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HORIZONS Dairy Edition

August 2017


If You Want to Use the World’s Best Sire,

There is Only One Choice. 1JE00892 JX Faria Brothers VANDRELL {2}-ET #1 JPI™ and CM$ Sire in the Breed

Impressive genetic credentials CM$ JPI ™ JUI ™ Milk CFP

DPR

PL

+814

+0.9

+8.4

+243

+16.8

+1685

+136

Available in GenChoice™ sexed semen

CDCB/8-17, AJCA/8-17, GENEX/8-17

PregCheck™ 105 Maternal Sister: JX Faria Brothers Hilario 222351 {2}-ET, VG-84%


HORIZONS Dairy

August 2017 Vol. 23/No. 2 Published three times a year for U.S. dairy producers

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

BOARD OF DIRECTORS John Ruedinger, President Van Dyne, WI, 920.922.9899 Bobby Robertson, 1st Vice President Tahlequah, OK, 918.822.0020 Harold House, 2nd Vice President Nokesville, VA, 571.722.3356

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Ronald Totten, Secretary Stafford, WI, 585.344.0758 Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, WI, 715.289.3860 Patrick Dugan Casa Grande, AZ, 520.251.6455 Terry Frost Roundup, MT, 406.323.3415 Israel Handy St. Johnsville, NY, 518.568.5476 Lamar Gockley Mohnton, PA, 717.283.5586 Kay Olson-Martz Friendship, WI, 608.564.7359 Jody Schaap Woodstock, MN, 507.215.2257 Daniel Tetreault Champlain, NY, 518.298.8690 Bill Zimmerman Foley, MN, 320.355.2191

HORIZONS STAFF Jenny L. Hanson, Editor, jlhanson@crinet.com

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CONTENTS 20 Help Her Bounce Back

06 In the News Heikes Named CRI CEO

10 Genetics for the Idealist 12 11 Reasons to Rely on

the GENEX Jersey Lineup 15 GENEX Reaches 10-million-unit

Record for GenChoice Semen ™

16 Introducing the

Prospective Program SM

A Semen Profit Comparison Tool

with RumiLife® CAL24™ Nutritional Supplement

21 Understanding Key Concepts in

Animal Breeding – Heritability 24 T&K Dairy More Than Meets the Eye

26 This Success Story Starts With … 29 Almost 50 Years of

Genetic Observations

18 A Game Changer SCR Heatime® monitoring systems

Andy Graf, Graphic Designer

REPRINTS Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without permission from GENEX. Genex Cooperative, Inc. 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 WA R R A N T I E S O F A N Y K I N D W H AT S O E V E R E X P R E S S E D O R IMPLIED WHICH E X TENDS BE YOND THE DESCRIP TION OF THE PRODUC TS A ND HEREBY DISCL A IM A L L WA RR A NTIES OF MERCHANTABILIT Y AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICUL AR 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.

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.


Your trusted supplier of practical, science-based and customized animal reproductive solutions.

An industry-leading supplier of science-based animal genetics and customized reproductive solutions.

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HORIZONS


Bringing more value to members and customers by leveraging CRI’s global scope, resources and leadership.

Applying experience, science and data-driven knowledge to provide innovative products and services.

HORIZONS

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Heikes Named CRI CEO The Cooperative Resources International (CRI) board of directors announced Keith Heikes as the agricultural holding cooperative’s new CEO. Heikes succeeds Doug Wilson, who retired in August after 39 years with CRI. Keith, who previously served as the GENEX chief operating officer, will now lead CRI, an organization with more than $189 million in annual revenue and 1,350 employees across the globe. CRI consists of brands that strive to meet the needs of individuals linked to the land through plant and animal production. Brands that are part of CRI include GENEX, AgSource, MOFA GLOBAL, CENTRAL LIVESTOCK and FARM SYSTEMS. “We are excited to have Keith step into this important leadership role,” said John Ruedinger, CRI board chairman and dairy producer from Van Dyne, Wisconsin. “He is a strong leader with an extensive background in cooperative leadership and experience in both domestic and global marketing. We know Keith will uphold the CRI mission of being the global leader delivering excellence, innovation and value to our members and customers.” Prior to this new appointment, Keith spent 36 years in the cattle genetics and artificial insemination industry. He served as the chief operating officer for GENEX predecessor NOBA, Inc. and then led the development of CRI’s global marketing program. In 2014, he was named GENEX chief operating officer and led the cooperative through exceptional market share growth. 

GENEX Appoints New Vice President of Production Kristi Fiedler of Cecil, Wisconsin, has been named the Vice President of Production for GENEX. In her new role, Kristi will provide leadership in the areas of bovine semen collection and processing, livestock management, and crop production. “I am excited to serve the cooperative in this new role,” states Kristi. “This gives me the opportunity to help build on the cooperative’s reputation for high quality and fertile dairy and beef cattle semen.” Previously, Kristi served as the GENEX Associate Vice President of Technical Services managing a dedicated team of dairy account consultants and developing value-added programs. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and has a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. Kristi began her new role July 1. The former Vice President of Production, Glen Gilbert, will serve in a mentorship role until his retirement. 

GENEX Dairy News Delivered to Your Inbox Sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletters. Visit http://bit.ly/GENEXnewsletter or scan the QR code

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HORIZONS


Plan to Attend the Annual Meeting

Members currently elected as delegates and alternates are invited to the annual meetings of GENEX and CRI to be held January 23-24 in Bloomington, Minnesota. The event also includes educational sessions on industry topics as well as a banquet. Watch for more information to be mailed. 

Opportunity Awaits!

GENEX to Change Delegate Election Cycle Based on delegate input, the GENEX board of directors is changing the annual membership qualification period and delegate election timeframe. Starting in 2018, the membership qualification period will be May 1 through April 30. For example, to qualify as a member in 2018, a customer must spend $500 on GENEX semen, products and/or services between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018. In addition, they need to have a membership agreement on file. Delegate nominations will then take place each June with elections held in July. Only those who qualify as a member can self-nominate and be elected as a delegate. The current delegates and alternates (elected in December 2016) will serve through the 2018 annual meeting and until the next elections are held in July 2018. 

Save the Date! Fall Input Meetings Scheduled Delegates and alternates are invited and expected to attend a fall meeting to provide input to the GENEX chief operating officer and senior management. The dates and cities for this year’s meetings are listed below. Additional information will be mailed at a later date. October 18 Albany, New York October 19 Syracuse, New York October 20 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania October 31 Alexandria, Minnesota November 1 Rochester, Minnesota November 6 Neenah, Wisconsin

Find Your Future at GENEX. Apply Online at crinet.com/careers.

November 8 Las Vegas, Nevada November 9 Kansas City, Missouri 

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Cerretani Receives Kevin Boyle Leadership Award GENEX employee Dan Cerretani is a driving force. Through his hard work and dedication, Dan is committed to providing superior support services and improving farm reproduction and genetics on members’ and customers’ dairy operations throughout the Eastern U.S. Throughout his career, Dan has held many notable positions, including Breeding Technician, Territory Sales Manager, Director of Member Relations and Communications, Dairy Area Sales Manager and Dairy National Account Manager, before stepping into his current role as Director of Strategic Accounts for the Eastern U.S. Dan attributes his success to the talented people he is surrounded by – from the GENEX employees he works alongside to the various employees on each operation who help Dan get the job done. Furthermore, Dan is driven and seeks opportunity wherever he is. His commitment to a shared vision, trust, respect and excellent communication are essential cornerstones that prove he is deserving of the cooperative’s Kevin Boyle Leadership Award. Donald Jensen II of Lawnhurst Farms, Stanley, New York, agrees. “Dan is a great asset to our farm. He helps with sire selection once bull proofs come out. He always comes well prepared to meetings and challenges our thinking. Dan also makes sure we have reputable technicians, and there appears to be a high level of respect between them and Dan. He is a pleasure to work with, and we feel very confident Dan is giving us the best GENEX has to offer. He’s a real team player and very deserving of this award.”

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. 

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Our Commitment to the Future of Agriculture

Brooke Engstrom

Emma Gwidt

Shelby Schiefelbein

As six college students head back to school this fall, GENEX will help to fund their education. GENEX, part of Cooperative Resources International (CRI), offers a college scholarship program to youth who are actively engaged on a member’s farm or ranch. The six recipients of this year’s CRI Collegiate Scholarship were asked to share what agriculture means to them. Their answers demonstrate the future of agriculture is bright:

“Agriculture means many things to me: family, friends and most importantly all of these people working together towards the noble goal of feeding the world.”

“You are the caretaker of animals that completely depend on you.”

“The meaning of agriculture – to me, as a dairy farmer – is to provide safe and high-quality food products to consumers.”

“Agriculture is the answer to how we will effectively provide for and meet the needs of 9.7 billion people in 2050.”

“Agriculture means more than just a job. It’s not only the practice of providing for the biological needs of humans but is also a way of life. It’s a group of passionate people that have dedicated their lives to providing for others.”

Genevieve VanWye

Ellen Schilderink

Collin Weltzien

“Overall, in my opinion, agriculture means opportunity.”

These answers are not from youth removed from agriculture either. In their applications, they also talked about the hard work they have put in while “feeding calves at four in the morning, walking miles in the heat pushing cows and attempting to learn how to breed cows.” As another student put it, “To many, it is an undesirable lifestyle because of the huge commitment it requires.” That same student went on to say, however, “Dairy farming is truly in my blood, and I would not want to spend my time doing anything else.” Those students earning the $750 scholarships include: Brooke Engstrom of Renville, Minnesota; Emma Gwidt of Pulaski, Wisconsin; Shelby Schiefelbein of Kimball, Minnesota; Ellen Schilderink of Hart, Texas; Genevieve VanWye of Lancaster, Missouri; and Collin Weltzien of Arcadia, Wisconsin. “CRI is proud to support youth and help ensure a strong future for agriculture,” states Terri Dallas, Vice President of Communications. “As evidenced through this year’s applications, today’s youth – especially the scholarship recipients – understand the importance of agriculture. Their dedication to ag is humbling.” Terri went on to note the applicants, representing both dairy and beef operations, hailed from 17 states. Demonstrating their involvement, nearly every applicant participated in an agricultural youth program such as 4-H or FFA. “Even more impressive,” states Terri, “is how the applicants proved to be tomorrow’s leaders. Nearly every one has served as the president or captain of a club or organization. With these leaders on the horizon, agriculture truly does mean opportunity.” 

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Genetics

for the Idealist Standing firm as the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index leader for a second sire summary is Josuper son 1HO11955 BEYOND. This time, he climbed to +1194 ICC$, +2035 Milk and +144 combined Fat and Protein (CFP). Beyond that, he’s a health trait specialist at +2.0 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), +8.9 Productive Life (PL) and +2.67 Somatic Cell Score (SCS). To top it off, he’s positive for sire fertility. 1HO11665 GENIUS ranks second for ICC$ at an outstanding +1120. This Montross son is elite on all indexes (+857 Lifetime Net Merit $ and +2707 TPI®). He offers excellent production, udders and feet and legs (+1815 Milk, +2.38 Udder Composite, +1.96 Feet & Legs Composite). New release 1HO12409 TETRO claims the third spot in the lineup at +1117 ICC$. His combination of elite genetics and production profile (+1873 Milk, +153 CFP) are unmatched. Look to TETRO for daughter fertility and longevity (+7.2 PL) too.

