/genex for tips to improve your breeding success.

Mounting Evidence™ As Good as a BULL™

©2016 Rockway, Inc. ESTROTECT, Mounting Evidence and As Good As A Bull are trademarks of Rockway, Inc.


I N

T H E

N E W S

CO-OP EMPLOYEES RECOGNIZED FOR

MISSION AWARDS Total Semen Unit Growth: Ron Heim Territory Sales Manager Ontario, California

OUTSTANDING SERVICE

Alfredo Gutierrez Reproductive Program Senior Technician Homeland, California Adrian De Bie Reproductive Program Senior Technician Chino, California Francisco Aguilar Reproductive Technician Riverside, California

KEVIN BOYLE LEADERSHIP AWARD

Doug Westenbroek Territory Sales Manager Ontario, California

Greg Hoffman

Total Service Growth: Dean Griswold Reproductive Program Senior Technician Cambridge, New York

Greg Hoffman has dedicated 40 years to serving Genex members and customers throughout the upper Midwest. However, it’s his leadership and dedication to his employees that earned him this award. Throughout his years at Genex, Greg has shaped and guided hundreds of employees through industry and economic changes.

Hank Wadsworth Reproductive Program Senior Technician Greenwich, New York Ben Giese Reproductive Program Senior Technician Greenwich, New York Robert Plaisted Reproductive Program Senior Technician Cambridge, New York Ray Steidle Territory Sales Manager Argyle, New York Total Resale Product Growth: Vanessa Washburn Territory Sales Manager Portales, New Mexico Total Income Growth: Ramiro Gonzalez Reproductive Program Senior Technician Bakersfield, California Doug Westenbroek Territory Sales Manager Ontario, California

SALES & SERVICE AWARDS Outstanding Area Sales Manager: Steve Sheppard Dairy Area Sales Manager Bad Axe, Michigan Outstanding Strategic Marketing and Sales: Dustin Hollermann Dairy Account Manager Burtrum, Minnesota Outstanding Technical Services: Joe Binversie Value Added Programs Manager Green Bay, Wisconsin ©2016 CRI

Director of Dairy Sales Region Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Greg began working for Genex predecessors as a breeding technician in 1976 and was promoted to sales manager in 1982. In 1997, he accepted the position of Director of Dairy Sales Region and has served in that role for the past 19 years. Greg’s success can be attributed to his focus and determination. He sets clear goals and continues to push himself and his team forward with continual training and setting high performance expectations. Greg ensures his team remains successful by being a leader first and a supervisor second. “A leader sees himself as a servant, not a boss. You need to focus on developing your team to maximize your success,” Greg explains. “A leader sees things in a person they don’t see themselves and works to make that employee more valuable to both themselves and the company. Being a leader is exciting; being a supervisor is drudgery.” Dave Goedken, Vice President of U.S. Sales and Service, notes, “Greg’s vision for future needs and his ability to position his staff to meet members’ and customers’ needs is second-to-none. Because of Greg’s outstanding mentorship and positive impact, many of his employees have been promoted to serve Genex in larger, prominent roles. In addition to Greg’s strength of developing people, he is results driven and consistently performs above expectations.” The Kevin Boyle Leadership Award is not the first award Greg has received. He has also been recognized as a Sales and Service Academy Winner and received a Genex Mission Award three times. He has been elected as a city official for Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, for the past 16 years and is currently serving his ninth year as Mayor. Greg also serves on the Northern Wisconsin State Fair Board. 

About the Kevin Boyle Leadership Award The Kevin Boyle Leadership Award is presented to one Genex employee annually. The award was established in memory of Kevin Boyle, a former Genex employee who demonstrated vision, devotion and pride for the cooperative. Recipients for the award exceed expectations in the following five categories: commitment to improving farm reproduction and genetics, willingness to help others, ability to provide superior support services, excellence in communication skills and positive attitude. H O R I Z O N S

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CRI Employees Build CO-OPS, Relationships and Memories

J Witnessing equipment and protocol differences used in herd management, such as this motorized A.I. cart in China, provides Global Enrichment Program participants with a better understanding of the worldwide industry in which they work.

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t may not include sipping cocktails on the beach or that white magic castle with life-sized cartoon characters for the kids, but for individuals involved in the agriculture industry, it just may be a trip of a lifetime. In 2015, CRI began the Global Enrichment Program, enabling employees from all areas of the company the opportunity to get involved with projects across the globe. Angie Ahlgrim, CRI Global Development Administrator, is excited about the win-win nature of the program, “Our employees are sharing their specific skill sets with those in our industry across the world. They come back to the U.S. with new enthusiasm and knowledge to help CRI and our members and customers prosper.” Genex Dairy Area Sales Manager Joel Delzer was one of the program’s first participants last fall. He traveled to Bulgaria and Serbia as part of a USDA grant‑funded Emerging Markets Program. The trip focused on education and included farm visits and seminars on the U.S. dairy industry and understanding U.S. dairy proofs. Joel was impressed by the interest and questions he received and found farmers in both countries would benefit further from A.I. training as well as more synchronization education. Joel also added, “I really enjoyed the discussions I had with each of the distributors on the importance of people and sales in each of our areas. We talked a lot on having quality people and how to motivate, coach and develop staff.”

J CRI Global Enrichment Program participants, like Joel Delzer (at right), also learn about local history and culture while traveling. 1 0

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A.I. training was the primary charge of Genex Dairy Account Manager, Phillip Lunn, during his 11-day global enrichment. His opportunity was created at the request of CRI distributors in China. Phillip’s eight on-farm training sessions and seminar attended by 140 attendees represented by 95 dairies, also included four in-country flights to allow him to reach most of the east central part of the country. Phillip comments, “Everyone who has an opportunity to do it, needs to. You take a week or 10 days out of your entire life and it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.” 

it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

©2016 CRI


H E R D

M A N A G E M E N T

By: Kenzie Smith & Kirsten French // Resale Product Advisors, Genex

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umiLife™ Electrolyte M™ nutritional supplement is a great product to help maintain normal hydration, electrolyte balance and dry matter intake during Nutritional Supplement periods of stress. While RumiLife Electrolyte M can be beneficial to feed to the whole herd during heat stress, nutritional stress or at other times of disease, one of the most practical uses is in the fresh cow pen. In some cases this means a herd’s nutritionist may want to talk about placement in the total mixed ration (TMR). One important question the nutritionist might ask is, “How will RumiLife Electrolyte M nutritional supplement affect the DCAD?” To answer it simply, RumiLife Electrolyte M nutritional supplement is a DCAD-neutral product. Producers can rest assured this product will not have any negative affects on the ration while supplying nutrients needed to replenish and maintain normal hydration during times of stress.

Electrolyte M

What is DCAD?

