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HORIZONS Dairy Edition

September 2018



Search and sort dairy bulls industrywide from your device!

FEATURES Over 40,000 Bulls Contains data on bulls industrywide All Major Breeds All 6 major dairy breeds included Multiple Search Options Search by short name, NAAB code or registration number ICC$™ Index Values included for GENEX Holsteins & Jerseys Bull Sorting Filter and sort bulls by genetic indexes or combinations of individual traits No Internet Connection Needed After initial download, internet connection not required for searching or sorting Download Results Export results to a Microsoft Excel or CSV file Multiple Languages Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian & French

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App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC. App available for download on Windows 10 devices.


September 2018


Vol. 24/No. 2 Published three times a year for GENEX members and customers ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE


Genex Cooperative, Inc. P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 888.333.1783


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 Ronald Totten, Secretary Stafford, NY, 585.344.0758 Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, WI, 715.289.3860

22 On the Cover: BAKKERDAIRY of Listowel, Ontario, Canada, has been using genomic testing and the Mating Appraisal for ProfitSM (MAPSM) program from GENEX since December 2015. These tools have helped the family determine the genetic levels in the herd, key on specific traits for bull selection and work towards breeding the cow they want to milk in the future!

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

CONTENTS 04 The Next Chapter 05 In the News Fall Input Meetings Scheduled, Employees Recognized for Dedication to Members, Co-op

Jody Schaap Woodstock, MN, 507.215.2257

06 Flexible to Meet Members’ Needs

Daniel Tetreault Champlain, NY, 518.298.8690

08 Headliner Holsteins

Bill Zimmerman Foley, MN, 320.355.2191

HORIZONS STAFF Jenny L. Hanson, Editor, Andy Graf, Graphic Designer

18 Your Herd may not be Performing

to its Genetic Potential 22 Don’t Leave it to Chance

Use a Planned Approach 24 Choosing the Index that

Meets Your Dairy's Needs

12 Jersey Options for Everyone

27 It’s Time to Break these Bad Habits

15 From Birth to Lactation

28 Genomics has Transformed

Take Care of Your Herd’s Needs 16 Bull Sorting – We Have

an App for That!

Semen Production Processes 30 Quality Matters to Us, Because

Performance Matters to You

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.

The Next Chapter By Huub te Plate, Chief Operating Officer, GENEX 2018 will be a unique year in the history of GENEX. As change for your farm or ranch is inevitable, so is change for your cooperative. Many changes are being made right now so your cooperative is ready for the next chapter. What is happening? There are five major events taking place that will define our direction and focus moving forward. 1. This past May, member-elected delegates of GENEX voted in favor of combining our parent company Cooperative Resources International (CRI) and Koepon Holdings B.V. into one single operating company. The announcement of this new business, URUS, is being made as this issue of Horizons is going to press. 2. CENTRAL LIVESTOCK was divested and will now operate as a standalone cooperative. This closes a nearly 20-year chapter of livestock marketing within GENEX and CRI. It was in 1999 that Central Livestock Association become a subsidiary of CRI. Then, in 2011, CENTRAL LIVESTOCK transitioned to a company of GENEX. Today, the CENTRAL LIVESTOCK operations continue with the same management and staff but independent from GENEX and CRI. 3. The CRI International Center of Biotechnology or ICB was divested as well. A few years ago, this facility was procured for research purposes, primarily in semen sorting, but your board and management have decided to invest resources elsewhere. Investment will be re-directed into our genetic lineup and semen production facilities. 4. The divestiture of the third CRI subsidiary, MOFA GLOBAL, was finalized in September. This was another move meant to increase focus on our core business; for GENEX that means focusing on our bovine reproductive and genetic programs. This change allows GENEX to put more capital investment in programs to benefit dairy and beef producers across the globe. 5. GENEX is now a global brand. This is a change from the past 25 years when producers outside the USA recognized us as CRI and viewed our core portfolio as cattle genetics along with AgSource services and MOFA GLOBAL products. Moving forward this cattle genetics cooperative will be recognized as GENEX around the world. Distributors in 70+ countries are enthused to start representing the GENEX brand. A lot of energy will go into promoting and upholding our cornerstones – Comprehensive, Resourceful, Relevant and Forward-Thinking. Change is inevitable, and it’s obvious change is taking place at a record pace. 2018 will go into the books as the year GENEX restructured and became part of a new organization, URUS. While GENEX will continue to market cattle genetics and reproductive service, as part of this new organization we can realize significant savings. Over time, product development, animal housing, semen production and distribution will become more efficient. Scale is a major factor. As costs go up, we will need to ensure we can deliver the products and services you want for a price you can afford. The next chapter for GENEX is about to start. I trust this chapter will be successful and this co-op will grow like it has throughout the past 25 years. Instrumental in this continued success will be your board of directors, delegates, and fellow members and customers along with the staff who works for you daily and the many GENEX distributors located around the globe. We make a team that is second to none. Together we will make it happen. 