Leading the way for TPI® is 1HO11989 ROMERO at +2758. This Silver son also ranks No. 4 on the ICC$ index at +1090. This sire is the complete package offering production, type and longevity and is only available in GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen. An excellent combo of production and type are found in newly released 1HO11965 DIESTO. This bull offers elite +1817 Milk, +137 CFP and +1.65 Type. He is a leading sire with a high 103 PregCheck™ fertility ranking. Look to DIESTO for unmatched components and udders (+1.88 UDC). 1HO11925 BANCROFT, a Josuper out of a Monarch, is another yield specialist at +1742 Milk and +155 CFP. He transmits strong, healthy udders with a +2.67 SCS and +1.14 UDC. New release 1HO12476 SKILLET debuts at +1062 ICC$. This 1HO12658 LEDOUX son is a calving ease specialist at 5.2% Sire Calving Ease (SCE) and 2.8% Daughter Calving Ease. He also transmits excellent daughter fertility (+4.4 DPR). Released between the April and August sire summaries, 1HO13323 CARGO is ideal on all indexes having an impressive +1051 ICC$, +891 LNM$ and +2713 TPI®. Use CARGO for ideal udders, Productive Life and Type.

Co-op DD Platinum 40739, daughter of 1HO11096 PLATINUM

1HO12477 DAZE checks the boxes for production, health and longevity. This new sire, available in GenChoice™ sexed semen only, will produce ideal commercial cows as demonstrated by his +1014 ICC$, +2750 TPI®, +3.7 DPR and +7.3 PL. He’s got production covered too with +1367 Milk and +122 CFP. A Modesty out of a Partyrock, 1HO12491 TURANO is a new high type sire. He has exceptional index rankings (+839 LNM$ and +2688 TPI®) and is suitable for heifer pens with a 6.4% SCE. He will sire daughters with great udders (+2.21 UDC) and feet and legs (+2.01 FLC). On the daughter-proven list, 1HO11096 PLATINUM had an impressive day. He’s +2579 TPI® and ranks in the top 15 of the breed. This Mogul son adds profitability and type with excellent production (+1453 Milk) and +1.95 Type. He transmits daughter fertility and sires excellent udders and feet and legs (+2.6 DPR, +1.62 UDC, +1.69 FLC). 

1HO12409 Maplehurst Josuper TETRO-ET

Gestation Length Trait Introduced The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding released a new trait with the August sire summary. Gestation Length (GL) shows the influence each service sire is expected to have on the number of days his mates carry their calves during their pregnancies. GL, available for all breeds, can be useful in mating programs to group all birth dates together in seasonal calving, in helping to pinpoint exact calving dates which can aid in maternity management and in improving calving ease as a correlated trait. 

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Holstein Association USA Updates TPI®, UDC & FLC Formulas Stature receives a negative weighting The Total Performance Index® (TPI) was revised; there were shifts in production trait weightings (Protein decreased from 27% to 21% and fat increased from 16% to 17%), more emphasis was put on Livability with weighting taken away from Productive Life, and the Feed Efficiency weighting increased from 3% to 9%. Significant changes were also made to Udder Composite (UDC) and Feet & Legs Composite (FLC) within the Conformation category of TPI®. The updated weightings for traits in UDC and FLC are listed below. Udder Composite Udder Depth Fore Udder Attachment Udder Cleft Rear Udder Height Rear Udder Width Front Teat Placement Rear Teat Placement Teat Length Stature

0.20 0.16 0.08 0.23 0.19 0.04 0.05 0.05 -0.20

Feet & Legs Composite Foot Angle Rear Legs – Rear View Feet & Leg Score Stature

0.09 0.21 0.70 -0.20

GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen conventional semen

($4.44)

1st service only

($4,972.85)

heifer ratio conception rate $8.02

profit/loss

$13.34

GenChoice™ sexed semen $12,154.98

semen investment $17.90

Plan Today.

More Profits Tomorrow. Compare the return from different semen products with our new ProspectiveSM program. Learn more on page 16.


11 Reasons to Rely

on the GENEX Jersey Lineup The 11 new bulls to join the GENEX Jersey lineup with the August sire summaries have got it all! They sport the right genetics for component-driven milk production from efficient, healthy cows that today’s dairy industry demands. Be sure to check with your GENEX representative on semen availability as many sires are available only in GenChoice™ sexed semen. 1JE00979 TONY ALLEN {3} leads the new releases with an impressive +207 JPI™ and +706 Cheese Merit (CM$). This 1JE00892 VANDRELL {2} son will also improve udders at +18.6 JUI™ and increase yield with +127 combined Fat & Protein (CFP). Longevity (+6.5 Productive Life, +0.9 Livability) and milk quality (+2.78 Somatic Cell Score) are among his specialties as well. 1JE00971 CURRY {3}-ET delivers outstanding genetic values: +193 JPI™, +701 CM$ and +108 CFP. A brother to 1JE00953 VISUAL {3}‑P and 1JE00954 VESTIGE {3}-P, he has good component percentages (+0.23% Fat; +0.07% Protein) and an excellent +21.0 JUI™. This Marlo son also improves daughter fertility at +0.7 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), +1.4 Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and +2.2 Heifer Conception Rate (HCR). 1JE00981 HORFORD {3} joins the lineup at +699 CM$ and +201 JPI™. A VANDRELL out of a Magnum, HORFORD {3} is an elite package of daughter fertility (+2.8 DPR), component yield (+110 CFP) and health traits: +7.6 Productive Life (PL), +3.5 Livability (LIV), +4.3 CCR, +4.0 HCR and +2.78 Somatic Cell Score (SCS). 1JE00984 USAIN BOLT {3}, an early 1JE00912 TARHEEL {4} son that hails from the Dean Smith cow family, debuted at +698 CM$ and +205 JPI™. He sports impressive component yields (+95 Fat, +54 Protein) and udder enhancing ability (+22.7 JUI™).

1JE00984 JX Faria Brothers USAIN BOLT {3}

That’s Impressive!

1JE00973 CROWDER {3} is an impressive VANDRELL son. This bull earned his spot in the lineup with a +203 JPI™ and +692 CM$. He’s a health trait specialist with +0.8 DPR, +1.7 CCR and +2.9 HCR while also posting a big +142 CFP and a +10.1 JUI™. 1JE00985 REEF {3}, a VANDRELL out of a 1JE00791 DIVIDEND, stands at +196 JPI™ and +689 CM$ while adding component yield (+136 CFP) and improving udders (+12.2 JUI™). Use REEF {3} to improve longevity (+5.8 PL) and increase livability (+2.5 LIV) as well. Yield specialist 1JE00993 DELUCA {3}, a Harris out of a Magnum, is +1586 Milk and +155 CFP. This contributes to his +192 JPI™ and +652 CM$. Look to DELUCA {3} to improve udders too (+10.3 JUI™). At +175 JPI™ and +614 CM$ is 1JE00963 MAGLIO {5}. This Harris son adds production power at +131 CFP and over +1450 Milk. 1JE00982 TEX {3}, a Marlo son, earned a +182 JPI™ and +604 CM$. With a Topeka dam, TEX {3} will improve udders (+26.9 JUI™) and yield (+125 CFP). Another new Marlo son, 1JE00977 ANTERO {3} makes the lineup at +168 JPI™ and +595 CM$. He is a component improver (+133 CFP) while also improving daughter fertility (+0.6 DPR). 1JE00978 HEINSOHN {4}-P rounds out the new releases. He’s an exciting polled bull sporting a +140 JPI™ and +511 CM$. Look to HEINSOHN {4}-P as a tremendous improver of daughter fertility (+1.1 DPR) while adding longevity (+5.8 PL). A Dillan-P son out of a Galvanize, this bull adds some exciting pedigree diversity among polled Jerseys. 

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Daughters of 1JE00889 JX Faria Brothers PROP JOE {3}-ET

Now with 132 milking daughters in his production proof, 1JE00892 VANDRELL {2} is the industry’s No. 1 JPI™ and No. 1 CM$ sire at +243 JPI™ and +814 CM$. 1JE00889 PROP JOE {3}, from the same maternal line as VANDRELL, added his first 220 production daughters and climbed to +209 JPI™ and +741 CM$. He continues to carry an elite +22.7 JUI™. 


Genetic

Domination CM$ JPI ™

JX PVF Prop Joe Zap {4}-ET, daughter of 1JE00889 JX Faria Brothers PROP JOE {3}-ET

JX PVF Prop Joe Zip {4}-ET, daughter of 1JE00889 JX Faria Brothers PROP JOE {3}-ET

CDCB/8-2017, AJCA/8-2017

1JE00892 VANDRELL {2}

814

243

1JE00889 PROP JOE {3}

741

209

NEW

1JE00979 TONY ALLEN {3}

706

207

NEW

1JE00971 CURRY {3}

701

193

NEW

1JE00981 HORFORD {3}

699

201

NEW

1JE00984 USAIN BOLT {3}

698

205

NEW

1JE00973 CROWDER {3}

692

203

NEW

1JE00985 REEF {3}

689

196

1JE00964 JODECI {3}

681

197

1JE00966 FUTURE {3}

680

193

1JE00935 WORLD CUP {5}

672

197

1JE00922 RONALDO {3}

669

196


Invest in Your Herd’s Future GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Now Available 601HO12433 ROCKSTAR Bayonet x Moonboy x Sharky

Dam: Co-op Moonboy Rescue-ET, VG-85, VG-MS

+987 ICC$ | +126 CFP | +8.9 PL | +1.77 UDC 601HO11989 ROMERO

601HO11670 GATEDANCER

Silver x Cabriolet x Potter

Alta1stclass x Supersire x Aaron-Red

+1090 ICC$ +122 CFP

CDCB/8-17, HA-USA/8-17, GENEX/8-17

+9.4 PL +2.11 UDC

+838 ICC$ +125 CFP

+6.6 PL +2.64 UDC


GENEX Reaches 10-million-unit Record for GenChoice™ Semen “In the 10 years since we released GenChoice™ sexed semen, we’ve marketed more than 10 million units,” stated Keith Heikes, GENEX chief operating officer, this past June. “To put that in perspective, 10 million units is enough to breed all the dairy cows in the U.S. once!” He went on to say, “During the past decade, we’ve also made it our goal to offer some of the industry’s best genetics in our gender specific product line.” In the early years, herds benefitted from sires like 1JE00604 GANNON and 1HO06833 TRES. Today, GenChoice™ semen is available from world-class sires like 1JE00892 VANDRELL {2}, 1HO11989 ROMERO and 1HO12433 ROCKSTAR. Sexed semen has become a mainstay among GENEX customers. Producers utilize GenChoice™ semen as part of their strategic breeding programs. “To increase genetic progress within a herd, more and more producers are utilizing sexed semen on their highest genetic merit heifers and cows,” stated Keith. “This strategic breeding leads to more genetically superior heifer calves.” GENEX offers several value-added tools and resources to help producer develop effective and profitable strategic breeding programs. “GenChoice™ semen coupled with our on-farm consultants; Calf Math , Sort-Gate and Prospective programs; and data-driven PregCheck+™ fertility rankings are helping more producers achieve their herd goals.”  SM

SM

SM

GENEX to Market Sexed Semen with Twice as Many Sperm Cells In April, GENEX announced the addition of GenChoice™ 4M semen to its product offering. This new sexed semen product contains twice the number of female sperm cells than traditional GenChoice™ semen. While the traditional GenChoice™ semen is packaged at 2 million sperm per unit, the new 4M version contains 4 million sperm and is expected to positively impact conception rates. According to GENEX COO Keith Heikes, GENEX will collect and analyze sire-specific fertility data for the 4M product to equip customers with accurate information for sire selection decisions. “We remain committed to providing customers with data-backed and reliable fertility information. Our large fertility database has enabled us to calculate PregCheck+™ fertility rankings for GenChoice™ semen and will enable us to do the same for GenChoice™ 4M.” Sires available in GenChoice™ 4M are designated by a 601 stud code. The traditional GenChoice™ semen uses the 501 code. Both sexed semen products are processed by Sexing Technologies with SexedULTRA™. For availability, contact your GENEX representative or call customer service at 888.333.1783. 

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Today, there are more sexed semen product options than ever before. So, how can you be sure you are choosing the semen products that will result in the largest return on investment?