DCAD stands for dietary cation-anion difference and is calculated by adding the milliequivalents of dietary cations, sodium, and potassium and subtracting the sum of the dietary anions, chloride and sulfur milliequivalents. These charges affect the blood buffering capacity along with the acidity of the cow’s blood. DCAD has become an important part of ration formulation for dry and fresh cows. Paying attention to the DCAD value of the rations, especially in pre- and post-calving cows, has become part of the dairy nutritionist's job. The DCAD level of the ration will have an effect on calcium metabolism which will have a direct effect on the feed intake of the cow. An anionic or negative DCAD diet is recommended for close‑up cows three weeks from parturition. Studies have shown cows fed an anionic diet within 21 days of parturition produce more milk during the start of lactation than their peers, and this is directly related to their dry matter intake.1 An anionic diet during this time has also been shown to maintain dry matter intake and reduce incidences of milk fever, retained placenta, ketosis and other metabolic disorders upon calving.2 During post-calving, the DCAD should be positive. This allows cows to develop more blood buffering capacity. Because fresh cows can easily develop rumen acidosis, having a greater ability to buffer themselves metabolically will help them combat it. The harder cows are pushed to increase milk production, the higher the DCAD level should be in the ration. This helps cows increase dry matter intake postpartum and maximize milk and milk component production.3 A Author Bios: Kenzie Smith received a bachelor's degree in animal science from Oregon State University. Growing up on her family's ranch, where she was involved in raising and showing beef cattle, sparked her interest in agriculture. Kenzie is a Resale Product Advisor, marketing and providing sales support for resale products. Kirsten French earned her bachelor's degree in animal science and management with a dual emphasis in livestock and dairy from the University of California, Davis. She is a Resale Product Advisor, marketing and providing sales support for resale products.

©2016 CRI

During periods of heat stress, cows will develop metabolic acidosis as their respiratory rate increases and they lose bicarbonate in their saliva as they drool. They also lose potassium and sodium as they sweat, and they do not consume as much of those important minerals as their feed intake drops.2 Increasing the DCAD in the ration is one way to help alleviate the effects of metabolic acidosis. For more information on RumiLife Electrolyte M nutritional supplement or DCAD, contact your Genex Resale Product Advisor.  References k Weich, W., E. Block, and N.B. Litherland. 2013. Extended negative dietary cation-anion difference feeding does not negatively affect postpartum performance of multiparous dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 96:5780-5792. 2 DCAD Nutrition for Dairy Cattle Research Summary. Church & Dwight Co., Inc. 2010:23–25. 3 Harrison J, White R, Kincaid R, Block E, Jenkins T, St. Pierre N. 2012. Effectiveness of potassium carbonate sesquihydrate to increase dietary cation-anion difference in early lactation cows. J Dairy Sci. 95:3919-3925. 1

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GENEX DEBUTS SIX NEW JERSEY SIRES

LEADERS AND ACHIEVERS

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he Genex lineup delivers great leaders and achievers that empower members and customers to build progressive herds. Among those leading sires is 1JE00892 VANDRELL {2}. This bull continues to dominate the genomic JPI list now standing no. 2 in the industry at +273! He also maintained his spot atop the cooperative’s CM$ list at +693. Adding to his outstanding credentials, VANDRELL is an elite fertility sire recording an impressive +2.5 Sire Conception Rate (SCR) and 105 PregCheck™. A Visionary son directly out of Faria Brothers Action Dean Smith {1}, EX-92%, VANDRELL will sire daughters that excel in production and type with a +17.2 JUI and +129 CFP.

J Faria Brothers Marvel Hamm {4}-ET, dam of WORLD CUP

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ith the August sire summary, the Genex lineup totals 45 sires displaying the traits producers demand for genetic advancement and continued breed growth in this Jersey generation. From producer favorites to six new graduates, Genex sires tout the credentials to produce efficient, trouble-free and fertile cows. The highly sought-after sire of sons, 1JE00935 WORLD CUP {5}, joins the lineup with a no-holes report card featuring a +239 JPI™, +16.8 JUI™ and +680 Cheese Merit (CM$). Coming from the Jersey GENESIS Cooperative Herd out of Faria Brothers Marvel Hamm {4}-ET, this Chili son specializes in health traits: +7.0 Productive Life (PL), +1.2 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), +2.2 Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and +3.3 Heifer Conception Rate (HCR).

J Faria Brothers Action Dean Smith {1}, EX-92%, dam of VANDRELL & MGD of RONALDO and PROP JOE

1JE00938 NEUER {3} graduates as an early high-ranking son of 1JE00862 BADGER {3}. NEUER earned a +216 JPI with an impressive +25.6 JUI. He complements this high type with production numbers over +1200 Milk and +571 CM$. NEUER is also +6.5 PL with +0.4 DPR. Note he is JH1C and 91 BBR.

Hailing from the same maternal family as VANDRELL, 1JE00922 RONALDO {3} had an impressive proof day coming in at +249 JPI. This Harris son checks all the boxes for quality production with over +1400 Milk, +128 CFP and a low +2.75 Somatic Cell Score.

1JE00942 JEROME-UR is a newly activated Harris son from GENESIS cooperator herd, Aardema Dairies. This elite JPI sire comes in at +209 with a +17.0 JUI. JEROME-UR offers daughter fertility (+0.4 DPR) and sire fertility (+1.2 CCR, +2.0 HCR).

A maternal brother to RONALDO, 1JE00889 PROP JOE jumped to +212 JPI with an elite +95 Fat, which makes him the lineup’s highest CFP sire at +133. PROP JOE is also a fertility specialist with standout values for SCR (+2.5), PregCheck and PregCheck+.

J Faria Brothers Marvel 221834 {2}-ET, VG-88%, dam of NEUER

1JE00946 LARS is an exciting Chili son that delivers a unique trait combination in his +203 JPI and breed-leading +2.6 DPR. LARS also adds type with +15.8 JUI and longevity at +6.5 PL. Fertility is yet another specialty at +2.8 CCR and +2.5 +HCR. 1JE00944 TAD presents a diverse pedigree being a high-ranking Pilgrim son at +202 JPI. He backs that JPI number with +546 CM$ and +10.0 JUI. Look to TAD to add exceptional combined Fat & Protein (+100 CFP) as well as improve daughter fertility (+0.6 DPR).

1JE00928 COMANCHE now adds sire fertility specialist to his credentials with a breed-leading +4.0 SCR! This +204 JPI Axis son has an elite +16.1 JUI. COMANCHE will sire daughters with profitable production as well with his +1302 Milk and +91 CFP. 