Fall Input Meetings Employees Recognized for Dedication Scheduled to Members, Co-op As a cooperative business, cattle producer members of GENEX are elected annually to serve as co-op delegates and alternates. These member-elected delegates and alternates are invited and expected to attend a fall meeting to provide input to GENEX leadership. The dates and locations for this year’s meetings are listed below.

Date Location Oct. 23 Oct. 24 Oct. 25 Oct. 30 Oct. 31 Nov. 5 Nov. 6 Nov. 7

GENEX Dairy representatives recently gathered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for a Marketing and Sales Conference. At the conference, in front of their peers, several employees were presented with leadership and mission awards. “These employees are leaders in what they do and deserve to be recognized for their hard work,” states Roy Wilson, Senior Vice President of Dairy Marketing, Sales and Product Development. “Their dedication to GENEX and the producers they serve is what makes GENEX a leader in the industry.” The Kevin Boyle Leadership award went to Value-Added Programs Manager Joe Binversie, of Green Bay, Wisconsin. He earned the award for demonstrating vision, devotion and pride for the cooperative while managing the cooperative’s programs such as the Calf Math and Sort-Gate programs. SM

Albany, New York Syracuse, New York Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Alexandria, Minnesota Rochester, Minnesota Neenah, Wisconsin Las Vegas, Nevada Kansas City, Missouri

Delegates and alternates are also invited to the GENEX annual meeting to be held Jan. 22-23, 2019, in Bloomington, Minnesota. Event information will be mailed at a later date. 


National Account Manager & Consultant Allison Wood, of Fair Haven, Vermont, received the Outstanding Strategic Dairy Employee award for her consultation work with members and customers. A.I. Training Instructor Manager Carlos Marin, of Freedom, Wisconsin, was named the Outstanding Sales Support Employee. He was recognized for his unwavering leadership and support to GENEX Dairy field service staff. The Outstanding Product Development Employee award was presented to Data Manager Sami Gangl, of Shawano, Wisconsin, for her commitment to quality data analysis. The Outstanding Sales Manager award went to Briana Schumacher of Twin Falls, Idaho. Briana, who serves producers in the Northwest, is a devoted leader not only to her local team but the entire co-op. In addition, Mission Awards were presented to Territory Sales Managers Hannah Wasley of Boardman, Oregon, and John Field, of Canyon, Texas, along with a team of service employees in northern Texas: Mauricio Garcia, Juan Venegas, Luis Uribe, Ruben Ruiz, Pedro Bellido and Enrique Morales. 



Livestock Markers Heat detection made easy.

Available in brush-on paint, spray paint or paint sticks. Multiple color options.

Flexible to Meet Members’ Needs By Leah James, US Dairy Marketing Manager, GENEX

If you’re not changing, you’re behind. This old adage is very true in the dairy industry. Every day new and updated technologies emerge to create new efficiencies and improve the way things are done. This philosophy was a critical pillar in the development of the GENEX proprietary index, the Ideal Commercial Cow™ (ICC$™) index.

HLTH$ Real-time and Flexible Originally introduced in August 2014, the ICC$™ index is real-time and flexible. It has evolved and changed over the last four years, adapting to the needs of members and customers. GENEX was the first in the industry to truly prioritize breeding for not only productive cows but also healthy cows. In 2016, GENEX updated the ICC$™ index for Holsteins to include proprietary health traits. Now, with the August 2018 sire summary, the ICC$™ index for Holsteins further evolved in its focus on breeding for productive, healthy and ideal commercial cows. The GENEX proprietary health traits were replaced with health traits based on an even larger data set.