E V I T C E P S O R M A R THE P G PRO SM

g Introducin

Sexed semen has become a mainstay in strategic breeding programs. However, determining the most appropriate sexed semen product to use has become more difficult as more options have become available with differing fertility and price. That’s why GENEX created the Prospective program, a semen profit comparison tool. SM

The Prospective program is a free, value-added tool to help producers develop effective strategic breeding programs. The unbiased, Microsoft Excel-based program uses a dairy’s basic inputs to calculate how a semen product choice may impact profits. It shows the return on investment for a particular sexed semen product in comparison to conventional semen. SM

Whether using sexed semen on cows or heifers, the program is applicable. The one-page report summarizes

the dollars lost or gained from a particular sexed semen product when used on cows or heifers. For cows, return on investment is calculated as: Difference in Asset (Calf) Value + Difference in Semen Cost + Cost of Added Days Open = Total Profit/Loss of Using the Sexed Product Versus Conventional Semen. For heifers, the same formula is used, but it also includes a value for additional milk income associated with heifers birthing heifer calves.2 Furthermore, the program calculates the estimated days open cost based on different breeding strategies (using the sexed semen product on the first service, first two services or all services).

Breaking it Down Both the cow and heifer reports have three sections: conventional semen, GenChoice™ sexed

semen and GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen. Figures 1 through 3 show these sections on the heifer report. In any section, the cells shaded in light gray may be edited by the user. The user enters data for price/unit, conception rate and heifer ratio. The white cells are calculated values. The values shown in red indicate a financial expense or loss. Figure 2, from the heifer report, is comparing the use of GenChoice™ sexed semen to conventional semen (based on the farmspecific inputs). In this farm’s example, use of GenChoice™ sexed semen is profitable when used on the first service ($8.02/ unit profit) or first two services ($1.99/unit profit) compared to conventional semen. If used on

Exploring Conception Rate Trends Conception rates impact the return on investment from the different sexed semen products. How has sexed semen conception rates changed and where are they going? In the Holstein breed, sexed semen usage in heifers has increased from 9.4% of total breedings in 2007 to 30.7% in 2015. The same study showed heifer conception rates from sexed semen improved from 42% to 49% during that same period.3 Likewise, increases in usage (0.2% compared to 1%) and conception rates (26% compared to 30%) were observed in cows from 2007 to 2015.3 16

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The increase in conception rates have mostly been attributed to technology improvements in recent years.1,3 Among them is sexed semen processed with SexedULTRA™, which GENEX and others have marketed for several years. However, even with recent improvements, sexed semen conception rates still trail conventional semen by about 10%.3 Furthermore, PregCheck+™ fertility rankings for GenChoice™ sexed semen indicate a significant variance between sires. It is not uncommon for conception rates to vary between individual sires by 10 points or more.


Tool n o s i r a p t Com fi o r P n e m er Heifers A Se m s M a n ag rogra

1000 # Units $15.00 Price/Unit 1000 # Units 1000 Units 55% # Conception Rate 1000 # Units $15.00 Price/Unit $15.00 Price/Unit 1000 Units 550 # Calves Expected 1000 # of Units $15.00 55% Price/Unit Conception 1000 # Units UnitsRatio Rate $15.00 Price/Unit 55% Conception Rate 48% Heifer 1000 # $15.00 Price/Unit 55% Rate 550 Conception # of Calves Expected 1000 Units $15.00 Price/Unit 1000 Units 55% Conception Rate 550 of Calves 264 # Heifers Expected Expected $15.00 1000 # Units 55% Conception Rate 550 Price/Unit of Calves 48% Heifer RatioExpected $15.00 Price/Unit 1000 # Units 55% Conception Rate $15.00 Price/Unit 550 Calves Expected 48% Heifer Ratio 286 # of Bulls Expected 55% Conception Rate $15.00 Price/Unit 550 Heifer Calves Expected 48% Ratio 264 # of Heifers Expected 55% Conception Rate $15.00 Price/Unit 550 Calves Expected 55% Conception Rate 48% Heifer RatioExpected 264 # of Heifers Expected 550 # of Calves 55% Conception Rate 48% Heifer Ratio 264 # of Heifers Expected 286 Bulls Expected 550 of Expected 55% Conception Rate 48% Heifer Ratio 550 Calves Expected 286 # of Calves Bulls Expected 264 # Heifers Expected Additional Days Open Costs 48% Heifer Ratio 550 Calves Expected 264 Heifers Expected 286 # of Bulls Expected 48% Heifer Ratio 550 Calves Expected 264 Heifers Expected 48% Heifer Ratio 286 # of Bulls Expected Average Heifer Heat Interval1 30 264 # # of of Bulls Heifers Expected 48% Heifer Ratio 286 Expected Additional Days Open Costs 264 # of Heifers Expected 2 Heifer Ratio 286 # of Bulls Bulls Expected 264 # Heifers Expected Cost/Day Open Additional Days Open Costs $ 48% 3.04 286 of Expected 264 # of Heifers Expected Heifer Heat Interval1 30 Average Additional Days Open Costs 2 Expected 286 # of 264 Heifers Expected 286 #2016 of Bulls Bulls Expected DPN; UW-Ext 2013 Heifer Heat Interval111 30 1Average Additional Days Open Costs 2 Days Open Costs 286 # of Bulls Expected Heifer Interval1 Cost/Day Open 30 Average $ Additional 3.04 2Heat 2 Additional Days Open Costs 286 # of Bulls Expected Average Heifer Heat Interval1 Open 30 1Cost/Day $ Additional 3.04 2 Open 2 Days Costs Average Heifer Heat Interval1 30 11Cost/Day 2016 DPN; UW-Ext 2013 $ Additional 3.04 2Open 2 2 Days Open Costs Average Heifer Heat Interval 30 2016 DPN; UW-Ext 2013 Open Days Open Costs $ Additional 3.04 2Heat 2 Average Heifer Interval11 30 1Cost/Day Cost/Day Open $ Additional 3.04 2016 DPN; UW-Ext 2013 Days Open Costs 2 2 Average Heifer Heat Interval 30 Cost/Day Open $ Additional 3.04 2Heat 2016 DPN; UW-Ext 2013 Average Heifer Interval1 30 11Cost/Day Days Open Costs 2Open $ 3.04 2016 DPN; Heifer UW-ExtHeat 2013 Interval 11 Average 30 1Cost/Day 2Open2 2 $ 3.04 2016 DPN; UW-Ext 2013 2Open Heat Interval Average 30 1Cost/Day $ 3.04 2016 DPN; Heifer UW-Ext2 2013 2Open $ 3.04 11Cost/Day 2016 UW-Ext 2016 DPN; DPN; 22Open UW-Ext2 2013 2013 $ 3.04 1Cost/Day

Figure 1.

1

1000 $30.00 1000 1000 48% 1000 $30.00 1000 $30.00 480 1000 $30.00 48% 1000 $30.00 48% 88% 1000 $30.00 48% 480 1000 $30.00 1000 48% 480 422 $30.00 1000 48% 480 88% $30.00 1000 48% $30.00 88% 480 58 48% $30.00 480 88% 422 48% $30.00 480 48% 88% 422 480 48% 88% 422 58 480 48% 88% 480 422 58 88% 480 422 58 88% 480 422 88% 58 422 88% 58 422 88% 58 422 58 422 58 422 58 58 58

2016 DPN; 2 UW-Ext 2013 2016 DPN; UW-Ext 2013

# Units Price/unit # Units # Units Conception Rate # Units Price/unit Units Price/unit # Units of Calves Expected # Price/unit Conception Rate # Units Price/unit Conception Rate Heifer Ratio # of Units Price/unit Conception Rate Calves Expected # Units Price/unit Units Conception Rate # of Calves Expected Heifers Expected Price/unit # Units Conception Rate of Calves Heifer RatioExpected Price/unit Units Conception Rate Price/unit Heifer Ratio # of Calves Expected # of Calves Bulls Expected Conception Rate Price/unit # of Expected Heifer Ratio # of Heifers Expected Conception Rate Price/unit # of Heifers Calves Expected Conception Rate Heifer RatioExpected # of Expected Calves Conception Rate Heifer Ratio # of Expected Bulls Expected Calves Expected Conception Rate Heifer Ratio # of Heifers Calves Expected Heifers Expected # of Bulls Expected Heifer Ratio Calves Expected # of Heifers Expected Bulls Expected Heifer Ratio # of Calves Expected Heifer Ratio Heifers Expected # of Bulls Expected # of of Bulls Heifers Expected Heifer Ratio # Expected # of Heifers Expected Heifer Ratio # of Bulls Bulls Expected Heifers Expected # of Expected # of of Heifers Expected # Expected # of Bulls Heifers Expected Bulls Expected # of Bulls Expected # of Bulls Expected

Figure 2.

all services, there would be a $4.44 loss per unit compared to conventional semen. Figure 3 compares GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen to conventional semen based on the farm-provided inputs. As shown, the price per unit and expected conception rates have increased compared to Figure 2. Furthermore, in this farm’s example, GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen is profitable, compared to conventional semen, when used on any number of services. Interestingly, the profit gained per unit of GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen is also greater than profit gained per unit of GenChoice™ sexed semen when compared on any number of services. If conception rates for GenChoice™ 4M semen are significantly greater, one could expect a greater return on investment even with the increased price per unit.

1000 # Units $45.00 Price/unit

1000 3. # Units Figure 1000 Units 52% # Conception Rate 1000 $45.00 1000 $45.00 520 1000 $45.00 52% 1000 $45.00 52% 88% 1000 $45.00 52% 520 1000 $45.00 1000 52% 520 458 $45.00 1000 52% 520 88% $45.00 1000 52% $45.00 520 88% 62 52% $45.00 520 88% 458 52% $45.00 520 52% 88% 458 520 52% 88% 458 62 520 52% 88% 520 458 62 88% 520 458 62 88% 520 458 88% 62 458 88% 62 458 88% 62 458 62 458 62 458 62 62 62

# Units Price/unit Units Price/unit # Calves Expected # of Units Price/unit Conception # Units UnitsRatio Rate Price/unit Conception Rate Heifer # Price/unit Conception Rate # of Calves Expected Units Price/unit Units Conception Rate # of Calves Heifers Expected Expected Price/unit Units Conception Rate # of Calves Heifer RatioExpected Price/unit Units Conception Rate Price/unit # of Calves Expected Heifer Ratio # of Bulls Expected Conception Rate Price/unit # of Heifers Calves Heifer RatioExpected # of Expected Conception Rate Price/unit # of Calves Expected Conception Rate Heifer RatioExpected # of Heifers Expected Calves Conception Rate Heifer Ratio # of Expected Bulls Expected Calves Expected Conception Rate Heifer Ratio # of Heifers Calves Expected Heifers Expected # Expected Heifer Ratio # of of Bulls Calves Expected Heifers Expected # of Bulls Expected Heifer Ratio # of of Heifers Calves Expected Heifer Ratio Heifers Expected # of Bulls Expected # Expected Heifer Ratio # of Heifers Bulls Expected # of Expected Heifer Ratio # of Bulls Expected Heifers Expected # of of Heifers Bulls Expected # Expected # Expected Heifers Expected # of of Bulls Bulls Expected # of Bulls Expected # of Bulls Expected

Limited conception data is available on the new 4M product, marketed by GENEX as GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen. However, a recent study in about 5,500 Holstein heifers compared conventional semen to the traditional sexed semen (with 2 million sperm cells per unit) and the 4M product (with 4 million sperm cells per unit). Interestingly, the semen types differed significantly in conception rates (conventional = 57.8%, traditional sexed = 40.6% and 4M = 46.4%).4 Said another way, the 4M sexed semen had significantly greater conception rates than the sexed semen packaged at 2 million sperm cells