1JE00950 TOTTI {4}, an exciting new 1JE00882 FORMIDABLE son, debuts at +194 JPI. This new graduate also adds a standout +2.1 DPR along with +5.8 PL, +1.8 CCR and +0.7 HCR.  1 2

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©2016 CRI


World-Class Genetics IN THE

JERSEY

GENERATION a

1JE00935 Co-op AD WORLD CUP {5}-ET

NEW

NEW

ELITE GENOMIC SIRES

JPI ™

CFP

1JE00892 VANDRELL {2}

+273

+129

1JE00922 RONALDO {3}

+249

+128

1JE00935 WORLD CUP {5} +239

+102

1JE00921 EUSEBIO {4}

+229

+121

1JE00938 NEUER {3}

+216

+88

1JE00889 PROP JOE {3}

+212

+133

1JE00891 TODD {2}

+211

+118

1JE00929 WISDOM {4}

+209

+102

DAUGHTER-PROVEN SUCCESS

JPI

CFP

1JE00826 DAZZLER

+179

+89

1JE00848 ILLUSION

+172

+74

1JE00845 DOMINIC-P

+125

+38

1JE00801 MADDEN {4}

+102

+44

Jordan Leak of Aardema Dairies, Jerome, Idaho, with daughters of 1JE00848 ILLUSION, 1JE00845 DOMINIC-P and 1JE00801 MADDEN.

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. CDCB/08-2016, IB-M/USA/08-2016, AJCA/08-2016

Photos by Sarah Damrow.

©2016 CRI

Genex

Cooperative, Inc. A Subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International

888.333.1783


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

10 GENEX SIRES TOP +1000 ICC$ G enex now has 10 Holstein sires over +1000 on the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index. Complementing this elite genetic rank, these sires also possess diverse pedigrees with six different sires and seven different maternal grandsires.

Leading the ICC$ list is new release 1HO11684 LEGENDARY. He touts a complete genetic package that includes +8.6 Productive Life (PL), +4.4 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) J Welcome O-Style Lonnie-ET, VG-88, VG-MS, DOM, and +1.57 Udder Composite dam of LEGENDARY (UDC)! This elite Delta son, out of arguably the best O-Style daughter anywhere, is a great example of the difference between ICC$ (breeding for profit) and TPI®. LEGENDARY will sire longer lasting, more fertile daughters while moderating frame size for optimal efficiency. He comes in at +1106 ICC$. Brothers 1HO12800 GAGE, 1HO12782 GUINESS and 1HO11665 GENIUS continue to boast impressive ICC$ values over +1020. All three have Udder Composites over +1.30 and excellent DPR and PL values too. 1HO11905 BLOWTORCH is the lineup’s first Silver son. In addition to an elite +1014 ICC$ ranking, BLOWTORCH leads the lineup for TPI at +2756. Sporting an impressive daughter-proven sire stack, he will have high appeal as a no-holes sire that is the ideal balance of genetic rank, production and health traits. Sure to add depth, strength and width without sacrificing functionality, use this highly popular sire of sons today!

NOT TO BE OVERLOOKED …

N

ew release 1HO11923 TROUBLE is a great example of quality milk, and he’s the ticket to premiums. With over +100 pounds CFP and a low +2.56 SCS, this son of 1HO11528 EMERALD is sure to add profit. TROUBLE also sires a very appealing commercial linear that will transmit modestly-sized daughters that excel in width and udder quality.

1HO11917 BLACK JACK is a tremendous new bull that will sire ideal commercial cows at +965 ICC$. BLACK JACK will impact lifetime profitability by improving both Fat (+0.22%) and Protein (+0.07%). He’s also an extremely elite health trait sire adding extra months of productivity (+8.1 PL), improving milk quality (+2.69 SCS) and increasing daughter fertility (+2.9 DPR). 1HO11918 REGGIE-P *RC is an early son of popular polled sire of sons Powerball-P and debuts with an impressive +700 ICC$. REGGIE-P *RC will sire improved profitability while increasing Milk (+1139) and Fat yield (+72). Along with production, REGGIE adds type from a +1.63 UDC and can be used in the heifer pens with a low 6.8% SCE.

1HO11688 MURCIELAGO is an exciting addition to the lineup. He boasts a different sire stack of Monterey x Maurice from the globally popular Tasket family developed through the GENESIS Cooperative Herd. MURCIELAGO was used as a sire of sons by Genex and is admired for his extremely high multiple trait index values of +1025 ICC$, +828 Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$) and +2670 TPI. Dairy producers can look to MURCIELAGO to increase fat and protein percentages, improve milk quality and also enhance female fertility. Maybe most unique and exciting of all, MURCIELAGO combines low Sire Calving Ease (6.7%) with breed-leading type composites for both udder and foot and leg at +2.46 and +1.48 respectively. 1HO11673 MAGISTA’s maternal line hails from the breeding program at North Florida Holsteins which is famous for a focus on lifetime profit and health and fitness. Therefore, it’s no surprise MAGISTA is an ICC$ chart-topper at +1015! MAGISTA was used extensively as a sire of sons and as a flush sire in the GENESIS cooperator herds. He can be trusted to improve fat and protein percentages and excel for health and fitness without sacrificing udders (+2.09 UDC). At 6.1% Sire Calving Ease (SCE) use MAGISTA with confidence in heifer pens too. Take advantage of all this from a unique outcross sire stack of Stoic x Maurice. 1HO12827 AMBASSADOR is a 1HO11056 TROY son that offers the complete package. He comes in at +1005 ICC$ and +810 LNM$. He will add production at +1400 Milk with +128 CFP. AMBASSADOR offers extremely low calving ease (5.6% SCE, 4.6% DCE) and will improve daughter fertility (+2.6 DPR) and longevity (+6.6 PL). These sires, plus the previously released 1HO11662 BUXTON and the well-known TROY, round out the ICC$ leaders. 

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J Harmony-Ho Tango Umbrella, daughter of TANGO

1HO10824 TANGO maintains his spot as our proven TPI leader at +2530. TANGO is siring farmer favorite cows in herds all over the world – attractive, balanced, highproducing cows with great udders. His pedigree allows him to be used on Mogul and Supersire daughters. 1HO10396 CABRIOLET added nearly 1,000 daughters and held steady while also positively influencing his sons. CABRIOLET further demonstrates the reliability of the cow families within the GENESIS herd. His daughters are very consistent phenotypically and are good examples of the ideal commercial phenotype. 