Breeding Healthy Cows The ICC$™ index for Holsteins now includes the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) health traits for Ketosis (KETO) and Metritis (METR) along with Digital Dermatitis (DD) from the Canadian Dairy Network. These traits represent real-world focus areas for today’s commercial dairy producers. Each trait is also tied to the bottom-line economics of farm operations. KETO, METR and DD are all part of the Health $ (HLTH$) sub-index of the ICC$™ index for Holsteins. Each has a 6% weighting (same as the previous proprietary health traits); the only change was in data sources to a larger industry database. Individual values for KETO and METR, along with other CDCB health traits, are printed in the Holstein Sire Catalog and available on the GENEX Dairy 6



6% Ketosis

6% Digital Dermatitis

6% Metritis

Health $ Sub-index of the ICC$™ Index for Holsteins

31% Productive Life 27% Locomotion 18% Somatic Cell Score

6% Body Condition Score

Bull Search app. A positive value for the trait indicates favorable resistance to the health event, while a negative value indicates a resistance lower than breed average.

Industry Index Changes The Net Merit (NM$) formula was also updated by CDCB with the August sire summary. This index now includes six disease resistance traits the CDCB established this past April: milk fever, displaced abomasum, ketosis, mastitis, metritis and

retained placenta. These traits are grouped into a health sub-index and weighted at 2.3% of the total index. In addition, the weighting on PTA Fat was increased slightly, as were all yield traits in general. Other traits experienced a subtle decrease with the addition of the health sub-index. Adjustments were also made to the relative economic value of each trait. CDCB defines economic values as the added profit caused when a given trait changes by one unit and all other traits in the index remain constant. The economic value of Somatic Cell Score decreased at a greater amount due to its correlation in health costs now assigned to the health sub-index. To reflect current economic conditions, the values for milk, fat, protein and feed costs were also adjusted. Overall, the updated index has a correlation of 0.994 for recent Holstein bulls compared to the previous version. Revisions for the non-Holstein breeds were less noticeable as only the economic values changed. 

Table 1. Trait weightings for all merit indexes.

Trait Milk Fat Protein PL SCS Body Comp. Udder Comp. Feet/Legs Comp. DPR Calving Ability $ HCR CCR LIV HTH$

Units Pounds Pounds Pounds Months Log Composite Composite Composite Percent Dollars Percent Percent Percent Dollars

NM$ -0.7 26.8 16.9 12.1 -4.0 -5.3 7.4 2.7 6.7 4.8 1.4 1.6 7.3 2.3

CM$ -7.9 22.8 20.9 10.3 -4.4 -4.5 6.3 2.3 5.7 4.1 1.2 1.4 6.2 1.9

FM$ 18.4 27.1 0.0 12.2 -2.3 -5.3 7.5 2.8 6.8 4.8 1.4 1.7 7.4 2.3

GM$ -0.7 22.9 14.4 6.6 -3.5 -5.8 7.4 2.8 17.8 4.5 2.4 4.3 4.9 2.1

Living up to the trust We are committed to being the industry‑leading supplier of science‑based cattle genetics and customized reproductive solutions. We are committed to earning your trust each and every day.

Headliner Holsteins 1HO13471 HYFLOW has begun to make his mark in herds since his debut this past August. This Ragen out of a Josuper stands at a mighty +1285 for the Ideal Commercial Cow™ (ICC$™) index, combining excellent health traits (+7.6 Productive Life and +3.6 Daughter Pregnancy Rate) with outstanding production (+2338 Milk). He's been an easy choice for producers with his 6.2% Sire Calving Ease (SCE) and solid +406 for the ICC$™ index’s Health (HLTH$) sub‑index.

Modesty son 1HO13404 SAMSUNG has been a popular choice for creating the next generation of replacement females (available in GenChoice™ sexed semen). This sire of sons has a top-notch +958 NM$, is +2718 TPI® and will make large strides in improving Protein (+0.11%) and Fat (0.29%) percentages while increasing yield (+151 CFP). Another Modesty son, 1HO13432 CONCORD, is +1050 ICC$™ and +910 NM$ and will improve udders (+2.01 Udder Composite).

Frazzled sons 1HO13483 LOKI and 1HO13805 AVALINO have impressive ability to sire ideal commercial cows. LOKI ranks No. 2 for the ICC$™ index. He is also +2752 TPI® and +864 Net Merit (NM$) and will sire nice udders (+2.20 Udder Composite). AVALINO is +1113 ICC$™. He's also an udder improver (+2.40 Udder Composite) and transmits exceptional production (+2024 Milk). Both bulls are A2A2.