P Heifers Conventional Semen Heifers lue Added , VaValue ieAsset Heifers rs e v (Impact on Balance Sheet) in B Heifers e Conventional Semen o Heifers By: J # Calves Semen Conventional x Value per Calf = Total Value Heifers Conventional Semen Heifers Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) Conventional Semen Heifers Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) 264 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 Conventional Asset onper Balance # Calves Semen x Value (Impact Value Calf Sheet) = Total Value Heifers Conventional Semen # Calves x Value per Calf = Total Value Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) 286 Bulls Value (Impact on $100 $28,600.00 Conventional Semen Heifers Asset Balance # Calves x Value (Impact Value per Calf Sheet) Total Value 264 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 Conventional Semen Asset on Balance Sheet) = # Calves x Value per Calf = Total Value 264 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 Total Value $107,800.00 Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) Conventional Semen # Calves x Value (Impact Value per Calf Sheet) = Total Value 264 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 286 Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Asset on Balance Conventional Semen # Calves Calves x Value (Impact Value per Calf Sheet) = = Total Value Asset on Balance 264 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 286 Bulls $100 $28,600.00 # x Value per Calf Value Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) Total 264 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 286 # 264 # Calves Calves 286 264 # Calves 286 264 # Calves 286 264 286 264 286 264 286 286 286

Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Total Value $107,800.00 x Value (Impact Value per Calf Value Asset on Balance Sheet) = Heifers $300 $79,200.00 x Value per CalfValue = Total Total Value Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Total $107,800.00 Semen Investment Heifers $300 $79,200.00 x Value per CalfValue = Total Value Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Total $107,800.00 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 x Value per CalfValue = Total Value Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 Total $107,800.00 Units 1000 Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 Total#Value Semen Investment $107,800.00 Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Heifers $300 $79,200.00 Total Value $107,800.00 Semen Investment Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Cost/Unit $15.00 Total Value $107,800.00 Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Semen Investment # Units 1000 Total Bulls $100 $28,600.00 Total#Value Value $107,800.00 Semen Investment $107,800.00 Units 1000 Total Semen Cost $15,000.00 Semen Investment $107,800.00 Total #Value Units 1000 Cost/Unit $15.00 Semen Investment $107,800.00 Total #Value Units 1000 Cost/Unit $15.00 Semen Investment # Units 1000 Total Semen Cost $15,000.00 Cost/Unit $15.00 Semen Investment # Units 1000 Semen Investment Total Semen Cost $15,000.00 Cost/Unit $15.00 Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves # Units 1000 Semen Investment Cost/Unit $15.00 Total Semen Cost $15,000.00 # 1000 3 Semen Investment Cost/Unit $15.00 # Units Units 1000 Semen Cost $15,000.00 Additional milk over two lactations from a heifer havingTotal a heifer calf (lbs) 981 Cost/Unit $15.00 Total Semen Cost $15,000.00 # Units 1000 Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Cost/Unit $15.00 4 Total Semen Cost $15,000.00 # Units 1000 Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Cost/Unit $15.00 Currentfrom FeedHeifers Cost/100 lbsTotal ofHeifer milk produced $9.60 Semen Cost $15,000.00 3 Cost/Unit $15.00 Milk Income having Calves Additional milk over two lactations from a heifer havingTotal a heifer calf (lbs) 981 Semen Cost $15,000.00 Total Semen Cost333 $15,000.00 Cost/Unit $15.00 Milk Income from fromaHeifers having Heifer Calves Additional milk over two lactations heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) 981 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) $16.00 Semen Cost443 $15,000.00 Milk Income from having Calves Additional milk over two lactations aHeifers heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) 981 Currentfrom Feed Cost/100 lbsTotal ofHeifer milk produced $9.60 Semen Cost $15,000.00 Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Additional milk over two lactations from aHeifers heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) 981 Current Feed Cost/100 lbsTotal ofHeifer produced $9.60 Additional milk income for a heifer having amilk heifer calf ($)443 Milk Income from having Calves $62.78 Additional milk over two lactations from aHeifers heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) 981 Current Feed Cost/100 lbs a of milk produced $9.60 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) 3 $16.00 Milk from having Heifer Calves 4 3 Additional milk over two 4Income lactations from a heifer having heifer calf (lbs) Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves 981 3 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) $16.00 Current Feed Cost/100 lbs of milk produced $9.60 Recommended Hinde et al.,two 2014; Recommended byaaipl.arsusda.gov 2017 Additional by milk over lactations from heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) 43 981 Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Current Feed Cost/100 lbs of milk produced $9.60 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) $16.00 Additional milk income for a heifer having a heifer calf ($) 4 3 $62.78 Additional milk over two lactations from a heifer having heifer calf (lbs) 981 Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Current Feed Cost/100 lbs a of milk produced Additional milk over two lactations from a heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) $9.60 981 4 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) $16.00 Additional milk income for a heifer having a heifer calf ($) 3 $62.78 Current Feed Cost/100 lbs of milk produced $9.60 3 Additional milk over two lactations from aaipl.arsusda.gov heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) 981 4 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) $16.00 et al., 2014; 444milk Recommended by 2017 Additional income for a heifer having a heifer calf ($) 3 $62.78 4 3 Recommended by Hinde Current Feed Cost/100 lbs of milk produced $9.60 3 Additional milk over lactations from aaipl.arsusda.gov heifer having a heifer calf (lbs) 981 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) Current Feed Cost/100 lbs of milk produced $16.00 $9.60 Recommended by Hinde et al.,two 2014; Recommended by 2017 Additional milk income for a heifer having amilk heifer calf ($)4 $62.78 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen 3 4 $16.00 Current Feed Cost/100 lbs of produced $9.60 Additional milk income for a heifer having a heifer calf ($) $62.78 Recommended by Hinde et al., 2014; 4 Recommended by aipl.arsusda.gov 2017Milk Price ($/cwt)4 Current 3 $16.00 Current Feed Cost/100 lbs of milk produced $9.60 Current Milk Price ($/cwt) Additional milk income for a heifer having a heifer calf ($) $16.00 $62.78 Recommended by Hinde et al., 2014; Recommended by aipl.arsusda.gov 2017 3 Additional income foraipl.arsusda.gov a heifer having a heifer calf ($) $62.78 Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) Recommended by Hinde et al., 2014; 44milk Recommended by 2017Milk Current Price ($/cwt) $16.00 3 GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Additional income for a heifer having a heifer ($) $62.78 et al., 2014; 4milk Recommended by aipl.arsusda.gov 2017Milk Current Price calf ($/cwt) $16.00 3 Recommended by Hinde Additional milk income for a heifer having a heifer calf ($) $62.78 GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Recommended by Hinde et al., 2014; Recommended by aipl.arsusda.gov 2017 # Calves Value Calf = Total Value 3 4milk incomexfor a heifer having Additional a per heifer calf Sheet) ($) $62.78 GenChoice™ Sexed Semen 3 Recommended 4 Recommended by et by 2017 Asset Value (Impact Balance Recommended by Hinde Hinde et al., al., 2014; 2014; Recommended by aipl.arsusda.gov 2017 on Additional milk income foraipl.arsusda.gov a heifer having a heifer calf Sheet) ($) $62.78 GenChoice™ Sexed Semen 3 4 Asset Value (Impact Balance 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 Recommended by Hinde et al., 2014; Recommended by aipl.arsusda.gov 2017 on GenChoice™ Sexed Semen 3 4 Asset Value (Impact Balance # Calves xby aipl.arsusda.gov Value Calf Sheet) = Total Value Recommended by Hinde et al., 2014; Recommended 2017 onper GenChoice™ Semen Asset (Impact on Balance # Calves x Value Value per Calf Sheet) = Total$5,760.00 Value 58Sexed Bulls $100 GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) # Calves x Value per Calf = Total Value 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 GenChoice™ SexedHeifers Semen Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) # Calves x Value per Calf = Total Value 422 $300 $126,720.00 Total Value $132,480.00 Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) = Total GenChoice™ SexedHeifers Semen # Calves x Value Value per Calf Sheet) Value 422 $300 $126,720.00 58Sexed Bulls $100 $5,760.00 Asset (Impact on Balance GenChoice™ Semen # Calves Calves xValue Value per Calf Sheet) = = Total Value Asset Value (Impact on Balance 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 Difference in Asset vs (Impact Conventional $24,680.00 # x Value per Calf Value Asset Value on Balance Sheet) = Total 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 Total $132,480.00 # x Value per Calf Value Asset on Balance Sheet) = Total 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 # Calves Calves x Value (Impact Value per CalfValue Total Value Total Value $132,480.00 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 # Calves x Value per Calf = Total Value 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 Total Value $132,480.00 Difference in Asset Value vs Conventional $24,680.00 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 # Calves xValue vs Conventional Value per CalfValue = Total Value 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 422 Heifers $300 $126,720.00 Total $132,480.00 Difference in Asset $24,680.00 Semen Investment 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 422 Heifers $300Total Value $126,720.00 $132,480.00 Difference in Asset Value vs Conventional $24,680.00 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 422 Heifers $300Total $126,720.00 Total#Value Value $132,480.00 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 Difference in Asset Value vs Conventional $24,680.00 Units 1000 $132,480.00 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 Difference in Asset Value vs Conventional $24,680.00 Semen Investment $132,480.00 Total Value 58 Bulls $100 $5,760.00 Total Value $132,480.00 Difference in Asset Value vs Conventional $24,680.00 Semen Investment Cost/Unit $30.00 Difference in Asset Value vs Conventional $24,680.00 Total Value Semen Investment $132,480.00 Units 1000 Difference $24,680.00 Total# Value Difference in in Asset Asset Value Value vs vs Conventional Conventional $24,680.00 Semen Investment $132,480.00 # Units 1000 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Semen Investment $24,680.00 Difference in Asset Value vs Conventional # Units 1000 Cost/Unit $30.00 Semen Investment Difference in Semen Asset Value $24,680.00 # Units 1000 Cost/Unit $30.00 Semen Investment Difference in Cost vs vs Conventional Conventional ($15,000.00) # Units 1000 Cost/Unit $30.00 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Semen Investment # Units 1000 Semen Investment Cost/Unit $30.00 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 # Units 1000 Semen Investment ($15,000.00) Cost/Unit $30.00 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional # Units 1000 Semen Investment Cost/Unit $30.00 # Units 1000 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Difference in Semen Conventional ($15,000.00) Additional Milk IncomeCost fromvs Heifers having Heifer Calves Cost/Unit $30.00 # Units 1000 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional ($15,000.00) Cost/Unit $30.00 # Units 1000 Cost/Unit $30.00 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Difference in Semen Cost Milk vs Conventional ($15,000.00) # Additional Heifers Additional Income Heifer Total Value Totalper Semen Cost $30,000.00 Cost/Unit $30.00 Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional ($15,000.00) Additional Milk Income fromvs Heifers having Heifer Calves Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Cost/Unit $30.00 Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Difference in Conventional ($15,000.00) Milk IncomeCost fromvs Heifers having Heifer Calves 158Additional $62.78 $9,944.99 Difference in Semen Semen Cost Conventional ($15,000.00) Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Milk Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves Total # AdditionalAdditional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional ($15,000.00) Total Semen Cost $30,000.00 Difference invs Semen Cost vs Conventional ($15,000.00) Milk Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves AdditionalAdditional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value Total# Milk Income Conventional $9,944.99 Milk Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves Total Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional ($15,000.00) # Additional Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Total Value 158Additional $62.78 $9,944.99 Additional Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional ($15,000.00) 158 $62.78 # AdditionalAdditional Heifers Milk Income Additional Milk Income per Heifer Total $9,944.99 Value fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves Total Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value 158Additional $62.78 $9,944.99 Total# Additional Milk Income vs Conventional Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves # Additional Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heifer Heifer Value Milkvs Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves 158Additional $62.78 Total# Milk Income Conventional $9,944.99 GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Cost of AddedTotal Days Open Additional Heifers Additional Income per Total Value Milkvs Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves 158Additional $62.78 $9,944.99 Total# Milk Income Conventional $9,944.99 Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value Milkvs Income fromMilk Heifers having Heiferonly Calves Total 158Additional $62.78 # Additional Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer $9,944.99 Total Value Total# Additional Milk Income Conventional $9,944.99 Used on 1st service ($11,603.32) 158 $62.78 $9,944.99 Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heifer Total Value Total Additional Milk Income vsGenChoice™ Conventional$62.78 $9,944.99 Sexed Semen Cost of AddedTotal Days Open 158 $9,944.99 # Additional Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heifer Value 158 $62.78 Total Milk Income vs Conventional $9,944.99 GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Cost of Added Days Open Used on 2 services ($17,634.54) Total Additional Income vsGenChoice™ ConventionalUsed $9,944.99 158 Milk $62.78 $9,944.99 Sexed Costonly of Added Days Open onSemen 1st service ($11,603.32) Total Conventional $9,944.99 158 Milk $62.78 Total Additional Additional Milk Income Income vs vsGenChoice™ ConventionalUsed $9,944.99 Sexed of Added Days Open onSemen 1st only ($11,603.32) Used onservice all Cost services ($24,064.41) Total Additional Milk Income vsGenChoice™ ConventionalUsed Sexed Semen Cost of Added Days Open $9,944.99 on 1st service only ($11,603.32) Used on 2 services ($17,634.54) Total Additional Milk Income vsGenChoice™ ConventionalUsed GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Cost of Added Added Days Days Open $9,944.99 