J Co-op Maurce Tasket 6926-ET, dam of MURCIELAGO ©2016 CRI


The Fact is … Genex is the industry innovator

and has been for a long time. +854 ICC$ 1HO11048

STOIC

EPIC X TRIGGER X TY

+1383 MILK | +53 PROTEIN STOIC Daughters: Co-op Stoic Prudenc 7628-ET and Co-op Stoic Prudenc 7630-ET

NEW! 1HO11684 LEGENDARY 1HO12800 GAGE

DELTA X O-STYLE X NIFTY

NEW! 1HO11688 MURCIELAGO

TROY X ROBUST X JEEVES

MONTEREY X MAURICE X PLANET

+1106 ICC$

+1034 ICC$

+2.05 FLC | +4.4 DPR | +8.6 PL

5.7% SCE | +116 CFP | +3.1 DPR

+1025 ICC$ +2.66 SCS | +2.46 UDC | +114 CFP

So you have every reason to count on Genex for world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions and value‑added products. That’s a fact.

CDCB/8-16, HA-USA/8-16, IB-M/USA/8-16, HA-M/USA/8-16, CDN/8-16, Genex/8-16

©2016 CRI


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

Our Ideal

Commercial

Cow

“She calves in, goes through the transition without any problem, gets pregnant, milks well, dries off and does it all over again. If she can continue to do that, then that’s a cow we are extremely happy to have.” – John Andersen, Double A Dairy, Jerome, ID

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©2016 CRI


G E N E T I C A L LY

S P E A K I N G

What's Your Breeding Philosophy? That's a huge question but one we posed to industry leader and GENESIS partner John Andersen of Double A Dairy. Below are excerpts from the interview with this cutting-edge dairy producer. We are trying to breed better cows that function in a commercial, large herd environment. We are trying to breed a cow that lasts, that’s trouble‑free, that isn’t too tall, that fits into the freestall and fits into the parallel parlor. We want a cow that we don’t even really know we have, because she’s not going to the hospital pen and not being treated. We don’t have to spend any extra time with her. She calves in, goes through the transition without any problem, gets pregnant, milks well, dries off and does it all over again. If she can continue to do that, then that’s a cow we are extremely happy to have.

Condition

On our operation that ideal cow also carries a little bit extra condition throughout her lactation.

Feed Efficiency

She’s a cow that can eat and turn that feed into milk with few problems and then breed back.

Locomotion

Udders

Stature Production

Health & Fertility

These cows are not going to be ultra-dairy, and they may walk a little bit downhill. We want a good foot and leg on them and a steeper heel. We want a cow that can get around on concrete without any problems. Our ideal cows have good functional udders – that’s one area we’ve made tons of progress in over the years, because you just don’t see a lot of bad uddered cows anymore. We still watch udders but don’t feel it has to be a focus. We do focus on stature. We don’t want the cows too tall. Seven years ago we put a real focus on longevity and health traits – not so much on production – because we wanted a cow that could get pregnant and not have any problems. Over the last couple years, we’ve started to put emphasis back on production, particularly pounds of combined Fat and Protein. With the speed we’re moving now with genetics, we can have the best of both worlds. We can have cows that produce a lot of fat and protein and at the same time are high in DPR and low in somatic cell.

That’s really what we look for: low somatic cell, combined pounds of Fat and Protein, Productive Life, DPR and medium stature. 

©2016 CRI

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SILENTLY ROBBING YOUR HERD OF REPRO PERFORMANCE (AMONG OTHER THINGS)

J These pre-fresh cows could soon be at risk for ketosis.

Y

our favorite cow freshened about two weeks ago. Her heifer calf is growing and looks great. The cow appears to be transitioning well too … at least from the outside. What you can’t see is what’s going on inside of her.

A Metabolic Disease

Following freshening, a cow’s demand for energy exceeds her dietary consumption so fat reserves are mobilized to meet the demands of lactation. Her liver converts those fat reserves into energy. While the process of using fat reserves for energy is normal, not all cows can efficiently handle the negative energy balance. Instead, they may experience excess ketone production (byproducts of the fat breakdown process) and/or fatty liver. Excess ketones in the cow’s blood can mean ketosis. Ketosis is described two ways: clinical (observed) and subclinical. Some of the observed or clinical signs of ketosis in early lactation dairy cows include decreased appetite, weight loss and decreased milk production. Even when there doesn’t appear to be an issue, subclinical ketosis can still be impacting the cow.

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Impact on Production, Culling & Repro

Why worry about subclinical ketosis? Research scientists with the CRI International Center for Biotechnology analyzed individual cow data from AgSource Cooperative Services’ KetoMonitor™ report. The research has led to identification of significant differences in lactation performance metrics on subclinical ketosis positive cows versus subclinical ketosis negative cows. These lactation performance metrics include not only production, udder health, subsequent disease incidence and early lactation culling but also reproduction. How significant are these differences? The following tables illustrate the differences in many of the key metrics and subclinical ketosis’ impact on the long-term profitability. For instance, Table 1 analyzes the average peak milk in pounds for first lactation and subsequent lactation cows that are negative or positive for subclinical ketosis. In general, peak milk sets the tone for the entire lactation. In fact, with each point increase in peak milk, first lactation animals will see an increase of approximately 300 pounds of mature equivalent (ME) milk, and second+

©2016 CRI


H E R D

lactation cows will see an increase of approximately 250 pounds of ME Milk. Shown in Table 1, cows positive for subclinical ketosis (SCK), as identified through the AgSource KetoMonitor report, tend to have lower levels of peak milk production. o Table 1. Production Performance

# of Cows

Avg Peak Milk (lbs)

1st Lactation SCK Negative

81,786

81

1st Lactation SCK Positive

5,766

78

111,006

110

Holsteins

2nd+ Lactation SCK Negative 2nd+ Lactation SCK Positive

38,446

Avg Peak Milk (lbs)

1st Lactation SCK Negative

1,068

54

1st Lactation SCK Positive

110

60

2nd+ Lactation SCK Negative

1,170

91

2nd+ Lactation SCK Positive

259

85

Tables 2 and 3 show a significant increase in culling among cows that are positive for subclinical ketosis in comparison to cows that are negative for subclinical ketosis. For instance, Table 3 shows that second lactation or greater cows that recently freshened (5-11 Days in Milk) and have subclinical ketosis have an 8.2% higher cull rate than their counterparts that are negative for subclinical ketosis. o Table 2. Culling – Overall Herd Prevalence (5-20 DIM)

-3

-4

106

# of Cows

Jerseys

Difference (lbs)

Difference (lbs) +6

M A N A G E M E N T

# of Cows 1st Lactation SCK Negative

65,889

1st Lactation SCK Positive

4,553

1,199 (26.3%)

2nd+ Lactation SCK Negative

89,208

23,074 (25.9%)

2nd+ Lactation SCK Positive

29,726

9,160 (30.8%)

Difference

+5.8%

+4.9%

o Table 3. Culling – Early Fresh Cow Prevalence (5-11 DIM)

# of Cows -6

# and % Culled 13,492 (20%)

# and % Culled 5,341 (20.1%)

1st Lactation SCK Negative

26,594

1st Lactation SCK Positive

3,321

844 (25.4%)

2nd+ Lactation SCK Negative

43,126

11,062 (25.7%)

2nd+ Lactation SCK Positive

8,154

2,764 (33.9%)

Difference

+5.3%

+8.2%

Continued on page 20.