Those seeking color in their herd have found 1HO13831 FIREFLY-P-RED and 1HO13833 SKOONER-RED. FIREFLY-P-RED is a Zinger out of a Sympatico that’s fit for heifer pens (6.6% SCE) and siring fancy udders (+2.21 Udder Composite). SKOONER-RED is a Tyne out of a Launch. This bull can also be used in heifer pens (6.5% SCE) and improves fertility in the next generation (+3.9 Daughter Pregnancy Rate).

1HO13442 SLAM DUNK offers unique pedigree diversity being a Surgeon out of a Supersire. He earns a place in many breeding programs with +1184 for the ICC$™ index and +928 NM$. SLAM DUNK is a well-rounded production sire at +1926 Milk and +147 Combined Fat and Protein (CFP) with positive component percentages. He can also be used in heifer pens with his 6.4% SCE.

Polled enthusiasts are looking to 1HO13449 CARUBA-P with his outstanding yield. CARUBA-P is +1016 for the ICC$™ index with +169 CFP and over a ton of milk. This Answer out of a Josuper is also positive for daughter fertility and calving ease (6.8% SCE).

+2731. This elite milk sire (+2240 Milk) also adds daughter fertility (+3.9 Daughter Pregnancy Rate) and improves milk quality (+2.67 SCS).

TABASCO daughters at Darlington Ridge

Iconic sire 1HO10396 CABRIOLET continues to sire standout daughters. Now with nearly 13,000 daughters, this ideal commercial sire (+982 ICC$™) is a reliable option for moderating frames, adding impressive yield (+151 CFP), improving longevity (+6.0 PL) and increasing daughter fertility. 

The popular 1HO11376 TABASCO ranks at +1056 ICC$™ and is an industry leader on the TPI® list at

To view the full Holstein lineup, visit or get the GENEX Dairy Bull Search app on the App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store. Aardema Cabriolet 7820, daughter of CABRIOLET App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC. App available for download on Windows 10 devices.




Commercial Cows It’s What We Do!

Multiple data sources Economic based Real-time & flexible Sub-indexes for focused genetic selection

Daughters of 1HO11376 TABASCO +1056 ICC$™ // +155 CPF // +2.5 DPR

1HO13471 No-Fla Hyflow-ET

1HO13442 Co-op BSF Surg Slam Dunk-ET

GENEX/8-18, CDCB/8-18

New-release ICC$™ Index Allstars





+1285 +1259 +1184 +1173 +1162 +1156 +1142 +1126 +1113 +1095 +1073

+141 +136 +147 +122 +157 +133 +154 +129 +159 +145 +143

+3.6 +2.4 +2.2 +3.9 +2.2 +2.9 +2.1 +2.7 +0.8 +2.3 +2.2

HEALTH (HLTH$) Breeding for improved health and longevity. Creating cows with proper body condition, low SCS, excellent locomotion, and fewer cases of metritis, ketosis and lameness.

31% Prod. Life 27% Locomotion 18% SCS 6% BCS 6% Digital Dermatitis 6% Ketosis 6% Metritis

Sub-indexes Enable You to Narrow Your Genetic Emphasis



Pinpointing genetics that result in high yielding cows with lower feed costs. Emphasis is on pounds of Protein and reversing the trend for taller cows.

Emphasizing reproductive efficiency through genetics that result in optimal age at first calving, reduced days open and shorter calving intervals.

36% 36% 18% 10%

Marginal Feed Costs Protein Yield Fat Yield Milk Yield

MILKING ABILITY (MABL$) Optimizing efficiency with trouble-free milking cows. Selects for mastitis resistance, milking speed and temperament, and ideal commercial udder conformation and function.

(FYFT$) 51% DPR 36% HCR 6% CCR 5% Polled Genotype 2% Fertility Haplotypes

70% 15% 12% 3%

Udder Traits Mastitis Resistance Milking Speed Milking Temperament

CALVING ABILITY (CABL$) Focusing on live calves born without difficulty to maximize genetic progress in heifer pens and ensure an easy transition into the milking string.