onSemen 1stonservice only ($11,603.32) Used 2 Cost services ($17,634.54) Sexed of Open Used on 1st service only ($11,603.32) Used onservice 2 Cost ($17,634.54) Used on all services ($24,064.41) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen of Added Days Open Used on 1st only ($11,603.32) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Cost of Added Days Open Used on 2 ($17,634.54) Used on all services ($24,064.41) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Total Profit /Loss Used onSemen 1st service only ($11,603.32) GenChoice™ Sexed of Added Days Open Used onservice 2 Cost ($17,634.54) Used on all services ($24,064.41) Used on 1st only ($11,603.32) GenChoice™Used Sexed of Added Per Days Open Used onservice 2 Cost ($17,634.54) onSemen 1st only ($11,603.32) Used on all services ($24,064.41) Impact Total Unit Used on 2 services ($17,634.54) Used on 1st service only Used on all services ($11,603.32) ($24,064.41) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Total Profit /Loss Used on 2 services ($17,634.54) Used on 1st service only Used on all services ($11,603.32) ($24,064.41) Used on 2 ($17,634.54) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Total Profit /Loss Total Profit/LossGenChoice™ for 1st Service OnlySemen $8,021.67 $8.02 Used on all services ($24,064.41) Used on 2 services ($17,634.54) Sexed Total Profit /Loss Impact Total Per Unit Used on all ($24,064.41) Used on 2 services ($17,634.54) Used on all services ($24,064.41) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Total Profit /Loss Impact Total Per Unit Total Profit/Loss for 1st & 2nd Services $1,990.45 $1.99 UsedTotal on$8,021.67 all services GenChoice™ Sexed Total Profit /Loss ($24,064.41) Impact Per Unit$8.02 Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service OnlySemen UsedTotal on($4,439.42) all services GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Total Total Profit /Loss ($24,064.41) Impact Per Unit TotalTotal Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $8,021.67 Profit/Loss for All Services ($4.44) GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Profit /Loss Impact Total Per Unit$8.02 Total Profit/Loss for Service OnlySemen $8,021.67 $8.02 Total Profit/Loss for 1st1st & 2nd Services $1,990.45 $1.99 GenChoice™ Sexed Total Profit /Loss Impact GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Total Profit /Loss Total Per Unit Total Profit/Loss for 1st & 2nd Services $1,990.45 $1.99 Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $8,021.67 $8.02 Impact Per Unit($4.44) GenChoice™ Sexed Profit /Loss Total Profit/Loss for Service OnlySemen TotalTotal $8,021.67 $8.02 Total Profit/Loss for 1st1st & 2nd $1,990.45 $1.99 Total Profit/Loss for All Services ($4,439.42) Impact Per GenChoice™ Sexed Profit /Loss Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service OnlySemen TotalTotal Impact $8,021.67 $8.02 Total Per Unit Unit($4.44) Total Profit/Loss for 1st1st & 2nd ($4,439.42) $1,990.45 $1.99 Total Profit/Loss for All Services Total Profit/Loss for Service Only $8,021.67 $8.02 GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Impact Total Profit/Loss for 1st1st & 2nd Services Total Per Unit($4.44) $1,990.45 $1.99 Total Profit/Loss for All ($4,439.42) Total Profit/Loss for Service Only $8,021.67 $8.02 Impact Total Profit/Loss forfor 1st1st & 2nd 2nd Services Total Per Unit($4.44) $1,990.45 $1.99 Total Profit/Loss Service Only $8,021.67 $8.02 Total Profit/Loss for All Services ($4,439.42) Total Profit/Loss for 1st & $1,990.45 $1.99 Value (Impact on ($4,439.42) Balance Sheet) Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $8,021.67 $8.02 Total Profit/Loss for All Asset Services ($4.44) Total Profit/Loss for 1st & Services $1,990.45 $1.99 GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Total Profit/Loss for Service Only $8,021.67 $8.02 Total Profit/Loss for All Total Profit/Loss for 1st1st & 2nd 2nd ($4,439.42) ($4.44) $1,990.45 $1.99 Total Profit/Loss for All Services Services ($4,439.42) ($4.44) GenChoice™ 4M Total Profit/Loss for 1stSexed & 2nd Services $1,990.45 $1.99 # Calves xSemen Value per Calf = Total Value Total for All Services ($4.44) GenChoice™ 4M Semen Asset Value (Impact on ($4,439.42) Balance Sheet) Total Profit/Loss for 1stSexed & 2nd Services $1,990.45Sheet) $1.99 Total Profit/Loss Profit/Loss for All Asset ($4,439.42) ($4.44) GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Value (Impact on Balance Total Profit/Loss for AllHeifers Services 458 Sexed $300 $137,280.00 ($4,439.42) ($4.44) GenChoice™ 4M Semen Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) # Calves x Value per Calf = Total Value Total Profit/Loss for All Services ($4,439.42) ($4.44) GenChoice™# Calves 4M Sexed Semen Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) = Total$6,240.00 x Value per Calf Value GenChoice™ 4M Semen 62 Sexed Bulls $100 Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) = Total x Value per Calf Value GenChoice™## Calves 4M Semen 458 Sexed Heifers $300 $137,280.00 Asset Value (Impact (Impact on Balance Sheet) = Total Calves xSemen Value per CalfValue Value 458 Sexed Heifers $300 $137,280.00 Total $143,520.00 Asset Value on Balance GenChoice™ 4M # Calves xSemen Value per Calf Sheet) Total Value 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 62 Bulls $100 $6,240.00 Asset Value (Impact (Impact on Balance Sheet) = GenChoice™ 4M Asset on Balance Sheet) # x Value per Calf = Total Value 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 62 Sexed Bulls $100 $6,240.00 Difference In Asset Value Semen $35,720.00 # Calves Calves x Value Value per CalfValue Total Value Asset (Impact on Balance Sheet) = 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 62 vs Conventional Bulls $100 $6,240.00 Total $143,520.00 # Calves Calves x Value Value per CalfValue = Total Total Value Asset Value (Impact on Balance Sheet) = 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 # x Value per Calf Value 62 Bulls $100 $6,240.00 Total $143,520.00 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 # Calves x Value per CalfValue = Total Value 62 vs Conventional Bulls $100 $6,240.00 Total $143,520.00 Difference In Asset Value Semen $35,720.00 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 # Calves x Value per Calf = Total Value 62 Bulls $100 $6,240.00 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 Total Value Difference In Asset Value vs Conventional Semen $100 $35,720.00 Semen Investment $143,520.00 62 Bulls $6,240.00 458 Heifers $300 $137,280.00 Total Value $143,520.00 Difference In Asset Value vs Conventional Semen $100 $35,720.00 62 Bulls $6,240.00 458 Heifers $300Total $137,280.00 Value $143,520.00 62 vs Bulls $100 $6,240.00 Difference In Asset Value Conventional Semen $35,720.00 Units 1000 Total#Value $143,520.00 62 vs Conventional Bulls $6,240.00 Difference In Asset Value Semen $100 $35,720.00 Semen Investment Total Value $143,520.00 62 vs Bulls $6,240.00 Difference In In Asset Asset Value Value vs Conventional Conventional Semen $100 Total Value $35,720.00 Semen Investment $143,520.00 Cost/Unit $45.00 Difference Semen $35,720.00 Total Value $143,520.00 Semen Investment $143,520.00 Units 1000 Difference Total# Difference In In Asset Asset Value Value vs vs Conventional Conventional Semen Semen $35,720.00 Semen Investment $35,720.00 #Value Units 1000 Cost $45,000.00 Difference In Asset Value vs Conventional Semen Total Semen Semen Investment $35,720.00 # Units 1000 Cost/Unit $45.00 Difference In Semen Investment $35,720.00 # Units 1000 Cost/Unit $45.00 Difference in Asset SemenValue Cost vs vs Conventional Conventional Semen Semen Semen Investment ($30,000.00) # Units 1000 Cost/Unit $45.00 Total Semen Cost $45,000.00 Semen Investment # Units Units 1000 Semen Investment $45,000.00 Cost/Unit $45.00 Total Semen Cost # 1000 Semen Investment Cost/Unit $45.00 Cost $45,000.00 Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional Semen Total Semen ($30,000.00) # 1000 Semen Investment Cost/Unit $45.00 # Units Units 1000 Difference in Semen CostMilk vs Conventional Semen Cost $45,000.00 ($30,000.00) Additional Income fromSemen HeifersTotal having Heifer Calves Cost/Unit $45.00 # Units 1000 Semen Cost $45,000.00 Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional Semen Total ($30,000.00) Cost/Unit $45.00 # Units 1000 Totalper Semen Cost $45,000.00 Cost/Unit $45.00 Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional Semen ($30,000.00) # Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income Heifer Total Value Total Semen Cost $45,000.00 Cost/Unit $45.00 Difference in Semen CostMilk vs Conventional Semen ($30,000.00) Additional Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Total Semen Cost $45,000.00 Cost/Unit $45.00 Difference in in Semen CostMilk vs Conventional Conventional Semen Total Semen Cost $45,000.00 ($30,000.00) Additional Income fromSemen Heifers having Heifer Calves 194 $62.78Total $12,154.98 Difference Semen Cost vs ($30,000.00) Semen Cost $45,000.00 Additional Milk Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves Total # Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional Semen ($30,000.00) Total Semen Cost $45,000.00 Difference in Semen Cost vs Conventional Semen ($30,000.00) Total Value Additional Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves # Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heifer Total# Additional Milk Cost Income vs Conventional $12,154.98 Difference in Semen vs Conventional Semen Additional Milk Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves Total ($30,000.00) Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value 194 $62.78 $12,154.98 Difference in Semen CostMilk vs Conventional Semen Additional Milk Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves Calves Total ($30,000.00) $12,154.98 # Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value 194 $62.78 Income from Heifers having Heifer # Additional Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heifer Total$12,154.98 Value 194Additional $62.78 Total# Milk Income Conventional Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer Calves Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Total$12,154.98 Value Additional Milkvs Income fromMilk Heifers having Heifer Calves 194Additional $62.78 Total# Additional Milk Income vs Conventional GenChoice™ 4M Semen Cost of Calves Added Days Open Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heifer Total Value Additional Milk Income from Heifers having Heifer 194 $62.78 $12,154.98 Total# Additional Milk Income Conventional $12,154.98 Additional Heifers Additional Income per Heifer Value Milkvs Income fromMilk Heifers Heiferonly Calves Total 194 $62.78 Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heifer $12,154.98 Total$12,154.98 Value Total# Additional Milk Income vs Conventional Used onhaving 1st service 194Additional $62.78 ($4,972.85) $12,154.98 Additional Heifers Additional Milk Income per Heiferof Total$12,154.98 Value Total# Additional Milk Income vs Conventional $12,154.98 GenChoice™ 4M Semen Cost Added Days Open 194 $62.78 Additional Additional Milk Income per Heifer Total$12,154.98 Value 194 Heifers $62.78 Total# Additional Additional Milk Income Income vs vs Conventional Conventional $12,154.98 GenChoice™ 4M Semen Cost of Added Days Open Used on 2 services ($7,358.83) Total Milk 194 $62.78 $12,154.98 GenChoice™ 4M on Semen Cost of Added Days$12,154.98 Open Used 1st service only ($4,972.85) Total 194 Milk $62.78 Total Additional Additional Milk Income Income vs vs Conventional Conventional GenChoice™ 4MUsed Semen Cost of Added Days$12,154.98 Open ($4,972.85) Used on 1st only onservice all services ($9,537.18) Total Additional Milk Income vs Conventional $12,154.98 GenChoice™ 4M Semen Cost of Added Days Open Used on 1stonservice only ($4,972.85) Used 2 services ($7,358.83) Total Additional Milk Income vs Conventional $12,154.98 GenChoice™ 4M Semen Cost of Added Days Open ($7,358.83) Used on 1st service only ($4,972.85) Used on 2 services GenChoice™ 4MUsed Semen Cost of Added Days($4,972.85) Open Used on 1st service only Used on 2 ($7,358.83) on all services ($9,537.18) GenChoice™ 4M Semen Cost of Added Days Open Used on 1st service only GenChoice™ 4MUsed Semen Cost of Added Days($4,972.85) Open ($4,972.85) ($9,537.18) Used on 2 ($7,358.83) on all services GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Total Profit/Loss Used on 1st service only GenChoice™ 4MUsed Semen Cost of Added Days($4,972.85) Open Used onservice 2 services ($7,358.83) on all ($9,537.18) Used on 1st only GenChoice™ 4M Semen Cost of Added Days Open Used on 2 services ($7,358.83) Used on 1st service only ($4,972.85) Used on all ($9,537.18) Impact Total Per($9,537.18) Unit Used on 2 services services ($7,358.83) UsedUsed on 1st service only on all ($4,972.85) GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Total Profit/Loss Used on 2 services ($7,358.83) UsedUsed on 1st service only on all services ($4,972.85) ($9,537.18) Used on 2 ($7,358.83) GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Total Profit/Loss Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Used on all services ($9,537.18) Used on 2 services services ($7,358.83) GenChoice™ 4M Sexed SemenUsed Total Profit/Loss Impact Total Per Unit on all ($9,537.18) Used on 2 services ($7,358.83) on all GenChoice™ 4M Sexed SemenUsed Total Profit/Loss Total Per($9,537.18) Unit Impact Total Profit/Loss for 1st & 2nd4M Services $10,516.16 $10.52 Used on all services GenChoice™ Sexed Semen Total Profit/Loss ($9,537.18) Impact Total Per($9,537.18) Unit Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only SemenUsed $12,902.13 $12.90 on all services GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Total Profit/Loss TotalTotal Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Impact Total Per Unit Profit/Loss for All4M Services GenChoice™ Sexed Total Profit/Loss $8,337.80 $8.34 Impact Total Per Unit Total Profit/Loss Service Only Semen $12,902.13 $12.90 Total Profit/Loss forfor 1st1st & 2nd Services $10,516.16 $10.52 GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Profit/Loss GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Total Total Profit/Loss Impact Total Per Unit $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Total Profit/Loss for 1st & 2nd Services Impact Total Per Unit GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Profit/Loss Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only Semen Total $12,902.13 $12.90 Total Profit/Loss for 1st & 2nd Services $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss for All $8,337.80 $8.34 Impact Total Per Unit GenChoice™ 4M Sexed Semen Total Profit/Loss Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only Impact $12,902.13 $12.90 Total Per Unit Total Profit/Loss forfor 1st1st & 2nd Services $8,337.80 $8.34 $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss for All Services Total Profit/Loss Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Impact Total Profit/Loss for 1st & 2nd Total Per Unit $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss for All Services $8,337.80 $8.34 Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Impact Total Profit/Loss for 1st & Total Per Unit $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Total Profit/Loss for All Services $8,337.80 $8.34 Total Profit/Loss forfor 1st1st & 2nd 2nd $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss for 1st Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Total Profit/Loss for All Services Services $8,337.80 $8.34 Total Profit/Loss for 1st & $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss Service Only $12,902.13 $12.90 Total Profit/Loss for All Services Total Profit/Loss forfor 1st1st & 2nd 2nd $8,337.80 $8.34 $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss All Services $8,337.80 $8.34 Total Profit/Loss for 1st for & 2nd Services $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss for All Services $8,337.80 $8.34 Total Profit/Loss for 1st & 2nd Services $10,516.16 $10.52 Total Profit/Loss for All $8,337.80 $8.34 Total Profit/Loss for All Services $8,337.80 $8.34 Total Profit/Loss for All Services $8,337.80 $8.34