SUBCLINICAL KETOSIS IMPACTS:

1. Production

©2016 CRI

2. Culling

3. Reproduction and more.

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Continued from page 19.

o Table 4. Reproduction – Overall Herd Prevalence (5-20 DIM)

Conception Rate at First Breeding 1st Lactation SCK Negative

68.8%

1st Lactation SCK Positive

62.3%

2nd+ Lactation SCK Negative

61.5%

2nd+ Lactation SCK Positive

59.7%

-6.5%

-1.8%

The tables show how subclinical ketosis can negatively impact profit-related performance. On the topic of dollars and sense, the average case of subclinical ketosis is estimated to cost a producer $289.00.1 Understanding how subclinical ketosis impacts a dairy, as well as the prevalence (approximately 40‑60% of U.S. dairy cattle experience subclinical ketosis2), can help producers better position their dairy for success.

Monitoring & Managing

Controlling and limiting early lactation metabolic diseases, like subclinical ketosis, is key to getting animals off to the right start for a profitable and productive lactation. This is especially important, considering an animal that is positive for ketosis is more susceptible to other early lactation metabolic diseases (and vice versa). Monitoring and managing the disease are important steps. To do this effectively, one needs to diligently monitor all fresh cows, even when there does not appear to be an issue. Today the dairy industry offers several ways to screen for subclinical ketosis, including through milk tests.

Controlling and limiting early lactation metabolic diseases, like subclinical ketosis, is key to getting animals off to the right start for a profitable and productive lactation.

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Conception Rate at First Breeding

Difference

Conception rates at first breeding are significantly lower for subclinical ketosis positive cows than negative in both lactation groups. Examining Table 4, first lactation cows with subclinical ketosis have a 6.5% lower conception rate at first breeding than their counterparts that are negative for subclinical ketosis. For second lactation and greater cows, the difference between those with and without subclinical ketosis is 1.8%.

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o Table 5. Reproduction – Early Fresh Cow Prevalence (5-11 DIM)

1st Lactation SCK Negative

68.8%

1st Lactation SCK Positive

61.8%

2nd+ Lactation SCK Negative

61.4%

2nd+ Lactation SCK Positive

56.3%

Difference -7.0%

-5.1%

AgSource, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin‑Madison Measure Ketosis Prevalence in Your Herd Department of Dairy Science, has done considerable work on early diagnosis of subclinical ketosis using data received through regular monthly milk testing. Research done by Dr. Heather White led to the creation of the KetoMonitor™ report, which combines data collected from individual milk sample results and cow production and management data, to provide a measure that monitors subclinical ketosis in fresh cows 5-20 Days in Milk. The convenience, efficiency and accuracy of the testing and data reporting has led to the KetoMonitor report’s acceptance as an effective tool for monitoring subclinical ketosis.

KetoMonitor

TM

Subclinical ketosis impacts many areas of profitability. As more research is conducted, data continues to support the fact it is a costly disease that not only needs to be monitored but managed as well. Research in the mid-1990s documented heritability of many metabolic disorders in dairy cattle. The lower heritability of disease traits and the lack of methods to collect phenotypic data limited genetic selection for improved health and lead to the use of Productive Life as an indirect measure. Today, research is ongoing at the CRI International Center for Biotechnology to link the ability to measure subclinical ketosis from a milk sample to the underlying genetics of the disease. As research continues to emerge supporting this effort, the industry will have effective, low cost tools to manage the costs associated with lost production, early culling, reproductive performance and subsequent health problems.  References k McArt and Nydam. 2014, The Manager. Emery et al., 1964; Simensen et al., 1990; Duffield et al., 1998.

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MASTITIS MAKES AN IMPACT By: Jenny DeMunck // Dairy Product Support Senior Manager, Genex

M

uch like ketosis, mastitis can rob a herd of profitability. In fact, among dairy cattle diseases, mastitis may be one of the most costly. Sources cite $216 as the average cost of a case of clinical mastitis and indicate costs can vary from $115 to $477 depending on the type of bacterial cause.1 The National Mastitis Council indicates reduced milk production accounts for about 70% of all losses due to mastitis.2 What accounts for the other 30%? Things like treatment costs, discarded milk, reduced milk quality, premature culling, death, reduction in fertility and decreased genetic improvement.

Mastitis and Milk Yield Loss

A case of mastitis means less milk produced, less milk in the tank and a smaller milk check. Data from the AgSource Udder Health Management cow list indicates just how much less. Table 1 shows milk yield loss according to a cow’s linear Somatic Cell Score (SCS) and Somatic Cell Count (SCC). For instance, a first lactation cow with a SCS of 5 (and SCC around 400,000 cells per milliliter of milk) produces an estimated 825 lbs less milk in that 305-day lactation. A second lactation cow with a SCS of 5 produces an estimated 1,755 lbs less of milk.

o Table 1. Relationship between SCS/SCC and estimated 305-day milk loss

Linear SCS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

SCC Range Midpoint 25,000 50,000 100,000 200,000 400,000 800,000 1,600,000 3,200,000 6,400,000

1st Lactation Milk Loss (lbs) 0 0 275 550 825 110 1375 1650 1925

2nd+ Lactation Milk Loss (lbs) 0 0 585 1170 1755 2340 2925 3510 4095

Source: AgSource Cooperative Services’ Udder Health Management data

These losses are dramatic. They increase significantly among animals with a higher lactation average SCS, and the loss that occurs when a second or greater lactation cow has mastitis is huge. All that milk loss has herd managers putting a lot of thought into mastitis control programs. It is simply not enough to worry only about the clinical cases; Schroeder of North Dakota State Extension suggests for every clinical case detected on farm there are likely another 15 to 40 subclinical cases.3 Continued on page 22.

©2016 CRI

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Continued from page 21.

Several studies have looked at the timing of mastitis and how it affects not only production but also reproduction (Santos et al., 2004). The most critical times identified through this research are immediately before and after breeding. Clinical and subclinical mastitis occurring before A.I. has been associated with reduced conception (Shrick et al., 2001). Also in this study, it was found cows with clinical or subclinical mastitis before breeding had increased days to first service, more days open and additional services per conception compared to healthier cows. Another investigation (Lavon et al., 2011) dug into subclinical mastitis relative to conception. This study noted a decrease in conception for all cows that experienced subclinical mastitis, but cows with chronic mastitis experienced the most negative reproductive ramifications.