45% Sire Calving Ease 29% Dau. Stillbirth 16% Dau. Calving Ease 10% Sire Stillbirth

Jersey Options for Everyone

Faria Brothers EUSEBIO daughters

Daughter-proven sires 1JE00922 RONALDO {3} and 1JE00921 EUSEBIO {4} continue to impress, especially with strong numbers for the Ideal Commercial Cow™ (ICC$™) index and its Cheese Maximizer (ChMAX$) sub-index, but GENEX also offers many more sires with genetic credentials to fit the diverse needs of today’s producers. 1JE01077 MARCELO-UR is a genetic giant at +1012 for the ICC$™ index, +239 JPI™ and +782 Cheese Merit (CM$). A mixed breed sire from 1JE00922 RONALDO {3} out of a Manifold (Holstein), MARCELO-UR will sire commercial cows with elite yield (+3011 Milk) and components (+185 Combined Fat & Protein). These credentials earn him the top spot for the ChMAX$ sub-index. This sire will also improve udders (+10.2 JUI™) and milk quality (+2.75 Somatic Cell Score). MARCELO-UR is available in GenChoice™ sexed semen and is 68 BBR. Mixed Breed

Available in GenChoice™ semen, producers will benefit from daughters of 1JE01085 PACINO‑UR. A 1JE00892 VANDRELL {2} son out of a Daybreak, he's +806 for the ICC$™ index, an elite yield improver (+1954 Milk) and fertility focused: +2.2 Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), +3.4 Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and +6.0 Heifer Conception Rate (HCR). Those numbers earn him a solid +125 for the ICC$™ index’s Fertility (FERT$) sub-index. 1JE01081 DOX {3} is +788 ICC$™ and hails from a diverse pedigree in Uncle Luke x Chisel. DOX {3} features a complete genetic profile: +194 JPI™, +654 CM$, +2.7 DPR and +113 Combined Fat & Protein (CFP). He will improve udders (+24.3 JUI™) and component percentages. He is available in GenChoice™ semen.

Look to 1JE01071 APPEAL {3} to produce ideal commercial cows with his +706 ICC$™, +581 CM$ and +109 CFP. This VANDRELL {2} son has a no-holes genetic profile with a +1.7 DPR and positive values across all three ICC$™ index sub-indexes. He is available in GenChoice™ semen. 1JE01066 ZEKE-UR is another VANDRELL {2} son. He displays a +699 ICC$™, +573 CM$, +174 JPI™ and will improve daughter fertility (+1.1 DPR, +68 FERT$). Count on 1JE01064 JEEPERS-UR with his +705 ICC$™ and +579 CM$. He offers elite Fat (+75) boosting his CFP to +112. This Marlo son will improve udders (+16.4 JUI™) while increasing daughter fertility (+0.6 DPR, +40 FERT$).

To view the full Jersey lineup, visit or get the GENEX Dairy Bull Search app on the App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store.

1JE01080 JONES {3} is a Marlo out of a Pilgrim at +776 ICC$™, +178 JPI™ and +589 CM$. He’s another elite udder improver (+20.2 JUI™) and combines that with an impressive +2.9 DPR. JONES {3} is also available in GenChoice™ semen.

1JE01075 AROUND {5} and 1JE01082 TELFORD {4} are new 1JE00935 WORLD CUP {5} sons. AROUND {5} is +700 ICC$™, +668 CM$, +191 JPI™ and adds elite yield with +127 CFP. AROUND {5} is available in GenChoice™ semen. TELFORD {4} debuts at +680 ICC$™ and +546 CM$. This sire will improve daughter fertility (+2.0 DPR) and udders (+17.3 JUI™). 




HORIZONS App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC. App available for download on Windows 10 devices.

Commercial Cows It’s What We Do!

Multiple data sources Economic based Real-time & flexible Sub-indexes for focused genetic selection Daughters of 1JE00922 RONALDO {3}

New Sires & Daughter‑Proven Standouts




BBR 68



1JE00922 RONALDO {3}

BBR 92





BBR 77




1JE01081 DOX {3}

BBR 100




1JE01080 JONES {3}

BBR 100




1JE01071 APPEAL {3}

BBR 88





BBR 83




1JE01075 AROUND {5}

BBR 100




1JE01066 ZEKE-UR

BBR 85




1JE01082 TELFORD {4}

BBR 90



1JE00921 EUSEBIO {4}

BBR 93




Daughters of 1JE00921 EUSEBIO {4}

1JE01081 JX Pine-Tree Dox {3}-ET

GENEX/8-18, AJCA/8-18 All bulls are JH1F, JH2F. 1JE00922 RONALDO {3} daughter photo by Frank Robinson.