per unit but significantly lower (11.4%) conception rates than conventional semen. As more data is collected and evaluated, a clearer picture will emerge on the efficacy of the 4M product.

Ultimately, conception rates from sexed semen will continue to improve and its use in the dairy industry will continue to increase. Using the Prospective program to compare sexed semen products will help producers define how to best utilize them now and in the future.  SM

References available upon request.

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A Game Changer By: Richard Petrie, Resale Product Advisor

Whether you are looking for a way to improve milk quality, cow and heifer reproductive efficiency, overall herd health and nutrition, or just want another ‘set of eyes’ in the barn allowing you to focus on other areas of your operation, GENEX and SCR by Allflex have the answer. The predictive, precise and proven capabilities of the SCR Heatime® system make it the solution to help you get to the next level of dairy profitability and success. What can you expect from the SCR Heatime® system? It combines one-of-akind rumination monitoring with accurate heat detection, allowing you access to reliable information coming directly from your cows. This information will allow you to make better decisions for your cows’ health, nutrition, reproduction and comfort. Interested in the SCR Heatime® monitoring system but don’t want the hassle of installing and setting it up? Don’t worry! Count on us to do it all and do it well. After we install your system, continued training and technical support is provided so you can utilize the system to its fullest potential. Make the investment in the SCR Heatime® system and take advantage of optimal cow health and comfort, better nutrition and improved reproduction to take your dairy profitability to the next level. Contact your GENEX representative today for more information. 

Health Benefits

Health Nutrition Benefits

Health Breeding Benefits

Find sick cows 1-3 days sooner than a physical evaluation1

Monitor response to nutrition and ration changes

Easy-to-use breeding lists with separate reports

Use rumination data to determine cow treatment and measure its impact

Analyze effectiveness of feed additives

Reports provide earlier diagnosis and intervention of repro problems

Reduce stress by lowering lock-up times

Identify concerns regarding mixing and feed delivery

Ability to reduce hormone dependency between 40-80%

SCR Heatime® monitoring system is available in the U.S. only. (1) Stangaferro, M.L., Wijma, R., Caixeta, L.S., Al-Abri, M.A., & Giordano, J.O. (2016). Use of rumination and activity monitoring for the identification of dairy cows with health disorders: Part I. Metabolic and digestive disorders. Journal of Dairy Science, 99(9), 7395-7410.

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Health Comfort Benefits

Heat stress module displays current status of panting, rumination and eating by group Monitors temperature and humidity for improved heat management strategies


The unique components of our new RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement allow you to feed two calcium boluses consecutively, meaning you don’t have to catch the cow twice.

Ask your GENEX representative about RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement today!


Help Her Bounce Back with RumiLife® CAL24™ Nutritional Supplement By: Kirsten French, Resale Product Advisor

Members are the backbone of GENEX. As cooperative members, you have the opportunity to have your voice heard. And it was exactly that – members’ voices – that were the driving force behind RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement. Members asked for it, and GENEX delivered. Since its release, there has been a lot of buzz about the easy-toadminister calcium supplement.

What makes it different? RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement is unlike other calcium supplements. At 100 grams of calcium per dose, it is one of the highest single-serving calcium supplements available today. It features a fast-releasing calcium – calcium chloride – which is quickly digested and passively absorbed through the rumen wall. It also contains Calmin, a combination of highly available calcium and magnesium, which is critical for the proper regulation of calcium absorption over time. The combination of Calmin and vitamin D enables RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement to support adequate blood calcium levels for an extended amount of time. Vitamin D also helps facilitate active transfer in

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the small intestine. With its unique components, RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement helps promote calcium levels in cows during the first 24 hours after calving and other times associated with calcium deficiency.

Made with member input Noting producers’ concerns about the ease of swallowing other calcium supplements, the RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement is a missileshaped bolus with a slick coating for ease of gliding down a cow’s throat, whether it’s a Holstein or Jersey cow. Furthermore, the inclusion of Calmin provides a sustained release of calcium, so producers can feed one package (two boluses) consecutively. Rather than trying to catch a cow a second time to feed additional boluses, supplementation can be ‘once and done.’ RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement provides rapid calcium absorption, supplements blood calcium and gives producers peace of mind. Join in the success of RumiLife® CAL24™ nutritional supplement and consider incorporating it into your fresh cow protocols. Contact your GENEX representative to order today. 

One of the highest single‑serving calcium supplements available today.


Understanding Key Concepts in Animal Breeding

Any population of animals or plants shows variation in several traits. These differences have not gone unnoticed by humans. Over thousands of years, breeders have learned to harness this variation, make choices and, through careful selection, accumulate desired features.

By Jose Moro, PhD, Senior Dairy Consultant

Today, animal breeders have powerful selection tools. In the age of genomics, dairy producers need to develop and utilize new strategies to keep genetic improvement consistent with their economic goals. In dairy cattle selection, it is essential to understand key concepts such as heritability. Misunderstandings or misconceptions about these concepts can block dialogue between producers and genetic consultants (those trying to help you breed for animals that match your genetic goals). This article explains – in simple terms – heritability, its importance and its application in animal improvement.

What is genetic improvement? Genetic improvement is a process. It utilizes biological, mathematical and organizational tools to exploit trait variations within a population. The goal is to maximize the economic value of individuals subject to selection. Recently, advances in genomics have allowed producers to shorten generation intervals. Producers can now determine which heifer calves will be mated to create herd replacements, and they can be bred to young, genomic-proven bulls.

This, along with the genotyping of thousands of females and males, has opened unseen opportunities for breeders and producers.

Phenotypic variation Before exploring heritability, let’s look at variation. Variation is essential for genetic selection. The variation observed for any trait is called phenotypic variation. Without variation, there is no chance to select the best individuals (i.e., the best according to the needs of the dairy) because all would look the same. Let’s simulate a population where a trait is controlled by many genes, for instance milk yield. That trait is plotted in Graph 1. The graph is a typical bell curve where the topproducing cows are on the right tail of the curve and the lowest producing cows are on the left tail of the curve. Most of the cows are around the average of the population, in the central part of the curve. Through selection, a breeder can change the genetic array of his/her herd and produce individuals that express the desired performance. Selection also changes the phenotypic variation in a population, a point to keep in mind when learning about heritability.

Graph 1. Distribution of Cows by Milk Yield/Year Simulated dairy population with normal distribution and typical milk yield values

Number of cows

Heritability

4,641. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29,757

Milk yield per cow/year

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“A small heritability does not mean genes do not influence the trait or that genetic improvement will be slow or impossible. If a trait with low heritability has a relevant economic value, that trait can and should be included in selection programs.”

When examining the variation of a trait within a population, it is possible to determine the amount of variation due to genetics and to the environment. In this context, environment includes any factor other than genetics affecting the trait in question; for instance, nutrition, heat stress, year of birth, season of calving, season of birth, to name few. Estimating the genetic variation is generally the first step when researchers assess whether a phenotype could be useful within genetic programs: if there is genetic variation, then the phenotype is useful and one can genetically select animals. Genetic differences can be transmitted to the next generation. Environmental differences cannot.