Mastitis and ICC$

In addition to its production and reproduction impacts, genetic progress for mastitis is important due to consumers’ increased interest in food safety and concern for antibiotic use in the dairy industry. Therefore, a goal in breeding for the ideal commercial cow of the future is for increased disease resistance and ultimately less need for antibiotics. The heritability of SCS is 0.10. Though this heritability level is low in comparison to other traits, it remains an important trait to select for. In order to make genetic progress in traits like this – traits of high economic importance – it needs some weighting within selection indexes that influence breeding programs. In today’s Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index, SCS is weighted at 20% in the Health (HLTH$) sub-index. ICC$ also includes a trait called Mastitis Resistance (MR) sourced from the Canadian Dairy Network. This trait, introduced in 2014, combines both clinical and subclinical mastitis into a single genetic selection index. It places equal weightings on clinical mastitis in first lactation cows, clinical mastitis in later lactation cows and somatic cell scores across the first three lactations. MR accounts for 15% of the ICC$ sub-index Milking Ability (MABL$). Selection for ICC$ does influence mastitis and genetic progress for disease resistance within individual herds, as shown in the following herd example provided by Genex Dairy Consultant Manager Kim Egan, DVM.

Kim works closely with numerous herds that were early adopters of genomic testing. One of those herds is a 3000-cow Midwest dairy. Graph 1 shows the female genomic test results from the herd’s management software. A total of 525 second and third lactation genomic-tested cows received ICC$ results. The cows were categorized into three groups: a high group ≥ +512 ICC$ (129 cows), an average group ranging from +263 to +511 ICC$ (261 cows) and a low group ≤ +262 ICC$ (135 cows). The graph shows the higher the ICC$ genomic evaluation, the less likely the cow was to have a case of clinical mastitis. v Graph 1. Herd Example of Percent clinical mastitis cases per cows fresh related to female Genomic ICC$ evaluation 12.0%

9.5%

10.0%

Clinical Mastitis Cases

Time of Mastitis Relative to Breeding

8.0% 6.0%

3.4%

4.0% 2.0% 0.0%

0.6% ≥ +512

+263 to +511

≤ +262

ICC$ While genetic progress for mastitis and disease resistance can be made with ICC$, Genex is continually looking to improve the index. As new technologies, traits, genetic advancements and trends are discovered and evaluated, Genex will consider their adoption into ICC$ – all with the goal of developing that ideal commercial cow.  References k Cost of Clinical Mastitis: Not All Mastitis Costs the Same. The Southeast Quality Milk Initiative Quarterly, Fall 2015. 2 The Value and Use of Dairy Herd Improvement Somatic Cell Count. National Mastitis Council. 3 Schroeder, J.W. Mastitis Control Programs: Bovine Mastitis and Milking Management. North Dakota State University Extension Service, April 1997.

1

A Author Bio: Jenny DeMunck, who grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, provides leadership for dairy data collection, the QUANTUM™ program, genomic testing programs and other functions that assist Genex in achieving dairy genetics goals.

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A CAREER ASSESSMENT FOR DAIRY FEMALES P

erhaps back in high school, or maybe a time when you considered a career change, you took a career assessment to discover your ideal career. Those career assessments began with an aptitude test to determine the skills in which you excelled. Then, your skills were used to develop a list of careers that were ideal for you – maybe a mechanic, people manager or dairy farmer. Genex offers a similar service for the females in members’ and customers’ herds. Genex consultants, armed with the Sort-Gate™ program, use genomic data, pedigree information and on-farm performance data to determine the skills in which each female excels. The consultant then uses Sort-Gate to run a sort so you can choose the career path for each cow, heifer or calf. That career path may mean the female will be bred to beef semen to produce beef x dairy cross calves, or it may mean she will be bred with the highest genetic merit GenChoice™ sexed semen to produce a profitable dairy replacement animal. For the resulting calf, that career path may lead them to be sold right after birth or raised as a replacement heifer. Since released in September 2015, the Sort‑Gate program has already earned a Dairy Herd Management Innovation Award. Even more important in showing the value of the program is the fact members and customers across the U.S. have embraced Sort-Gate as a must-use precision management tool. Read on to learn how producers are utilizing Sort-Gate to sort their herd for strategic breeding, culling and more. Continued on page 24.

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g The Newmont Farms calf care team takes great pride in their work. Through use of the Sort-Gate program to determine the career path of each calf before it's born, this team can focus that care on those heifer calves that will become herd replacements. Continued from page 23.

Newmont Farms, Vermont

Near Bradford, Vermont, close to the Vermont-New Hampshire border, lies Newmont Farms. Over the years the dairy, owned by the Gladstone family, has grown in cow numbers due to excellent reproduction. Today, the facility is at capacity and too many heifers are being born without enough space to raise them effectively. To help alleviate the issue, Genex valueadded programs have become an integral part of their calf management program.

The calves’ keep or sell value is uploaded into the dam’s cow card within the farm’s herd management software. The keep or sell value is included on printouts for employees in the maternity pens so they know exactly what to do when a calf is born (see Figure 1). For instance, heifer calves that will be kept are ear tagged immediately while those marked to be sold are not tagged. Heifer calves that will be kept are moved to the calf barn. The others are cared for in a separate pen until sold.

Utilizing the Genex Calf Math™ program, Genex Dairy Consultant Allison Wood calculates how many heifers the dairy needs to maintain herd size (this number is re-examined every four months). At the same time, she calculates how many calves will need to be sold based on the number of breedings to GenChoice sexed semen, conventional semen and beef semen.

Will Gladstone of Newmont Farms believes utilizing the Sort‑Gate program has helped hold them accountable for selling heifers as they are born. It also makes sense financially. “With the cost of raising newborn calves, it’s better to make the keep or sell decision prior to birth.” In addition to the financial benefit, determining the calf’s career path prior to birth means the employees in the calf barn can be focused on herd replacements. “Our calf people are good calf people,” explains Will. “If calves end up in the calf barn, they are their calves. To then tell them the calf needs to be sold … it’s an easier pill to swallow if they never enter the calf barn.”

Wood and the dairy’s management team then utilize the Sort-Gate program to help determine the career path of each individual unborn calf. “Through Sort-Gate, we assign a Progeny Net Merit value to each pregnant animal,” explains Allison. “The Progeny Net Merit value is the value of the pregnancy (the net merit parent average of the unborn calf). This value, along with the dam’s production data, is used to determine if the calf resulting from the pregnancy will be kept or sold.”

“In all,” sums up Allison, “Sort-Gate allows the farm to assign a value to the pregnancy so better management decisions can be made and genetic progress can be achieved.”