Cheese Maximizer (ChMAX$) Focusing on component yields with equal weighting on Fat and Protein. Unique among Jersey indexes, the ICC$™ index is neutral on milk.

50% Protein 50% Fat

Sub-indexes Enable You to Narrow Your Genetic Emphasis

Fertility (FERT$) Emphasizing reproductive efficiency through traits that result in optimal age at first calving, reduced days open and shorter calving intervals.

Sustainability (SUST$)

50% DPR 25% HCR 15% CCR 5% Age at First Calving 5% Fertility Haplotypes

Emphasizing udder health, longevity, functional udder traits and calf survivability – all areas that are critical to keeping animals healthy and in production.

35% Prod. Life 15% Udder Traits 14% Livability 12% SCS 12% Mastitis Resistance 12% Calf Survivability

From Birth to Lactation

Take Care of Your Herd’s Needs By Liz Binversie, Herd Care Line Advisor, GENEX

Caring for your herd is a round-the-clock job. From the moment a calf is born all the way through her time in the milking string, different stages of life require different herd care products to ensure herd longevity. To help your cows on their journey, GENEX added two new products: ReMOOV™ horn paste and UdderLife™ Mint-eez™ udder edema lotion and spray. ReMOOV™ horn paste is an accurate, easy-touse product consisting of calcium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide in an aqueous glycerine gel that inhibits horn growth before it starts. Less invasive than hot-iron dehorning and other methods, the horn paste is delivered through a unique syringe with a special tip enabling precise application. The syringe also features a dial that measures out the amount of paste needed for each horn button (1/4 turn of the syringe dial). This application method allows the user to dispense the correct amount of paste every time. A single 1.6 oz tube (45g) will disbud approximately 24 animals.

Scan the QR code or visit to watch the ReMOOV™ horn paste application procedure video.

The application procedure video is available in Spanish. Scan the QR code or visit

UdderLife™ Mint-eez™ udder edema lotion and spray is a blend of natural plant oils – mentha arvenis (mint), calendula oil and tea tree oil – used to maintain optimal cow udder health. This blend of natural plant oils has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. UdderLife™ Mint-eez™ udder edema lotion and spray works to increase blood flow in the udder which allows the udder to better fight infections. It also works as an analgesic to soothe and soften the udder. It is suggested to use this product on cows that experience swelling to their udders caused by freshening or the effects of mastitis. The UdderLife™ Mint-eez™ spray comes in several size options to meet your needs: 500 mL bottles, 1 gallon, 5 gallons or 15 gallons. The lotion is available in 1000 mL bottles. At GENEX, we strive to deliver new products that are of interest to our cooperative members. Our product offerings will continue to grow with the support and ideas from our members. For additional information or to order these products, contact your GENEX representative or call GENEX customer service at 888.333.1783.  HORIZONS



Bull Sorting We Have an App for That! Gone are the days of stacks of sire directories cluttering your desk. Now, with the GENEX Dairy Bull Search app, all the bull information you need is right at your fingertips!

Looking for a specific bull? Type the stud code, name or registration number in the search box.

Sort each breed based on popular indexes.

The 40,000+ bull database includes all six major dairy breeds.








Milking Shorthorn

Brown Swiss

Download the GENEX Dairy Bull Search app today!

App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC. App available for download on Windows 10 devices.

Find it on the App Store and Google Play, as well as the Microsoft Store (for devices with Windows version 10 or higher). The app is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and French.




Use the filter button to narrow your search by company, production, health, calving or conformation.

Want to learn more information about the bull you selected? Use the icons at the top for additional information such as pedigrees, health traits, calving ease and more!

When you have the bull or bulls you are interested in, you can export the data to a Microsoft Excel or CSV file, or you can make a PDF of individual bulls like shown below.

Your Herd may not be Performing to its Genetic Potential Exploring the impact environmental and management factors play on gene expression By Joe Binversie, Value Added Programs Manager, GENEX

Have you ever thought, “I have been putting high emphasis on genetics within my herd, but the cows just don’t seem to be at the performance level they should be”? You could be right. Environmental and management factors play a role in determining if a female reaches her genetic potential.