Heritability – definition and importance Heritability is a complex concept, but analysis of several definitions can help clarify its meaning: the proportion of the phenotypic variation that is due to genetic factors, or the proportion of differences in performance for a trait that can be attributed to differences in breeding values for that trait, or the relationship between the performance for a trait

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(phenotype) and the breeding values (genotype) for a trait in a population, or in a narrower sense, heritability refers to the proportion of the phenotypic variation that is explained by the genes affecting the trait. Because heritability is a proportion, it can be expressed in two ways: as a percentage or fraction. Thus, its range goes from 0% to 100% or 0.0 to 1.0. If all variation observed in a population is due to genetics, then the heritability will be 100% (or 1.0). If all variation observed in a population is due to factors other than genetics (environmental factors), then the heritability will be 0% or simply, 0.

What does a high (or low) heritability mean? A simple way to understand heritability is to assume a high heritability for any trait in a population. For instance, assume growth (or any trait related to growth) exhibits a 90% heritability in a population. This means most of the differences in growth observed among individuals will be caused by genes, while a small fraction of those differences will be caused by the environment. On the other hand, if a trait related to health is said to have very low heritability (for example 10%), that

means the differences between individuals are due more to factors other than genetics. Sometimes people believe a trait with low heritability is not worthy of being included in a genetic improvement program. However, a small heritability does not mean genes do not influence the trait or that genetic improvement will be slow or impossible. If a trait with low heritability has a relevant economic value, that trait can and should be included in selection programs. An example of such traits may be health traits (i.e., Metritis, Subclinical Ketosis, Mastitis).

Trait heritabilities Source: https://aipl.arsusda.gov/reference/nmcalc-2017.htm

Milk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Protein . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Productive Life. . . . . . . . . . . . SCS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Udder Composite . . . . . . . . . . Feet/legs Composite. . . . . . . . DPR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HCR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CCR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.20 0.20 0.20 0.08 0.12 0.27 0.15 0.04 0.01 0.02

GENEX SCK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.119 GENEX MTR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.068 GENEX FH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.165


Fact or Fiction? Is heritability an individual parameter that is constant through the years? Heritability denotes a property of a population (not an individual), and it is not constant. The reason heritability is not constant is simple. Genetic selection consists of eliminating animals according to certain criteria (for instance, low performance) and keeping animals that fulfill our expectations (for instance, high performance). When a breeder applies selection, the gene frequency in the population changes, because he or she increased the frequency of animals with favorable genes. Hence, after selection, there is a new subpopulation (the offspring) with a different gene frequency than the population from which they were produced. Selection over several generations will cause a larger change in the genetic structure of the population. Because the estimation of heritability depends on the gene frequency, over the years, heritability may change. The importance of heritability is dual: to predict breeding values and to predict the response to selection in breeding programs. Today, many new traits are being investigated and developed for breeding programs. The amount, type and quality of information produced by progressive dairy farms allow the creation of novel phenotypes that should be used to explore better selection approaches. Understanding how heritability, selection, variation and breeding goals align to make genetic plans allows breeders and producers to select for genetically and economically superior animals.  References available upon request.

Heritability is a value that indicates properties of an individual: “Bull A has a big impact on milk yield because its heritability is high. So, Bull A transmits a lot of milk yield.”

Heritability is a population parameter that describes a genetic feature of a specific population. Heritability has no meaning in the context of a single individual.

Heritability is a general value that applies for any population.

It is population–specific; however, heritability for some traits is similar across populations (i.e., across countries).

Heritability with low values means we cannot make genetic improvement: “I do not want to select against metritis because the trait has low heritability, and it is caused mainly by management, so it does not transmit much.”

Traits with low heritability may have a high economic value and can and should be included in genetic programs.

Heritability is a constant value throughout the years.

Selection changes the gene frequency in the population and may change the magnitude of heritability over time.

Heritability when high, means all animals may have large breeding values: “You should select only traits with high heritability because the animals will have higher breeding values.”

In a population, we can observe animals with low breeding values and animals with high breeding values for traits with high/low heritability.

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T&K Dairy More Than Meets the Eye By: Jenny Hanson, Communications Manager

Driving down Highway 84 from Lubbock (home of Texas Tech University) to Snyder, Texas, it’s not likely you’ll see a dairy farm. The area is better known for its oil fields and wind farms. But if you head just east of Snyder you’ll come across a dairy where dry lots seem to spread for acres. Take a closer look and you’ll see that T&K Dairy, owned by Will and Lauren Collier, is much more than meets the eye.

Their story starts off like many others in the dairy industry. Will is a fourth-generation farmer. His father and grandparents started this dairy in 1982 with about 60 cows. While he knew he wanted to continue the family farming tradition, at the encouragement of his father Will attended Texas Tech. His father wanted him to get a degree to fall back on should he one day decide not to farm. After graduation, Will returned to the farm and worked as herd manager. Then, in January 2008, he and his wife Lauren purchased the farm. Today they operate the dairy, which has grown to about 2,000 cows. While it’s the only dairy farm in the area, they have found it’s a great place to raise their family: Jax, age 14; Tymrie, age 11; and Jagger, age 9.

Their Dairy The 2,000-cow herd consists of approximately 50% Holstein cows and 50% HoJos (Holstein x Jersey crosses). The crossbreeding began in late 2008. As Will explains, it was all about producing a cow fit for the conditions. “We chose to crossbreed to improve cow efficiency, reproduction, feed conversion and breed for a cow that is hardy enough to easily handle the warm Texas summers.” Furthermore, he wants animals that “make a lot of milk, are physically sound with good udders, and have good Daughter Pregnancy Rate and Productive Life.” Today, the dairy is using sexed semen on all first service heifers. Jersey GenChoice™ sexed semen is used on the crossbreds and Holstein sexed semen is used on the Holsteins. After first service, all heifers are bred with Jersey conventional semen, and for good reason. “At one time, we were losing 10-12 Holstein heifers a year because of calf size,” explains Will. “The calving ease provided by using Jersey semen on heifers has helped alleviate that issue.”

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According to Will, the combination of sexed semen and a low cull rate has enabled the dairy to sell around 400 heifers a year. Good reproduction plays a role in creating surplus heifers too. His goals for the reproduction program include maintaining an annual pregnancy rate of at least 25% and having all cows inseminated by 90 days in milk (DIM). To achieve these goals, there’s an intense focus on heat detection. To date, they’ve used tail chalk and a Presynch program where cows receive two Lutalyse® shots before 60 DIM. Cows are watched carefully for heats following the second shot. Any cows that are not inseminated by 75 DIM appear on the vet check list. Cows that don’t come into heat following vet check are enrolled in a synchronization program. Heifers are bred at 13 months of age to freshen at 22-24 months. Their goal is to have 85% of heifers calve at less than 24 months. In addition to the dairy’s repro team and breeding protocols, Will credits others for their contributions to the

Among those who made a significant difference was the late Kevin Boyle with GENEX. “Kevin provided training that brought our staff and breeding program a long ways,” shares Will. (Today there’s a leadership award named after Kevin. See page 8 for more information.) Will also credits his nutritionist, Dale Tiemann, for his impact, as cow nutrition and a transition diet play a role in a successful repro program as well.

Their Diversification You may be wondering, what’s more than meets the eye about this farm? What you don’t see when driving up the driveway is the diversification. Will and his family farm about 6,000 acres of cropland, 500 of which is irrigated. They grow corn silage, sorghum silage, triticale (for heifers to graze on) and cotton. As Will describes, growing cotton is a way to rotate crops, create cleaner

fields and spread out the financial risk. It also provides some feed byproduct for the cattle. A couple miles down the road, the family also has a beef cow/calf operation. The herd, consisting of about 200 head, started in 2012 when they bred some of the dairy’s problem breeders using Angus semen. Now, they routinely sell beef calves when they reach 600‑700 pounds. “Our goal was just to try to get cows pregnant,” notes Will, “but it’s turned into diversification. Also, increasing the beef herd makes sense with the labor shortage issues we’re facing.” Finally, if you stop by in the winter or spring months you might be surprised to see the Collier children working with animals other than cows. Each year they buy around 30 shows pigs and attend five major Texas livestock shows. While it’s not a major part of the farm’s diversification plan, it’s a part of the family’s master plan of spending time together. “Showing pigs is something our family enjoys doing together,” shares Will. “Lauren and I feel growing up on a farm is a great way of life, and we’re glad our children enjoy this same type of lifestyle.” The story of the Collier family, their land, their cows, their farm … is much more than meets the eye.  

Labor Issue Leads to Automation In addition to managing the dairy, Will is acutely aware of industry issues and actively rallies for industry support. Among the issues impacting agriculture in Texas (and across the USA) is the labor shortage. As he explains, the labor shortage has led to changes on the dairy. “Due to labor shortage issues over the last couple years, we’ve decided to go with the SCR Heatime® system neck collars and sorting gates.”

Mike Denton of GENEX helps to put SCR Heatime® system collars on the Collier’s herd.

While the collars have only been on cows for six weeks and the sorting gates installed in the last two weeks, Will has high hopes for the system. “We plan to sort out and breed cows at the breeding rail outside the parlor. Our hope is cow health will improve from with lower lock-up times. We’re also hoping we can move to more preventive treatment – like rumen boluses and vitamin B – instead of curative treatment. Of course, we’d also like to maintain or increase conception rates too.”

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For more on SCR Heatime® systems, see page 18.

All around, genetics used are in the top 5% of the breed.

program’s success (which earned a GENEX Excellence in Reproduction & Genetics award in 2011). “GENEX has always been good with support staff and training,” states Will. “Mike Denton (Territory Sales Manager) is here to meet our genetic needs and their support staff come by a couple times a year to work with the breeders and make sure everything is still on track.”

i

Among the cow herd, all breedings are to conventional Holstein semen with a few problem breeders bred with beef semen.


This Success Story Starts With … By: Jenny Hanson, Communications Manager

New Mexico is deemed the land of enchantment for its beautiful scenery. While some may apply that nickname to the state’s mountainous and desert regions, others – in the agriculture industry, at least – may refer to the eastern side of the state as the land of enchantment. This is where you’ll find the state’s dairy farms. This is where you’ll find Mathews Dairy. Mathews Dairy of Portales, New Mexico, is an among the best of the best; in the last Horizons, the dairy was noted as a gold recipient of the GENEX Excellence in Reproduction & Genetics awards. However, Mathews Dairy was unique among the winners. It was the only dairy from the southern U.S. In fact, it was the only winner located south of the nation’s upper tier. That fact begged the question: How?

Off to Find the Answers Common roadside signs in eastern New Mexico read, “Watch for water on road” and “Dust storm may exist.” In mid-summer, it seemed dust storms would be the more likely weather issue, however the day of my visit there was water standing on the roads. Jordan Mathews, owner of Mathews Dairy, took the issue in stride just as dairy producers must

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HORIZONS

do when Mother Nature throws a curveball. While the dairy’s dry lots were “wet” lots on this particular Tuesday, equipment was stuck and the abundance of water was making the daily chores just a bit more difficult, he still took time to sit down and share the story behind his dairy.

Setting the Stage While Jordan was growing up on a dairy in Missouri, he and his family had sourced and sold replacement heifers to farms in eastern New Mexico. Knowing the area, when the opportunity to own and operate this dairy came up six years ago, he took it. Over the past six years, Jordan’s had the herd in expansion mode. As he explains, it’s grown quickly from around 400 cows to just shy of 3,000 head. Numbers increased rapidly by purchasing replacements, but excellent reproduction has played a significant role in growth and continues to do so. Today, Mathews Dairy consists of two sites. The first dairy houses all fresh cows as well as the breeding pens. The second site, located a few miles down the road and added just six weeks ago, houses the pregnant cows and dry cows along with the maternity pens.


vaccination program, high fertility sires and well-trained staff. He also gives credit to the GENEX representatives who routinely provide A.I. and heat detection training. “We’ve worked a lot with Vanessa Washburn and Alex Blonski from GENEX. Their expertise is a contributing factor to the program’s success as well,” notes Jordan.

It’s the People At Mathews Dairy near Portales, New Mexico, it’s the people who make the difference. Among the key members of the repro team are (l to r) Alejandro Chacon, Juan Coronado, GENEX representative Vanessa Washburn and dairy owner Jordan Mathews.