009 - DRY COWS-- LISTED IN DUE DATE ORDER G R P 10 10

Proj Barn ME Name Milk 5190 37865 4426 23780

Proj ME ERPA Fat Milk 1338 +2801 1064 -3277

10

4524 31988

1094

+771

10

5141 33354

1396

-134

PTA Milk +961 -784

PTA Fat +6 +10

Curr Days Dry 56 56

-71

-38

-11

56

08/12

+37

-290

+1

56

08/12

ERPA Fat -4 -5

P W T

Due Date 08/05 08/12

10

4375 36944

1342 +4030

+60

+866

+11

49

08/12

11

5625 26808

1116 -2163

-64 +1341

+74

42

08/25

15

5269 32308

1038

+414

+360

-4

49

09/02

15

5821 31223

1113

+51

-65 +1179

+11

63

09/02

-102

Service KP Sire Name SLL / AI Code SRT TESTAROSA KP KP SUBZERO SL SL

USR DEF F 5 440 BEE

TESTAROSA KP TESTAROSA KP

KP

422

KP

464

CHINCHI KP DAMIEN KP

KP

668

KP

761

SL

452

SL

465

TESTAROSA SL TESTAROSA SL

Figure 1. The Newmont Farms maternity pen printout indicates if each calf will be kept (KP) or sold (SL).

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M A N A G E M E N T

Turning Point Dairy, New York

Turning Point Dairy, is a family-run 1,000-cow farm in Saratoga, New York. It is a progressive commercial dairy striving for excellence in everything – including strategic breeding and culling strategies. Use of the Sort‑Gate program has enabled the dairy’s management team to bring their strategic breeding and culling protocols to the next level. At Turning Point Dairy, Genex Dairy Consultant Manager Anne Davison uses Sort-Gate to create a customized genetic index for ranking cows. The customized index fits the farm’s specific needs. It includes a combination of pedigree and actual cow performance data to offer a live snapshot of how a cow ranks against her peers. As Herdsman Joe Hamilton acknowledges, “It is important for us to look at cow pedigree and actual cow performance because while pedigree provides the cow’s genetic potential, performance tells us what she’s been accomplishing out in the barn.” Anne adds, “The farm’s most utilized Sort-Gate numbers are percentile rank on cows and heifers, to make breeding and culling decisions, as well as progeny rank for unborn calves so it’s known before the calf hits the ground if the animal will be kept or sold.” For ease of use and quick access, Anne uploads each cow’s rank for the customized genetic index into the farm’s DairyComp 305. This way, the dairy management team can see a cow’s rank on her cow card and generate genetic ranking lists on demand. Sort-Gate has been a part of the dairy’s toolbox since September 2015, and Joe feels it’s become an irreplaceable, intricate tool. “It’s a tool that after using it for a little while, you can’t imagine operating without it. It streamlines the process of selecting high and low genetic progeny animals, cutting out everything we don’t need to know and giving us real information in a way that’s easy to use.”

J Cows at Ruedinger Farms excel in production as well as reproduction. Now, the farm is looking to improve in other areas and Sort-Gate is the program to get it done.

Ruedinger Farms, Wisconsin

Ruedinger Farms is a high-performing Holstein herd in eastern Wisconsin, owned by Genex board member John Ruedinger, his wife Karen, and their daughter and son-in-law, Jamie and Dave Zappa. Currently, the 1400-cow herd averages 100 lbs./head/day with a 3.8% butterfat and 3.1% protein. They have a 23% annual pregnancy rate on the cows, and 73% are pregnant by 150 days in milk. They have been genomic testing calves since 2011 and have used GenChoice sexed semen on high-end heifers to improve the herd genetically. Now, the family is striving to improve their herd’s stocking density and further improve reproduction. To meet this desire, they began working with Genex Dairy Consultant Manager Kim Egan, DVM, to find a simple way to rank and selectively cull cows. Kim introduced the family to the Genex Sort-Gate program. Using the program and information imported into it from the farm’s herd management software backup, Kim sorts the herd through a combination of pedigree and performance data. This combined rank value is 30% based on performance and 70% based on genetics. The performance aspect takes into account protein weight, fat weight, milk weight, days open and somatic cell count. The genetic aspect includes either genomic values imported into Sort-Gate or, for those not genomic tested, Sort-Gate calculates a pedigree average. The combined rank value is then imported into the dairy’s herd management software so culling decisions can easily be made. Sort-Gate has enabled the dairy management team to better compare each cow to its contemporaries and make more informed culling decisions. It works as the ‘apples-to-apples’ value to compare cows of different lactations and stages of production to make voluntary culling decisions. Continued on page 26.

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Continued from page 25.

Hickory Lawn Dairy Farm, Wisconsin

Hickory Lawn Dairy Farm near Cascade, Wisconsin, has established a strategic breeding program to produce the right number of replacements from the herd’s highest genetic merit animals and minimize the impact of lower genetic merit females. This method of precision management is the result of a fourstep process: 1) Determine the dairy’s goals for the future; 2) Use the Calf Math program to determine the number of replacement calves needed and the most effective combination of semen products; 3) Run the Sort-Gate program to sort which cows and heifers are appropriate for each semen product; and 4) Develop protocols for mating and breeding so the preferred semen product is used in designated cows and heifers. As noted, the process begins by understanding the goals for the dairy. For Hickory Lawn Dairy Farm, the goal is to maintain herd size and focus on developing a very high genetic merit herd. Then, Genex Dairy Consultant Jeff Lutz inputs herdspecific data, such as current cull rates, age at first freshening, calving interval and more, into the Calf Math program to calculate the number of replacement heifers required. Different percentages of conventional, GenChoice and beef semen are entered into the program to determine the best options to produce the desired number of heifers.

The strategic breeding program currently involves breeding the top 70% of heifers with sexed semen for the first two services followed by conventional semen until the heifer is pregnant or culled. The bottom 30% are bred with conventional semen. For the cows, conventional semen is used on the top 80% while beef semen is used on the bottom 20% for all services. Jeff then runs the Sort-Gate program to determine which animals fit into those breeding categories. Since Hickory Lawn Dairy Farm genomic tests all heifer calves right after birth, the genomic test results are pulled into Sort-Gate and used to rank the heifers. Jeff uses Sort-Gate to find the top 70% and bottom 30% of the heifers to be bred in the next four months. Since not all of the lactating herd has a genomic test, Jeff uses the Sort-Gate program to determine cows’ genetic rank through a combination of pedigree information (weighted at 75%) and production information (weighted at 25%). With the strategic breeding plan in place, the next step is to follow protocols for mating and breeding so the preferred semen product is used on the designated cows and heifers. For this step, Jeff runs matings for the cows and heifers through the Genex MAP (Mating Appraisal for Profit™) program. The Calf Math calculations, Sort-Gate rankings and matings are monitored and updated as needed to maintain the farm’s strategic breeding strategy. 