Making Genetic Progress In addition to herd growth, Jordan focuses on genetic improvement and for good reason. The herd consists primarily of Holstein x Jersey crossbred cattle. According to Jordan, the goal is to have Jersey crosses that weigh about 1200 pounds and produce 80 pounds of energy-corrected milk. (Energycorrected milk puts cows on an equal basis for comparative purposes over time. It shows the amount of milk produced and adjusted to 3.5% fat and 3.2% protein.) There are stringent requirements for A.I. sires used on the dairy. Jersey sires must be in the top 2% of the breed for JPI™ and JUI™ and have good sire fertility. As of late, stature and strength have become a focus too, leading to stronger cows that are able to withstand the harsh eastern New Mexico wind and weather. When asked why the high genetic criteria, Jordan responds, “With buying so many replacements, we did not start out with the best genetics. By using high genetic merit sires we can advance our herd faster – make more progress.”

Following Protocols With goals of building the herd in numbers and genetically, GenChoice™ sexed semen is a key component of the dairy’s breeding program.

“For the first three services, all Jersey and crossbred females are bred with Jersey sexed semen,” explains Jordan, “except during the months of July and August. In late summer, when the high temps average in the 90s, only the first two services are to sexed semen. The Holstein cattle are bred to conventional Holstein semen from high fertility, top genetic merit sires.” Breeding protocols call for cows to be bred following a 50-day voluntary wait period. They are set up on a 13-day Ovsynch program to be bred at 80 days in milk. Daily, staff also tail paint with blue or red Reveal™ livestock markers (different colors of the roll-on paint for different pens) and observe for natural heats.

The answer to my original question was right there. During my visit, I found out this success story starts with people. It’s the people in the maternity pen who care both about the cows and about doing a good job. It’s the people managing the vaccination program who ensure the program is followed to a T. It’s the people who choose the high fertility sires. It’s the people who train the repro team and the team that soaks up the knowledge and follows procedures according to protocol. It’s the people who take everything in stride and do what needs to be done, even when Mother Nature throws a curveball.

For the heifer program, lutalyse is given at 9 months and heifers are bred on their second heat at approximately 10 months of age.

Building Success The award-winning reproduction team includes Jordan and farm employee Juan Coronado. Together, they’ve achieved a 44% conception rate with sexed semen on the first and second services from January through July. The cow pregnancy rate stands at 30% for the year and the heat detection rate at 70%. Jordan attributes their success to good care in the maternity pen so cows transition well, a good

Owner Jordan Mathews takes a lead role in the dairy’s repro program.

As Vanessa, GENEX Territory Sales Manager, sums it up, “Everybody at Mathews Dairy is on the same page as to what needs to be done. Everybody is committed to making sure it’s successful.” It’s because of the people that Mathews Dairy earned the GENEX Excellence in Reproduction & Genetics award.  HORIZONS

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A Healthier Herd,

A Happier You. GENEX ICC$ SCK MTR FH

PL

LIV DPR SCS SCE

1HO11955 BEYOND

1194 102

102

99

8.9

2.8

2.0 2.67 6.2

1HO11665 GENIUS

1120 101

105

96

8.9

3.1

1.5 2.81 7.9

1HO12409 TETRO

1117 105

103

98

7.2

3.8

2.1 2.85 7.2

1HO11989 ROMERO

1090 102

105

96

9.4

3.7

3.0 2.71 6.3

1HO12418 DARKSIDE

1080 104

102

99

9.0

4.8

4.6 2.75 6.1

NEW

1HO11965 DIESTO

1074 103

104

102

6.3

1.0

2.2 2.75 6.7

NEW

1HO12478 PANGO

1066 105

101

98

9.1

4.9

4.2 2.65 6.8

NEW

1HO12476 SKILLET

1062 103

104

97

8.5

3.8

4.4 2.87 5.2

99

102

98

6.6

0.6

2.0 2.84 7.1

1053 103

102

95

10.2 4.7

5.4 2.53 6.2

NEW

1HO12409 Maplehurst Josuper TETRO-ET

1HO13023 MR WISCONSIN 1061 1HO12478 Brown-Star Wire PANGO-ET

Subclinical Ketosis (SCK), Metritis (MTR) and Foot Health (FH) are set to a base of 100. Values over 100 are above average. Values under 100 are below average. CDCB/8-17, HA-USA/8-17, IB-M/USA/8-17, HA-M/USA/8-17, CDN/8-17, GENEX/8-17

1HO13256 ATLANTIS


Almost 50 Years of Genetic Observations By: Doug Wilson, CRI CEO

With a mid-August retirement, my career in the artificial insemination (A.I.) industry spans about 49 years. Half of my career was spent directly in or managing dairy genetic programs. During the other half, I was indirectly involved in genetics through general management. The genetic improvement in dairy cattle breeding is well documented and ranks among the great success stories. The purpose of this article is not to verify or document the degree of improvement, but – through one person’s view – identify some significant events, which were and are the building blocks for dairy cattle breeding success. Many of these events have long since been replaced by new concepts and, in fact, several are likely unknown by many, including today’s genetic program leaders. I have selected my top 10 happenings presented in ascending order of importance.

10 – Scoring Grade Cows Today, a significant percent of the cows classified or evaluated are not registered. However, there was a time when only registered cows could be evaluated. Back then, because progeny test programs involved primarily grade herds, some of the industry’s highestranking bulls would have 50 to 80 daughters in production proofs and less than 20 daughters in their type proofs. In fact, bulls would often have several production proofs before they had official type proofs. Generally, each A.I. stud had significant type data they published, but many viewed it as biased and the global market had very low acceptance. I was in the meeting when we asked the Holstein Association if they would launch a program to score grade cows. Many debates and ideas followed; it was a monumental day when we received the approval. It was an important industry step that led to quicker use of progeny-tested bulls, far greater international acceptance and, in time, the removal of dual and conflicting type charts on bulls.

Continued on page 30.

Doug Wilson (yellow shirt) linear scoring for GENEX predecessor Midwest Breeders Cooperative.

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9 – Corrective Mating Programs Corrective mating programs are important today, but there was an era when they were the backbone of value-added services and key to producers choosing high-ranking production sires that had merit based on strong individual traits. I had the privilege of working with two organizations that were pioneers in mating systems. GENEX predecessor Midwest Breeders Cooperative launched the first A.I. mating service – the Mating Appraisal for Profit (MAP ) program. When I was at ABS, they introduced GMS. SM

SM

Mating program popularity grew rapidly in the 70s and 80s. They became very competitive and improvements incorporated very sound science. During this time, mating programs increased the usage of high-ranking production sires and created herds with far more uniform structural improvement. If you visited many herds, you could absolutely see the difference a mating system made.

8 – Calving Ease The first ever calving ease summary was from a project of the late Ken Peissig at Midwest Breeders. Ken discovered substantial differences between sires. His work led to cooperation with Dr. Gene Freeman at Iowa State University and then additional coordination and research with Select Sires. Following much education, highranking calving ease sires became popular and their use in A.I. programs increased. The real importance of calving ease, however, was its direct tie to increasing A.I. usage (and genetic gain) in heifers. Calving ease also broke the barrier opening people’s minds to other genetic trait rankings.

7 – Modified Contemporary Comparison One of the most controversial programs to be launched by the then USDA-AIPL was the modified contemporary comparison (MCC), which was the first inclusion of pedigree influence into a bull’s proof. Prior to this, sire summaries were computed based upon the daughterherdmate comparison. With the first MCC sire summary, there was massive sire reranking, and some popular prefixes dropped drastically. It was so controversial that groups formed to protest and legal action threats were numerous. USDA-AIPL staff and many of us in the industry went on the speaking circuit to educate the industry on why it was smart to use pedigree data and not only phenotypic information.

6 – Protein Summaries Up until the mid-1980s, all genetic programs were based on milk yield, generally with a threshold level of fat percent. We selected contract cows that were +3,500 herdmate deviation on milk that were classified VG-85 and had a 3.5% fat test. There was no protein data.

5 – Animal Model One important event, which seemed to be less noticed, was the adoption of the animal model or best linear unbiased predictor (BLUP) model by USDA-AIPL. MCC had absorbed the primary shock of pedigree integration into proofs and, although this was another progression, the reaction was far less. However, there were skeptics and, once again, many educational sessions were held. Of real value, BLUP was highly regarded globally and the U.S. was again perceived as the gold standard for genetic evaluations.

4 – Sorted Semen Sorted semen is a unique event among this list, but it absolutely began new discussion among producers and changed the maternal influence of their herds. Aggressive adopters took advantage of the female calving ease advantage and the high genetic ranking of their heifers and exploded their

The first USDA-AIPL summary for Protein was groundbreaking. Bulls that ranked high in Protein, and especially those that broke normal correlations, were in high demand by producers. Again, much education was needed as selection criteria evolved. Criteria for contract cows and mating sires changed, the U.S. gained global recognition and, at GENEX predecessor 21st Century Genetics, “Protein Power” was our slogan. It was an important trait addition that built the foundation for many things to come.

The first sire summary including the PTA Protein trait occurred in the mid‑1980s. At that time, GENEX predecessor 21st Century Genetics emphasized the trait with this image of Super Protein Bull.

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“With genomics, we arrived at work on a Monday morning and had gained two and a half years of genetic progress during the weekend.”

herd’s genetic progress by using sorted semen on all heifers. Herds adopted programs to genomic test, sort and multiply the influence of the top females’ genetics. In doing so, they desired higher ranking sires for the heifers and lowered (or dropped) calving ease as criteria thus raising genetic gains. Over time, as sorted semen fertility improves, the industry will observe aggressive usage that will accelerate herds’ genetic programs.

3 – Health and Management Traits The development of health and management traits was an enormous step towards a new thought process on breeding goals. In fact, it reopened the door for farms to establish personalized goals. Prior to this, we had generally selected for maximizing yield – more pounds of milk, fat or protein. This begged the question, “Is more pounds always better?” Now, through genetics could we reduce health costs, increase herd life and make animals more fertile? Perhaps the greatest impact was the movement from single trait selection to an index selection process. 21st Century Genetics’ LPR (Lifetime Profitability Ranking) was an early index referred to in the launch of Lifetime Net Merit.

2 – Linear Evaluation In the early 1980s, type evaluation moved from descriptive scoring to linear scoring. This effort, led by the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB), was controversial and openly opposed by many. The switch from recording the desirability of a trait to scoring the degree of a trait laid the groundwork for an entire new concept of type research and use. With linear data came a multitude of research, which led to our first herdlife data. Concepts on how to breed cows began to change, and the stage was set for having a far greater understanding of what a healthy, profitable cow should look like. In 1985, we discovered the mediumsized cow with strength was the most profitable cow. Personally, it was a distinct honor to chair the industry committee that determined what traits we would score and give each a linear definition. In fact, training classifiers in five breeds to linear score was a great experience to me. Perhaps my greatest career thrill was at 21st Century Genetics when we released the first linear research in conjunction with Dr. Gene Freeman in 1985. This was the first linear type research in the world and was based on the observation of just over 50,000 cows linear scored by 21st

Doug Wilson

Century Genetics staff. Since this time, linear type data has contributed to multitudes of changes. It was the foundation to redirecting cattle breeding and globally put the USA in a powerful leadership role.

1 – Genomics All these genetic improvements were dwarfed by the release of genomic proofs. For the A.I. industry, this technology is second only to the advent of frozen semen. With genomics, we arrived at work on a Monday morning and had gained two and a half years of genetic progress during the weekend. This technology had a huge impact and will continue to change this industry as new discoveries are made at the DNA level.

There You Have It! This was my view of the top 10 events in dairy cattle genetics throughout the past 50 years. Through it all, this industry has experienced incredible genetic programming changes, discoveries and progress. These changes have contributed to the advancement and success of dairy cattle breeding, yet the next decade will be amazing and progress will be far greater. 

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