70 30%

%

TOP 80% BRED WITH CONVENTIONAL SEMEN

BOTTOM 20% BRED WITH BEEF SEMEN

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TOP 70% BRED TO SEXED SEMEN FOR 2 SERVICES FOLLOWED BY CONVENTIONAL SEMEN

BOTTOM 30% BRED WITH CONVENTIONAL SEMEN

80% 20% ©2016 CRI


STRATEGIC BREEDING FOR ACHIEVING

1 2

CONSIDER YOUR GOALS for the future and the number

3

RUN SORT-GATE™ to sort cows and heifers and define

4 ©2016 CRI

of replacement calves needed to meet those goals.

USE CALF MATH™ to compare potential breeding strategy outcomes and determine the most effective combination of semen products (conventional, GenChoice™ or Breeding to Feeding™ semen).

which females are appropriate for each semen product.

DEVELOP PROTOCOLS

for mating and breeding to get the preferred semen product into the designated cows and heifers.


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

M A N A G E M E N T

IMPROVING

FERTILITY By: Jose Moro // Senior Dairy Consultant, Genex

I

ncreased pregnancy rates are one of the most important aspects of dairy farms. There are many reasons increased pregnancy rates are important, profitability being the leading one; more pregnant cows mean more money. Although reproduction is complex in nature, there are simple technologies that can help boost fertility, such artificial insemination (A.I.) sheaths.

This simple technology could increase A.I. pregnancy rates up to 7%

Value and Costs of Reproduction

The approximate value of a pregnancy is $278. The cost of a lost pregnancy due to an abortion is around $555.1 Longer calving intervals lead to fewer peaks of milk and reduced lifetime profitability. Each day past a calving interval of 365 days costs $1. When the calving interval surpasses 395 days, losses amount to $30 (from the previous 30-day period) plus $3 per day.2 Thus, when the weekly pregnancy check shows the number of pregnant cows is lower than expected, many discussions take place. Personnel in the office and in the pens, along with breeders and other members of the farm team, engage in conversation to determine the reason(s) for the low numbers. Multiple factors affect reproduction and can make the search for a solution difficult.

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

Troubleshooting Reproduction

When troubleshooting reproduction, common sense leads one to review the reproductive protocols that are in place. Are liquid nitrogen levels in the semen tank appropriate? What is the semen thawing process? Is semen being deposited correctly? After a thorough review, changes can be adopted as necessary. Ideally, all members of the team will agree to follow the adjustments. Then, at the next few pregnancy checks, the pregnancies per A.I. can be assessed.

Other factors that may limit reproduction success are nonadherence to standard protocols and unclean procedures. When it comes to these factors, it’s important to remember that a more educated breeding team will produce better results. In other words, one needs to provide breeding teams with information that shows the usefulness and impact of standard and clean procedures.

Clean A.I. Procedure

While introducing the A.I. gun to the cervix, bacteria and debris dragged from the vulva and vagina may enter too. The vaginal and uterine inflammatory response lowers chances of a pregnancy. It is almost universally accepted that A.I. guns have to be clean and protected from the environment soon after armed and before entering the cow’s cervix. Promoting the application of a clean technique is not a waste of time.

Cleaner A.I. procedure can be achieved through the use of sanitary sheaths. However, many individuals do not use them. Some consider sanitary sheaths expensive, some consider them a delay in the A.I. procedure, and some aren’t aware of them at all. However, knowledge about sanitary sheaths’ impact might make their adoption more likely. After all, research supports its benefit on uterine health and hence, its positive effect on fertility. In fact, this simple technology could increase A.I. pregnancy rates up to 7%.

Benefits From the Use of Sanitary Sheaths

A group of researchers from the Ohio State University studied the effect of the use of protective plastic sheaths on A.I. pregnancies. Two groups of cows were bred following a standard A.I. protocol. For one group, that protocol included the use of protective plastic sheaths while the other group did not use sheaths. The researchers tested the hypothesis that the use of the protective plastic sheaths would minimize vaginal contamination from the A.I. gun, and as a result, there would be an improvement in fertility. Immediately after insemination, they sampled the tips of the guns used in both groups to determine bacterial growth. The same type of bacteria was found in both groups of cows, but the guns covered with a protective plastic sheath showed less bacterial growth than guns without. Some of the bacteria was linked to vaginitis, a condition that can be responsible for lower fertility. Overall, the proportion of pregnancies per A.I. in the group bred with protective plastic sheaths was 43%, while the group without protective plastic sheaths had a pregnancy rate of 36%. That is a difference of 7% in favor of the cleaner A.I. procedure.

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M A N A G E M E N T

Both groups of cows showed similar pregnancies per A.I. (44% vs 43%) at first service. However, at second and posterior services, the group of cows bred using sheath‑protected guns showed more pregnancies per A.I. (44%) than the group of cows bred without (32%). 3

What Can be Learned From this Research?

By analyzing the numbers and assessing the time it takes to place a protective sheath on an A.I. gun, one can determine if protective sheaths are worth it economically.

The cost of each individual protective plastic sheath used in the study was $0.27. If there were 150 cows to breed, the total cost of the protective plastic sheaths would be around $81 (protectors for two services per cow). Using the same pregnancy per A.I. rate from the study, one could calculate how many pregnant cows could be produced in a hypothetical herd. The data below is a simple economic scenario, showing the benefits of adopting this technology (all the other costs related to A.I. are assumed to be the same in each group): o Table 1. Economic comparison when breeding 150 cows with vs. without protective plastic sheaths.

Cows bred with protective plastic sheaths

Cows bred without protective plastic sheath

Cost of sheaths (two services)

$81

$0

Overall Pregnancies per A.I., %

43%

36%

64

54

$17,792

$15,012

Pregnant cows Value of pregnancies

Difference due to value of pregnancies: $2,780 Gain due to the use of plastic sheaths: $2,699 Finding ways to increase profits is even more necessary during difficult economic times, and improving the application of A.I. procedures may increase profits. If you want to try sheath protectors, contact your local Genex representative for more information.  References k De Vries, A. 2006. The economic value of pregnancy in dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 89:3876–3885. Keown JF, Kononoff PJ. How to Estimate a Dairy Herd’s Reproductive Losses. NebGuide. 1986. 3 Schuenemann, et al. 2011. The use of plastic cover sheaths at the time of artificial insemination improved fertility of lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci 94:793–799.

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A Author Bio: Jose Moro, of Macon, Georgia, assists Genex members and customers in the Southeast U.S. providing technical dairy analysis and consulting support. Prior to joining Genex, Jose was employed as a reproduction and lactation professor in Costa Rica, worked for the Holstein Association of Mexico and conducted research on body condition and health events in Canada. He holds a doctorate in animal breeding and genetics from Canada’s McGill University.

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