Data analysis can help determine if cows are in fact underperforming, and GENEX is here to help. GENEX consultants come armed with valuable programs to put performance in perspective. Among their tools is the Genetic Profiler, which demonstrates the effects of genetics when other management factors are constant, and the Dairy Performance Navigator (DPN ) program, which analyzes herd performance.* SM


What happens if analysis confirms the herd is underperforming? Environmental or management factors may need to be investigated further and, if possible, addressed. Also remember, when assessing the impact of genetics within herds, it is not uncommon to see variability in cows’ performance in comparison to their genetic merit. Let’s look at a couple examples that explore the impact environmental and management factors play on gene expression.

Non-Genetic Factors Impact Production

A Dynamic Herd Analysis Tool

An Australian study illustrates how non-genetic factors can impact a cow’s ability to produce milk and components.1 This study looked at different levels of feed concentrate and how those levels affected production values based on the sires’ genetic level (high vs low genetic merit). Figure 1 compares genetics (the sires’ Australian breeding value for milk) to the cows’ actual milk yield. As shown at far left, under the low concentrate heading, increasing genetics only marginally increased milk production. However, as shown at far right, under the high concentrate heading, increasing genetic merit had a much greater response in milk production.

Developed in collaboration between Cargill and GENEX, the Dairy Performance Navigator (DPN ) program analyzes herd performance and provides powerful metrics to the dairy management team. Herd performance metrics can be compared to benchmarks for herd inventory, reproduction, culling, milk production, milk quality, dry period analysis, animal health and genetics. It’s a great tool for teams to better understand which herd management strategies are working and which are not. SM

Here’s another way to interpret this figure: If a herd is marginally managed, genetics won’t play as big a factor in performance. In a better-managed herd, genetics will be more fully expressed with more differentiation between cows of high versus low genetic merit.


Continued on page 20.

Figure 1. The predicted relationships between milk yield (L/cow/lactation) and Australian breeding value for Milk1 -500 10,000

Low concentrate





Medium concentrate

High concentrate

Milk yield (L/cow/lactation)




2,000 -500










Australian Breeding Value; Milk (L/cow)

*Use of these tools requires access to herd records (e.g., herd management software backup or DHI test records). Proper sire identification is also key to report reliability, particularly for herds that do not genomic test.




Table 1. Differences between high genetic merit and low genetic merit groups (based on Australian Breeding Value) and actual production for fat + protein yield for each level of concentrate1


Differences in production between high and low genetic merit groups

Difference in Australian Breeding Value between high and low genetic merit groups

Fat + Protein Fat Protein

Low Concentrate 27 21 6

46.8 28.9 17.9

Table 1 was from this same study. It shows that when fed the low concentrate the difference in Fat + Protein production between high and low genetic merit cows was 27 kg/ cow/lactation (59.5 lbs/cow/lactation). When fed the high concentrate, the difference was 51 kg/cow/lactation (112.4 lbs/cow/lactation). Therefore, as feed concentrate increased, the performance gap between the high and low genetic females increased substantially. This illustrates the impact non-genetic factors play on cow performance.

Evaluating Reproductive Efficiency Reproductive efficiency is important in any herd, and it can be affected by genetics, management and the environment too. Consider the 21-day pregnancy rate performance metric. Genetic traits, such as Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR), generally impact the reproductive efficiency of the herd but so does cow status (e.g., health, cycling status), nutrition, management (e.g., farm protocols), labor (e.g., protocol implementation), semen (e.g.,

Average Herd 21-Day Pregnancy Rate (%)

Average Herd Preg Rate 26.5

Average Sire DPR 26.1

26.0 25.5









23.0 22.5



22.0 -0.5

21.5 DPR Quartile 4

DPR Quartile 3

DPR Quartile 2

Sire DPR Quartile






2.0 25.9



DPR Quartile 1

Average Sire PTA Daughter Pregnancy Rate

Figure 2. Overall herd pregnancy rates by sire DPR quartile (N = 278 herds; ≥ 500 cows in size/herd)

Medium Concentrate 48 28 20

High Concentrate 51 35 16

bull fertility) and environmental conditions (e.g., heat stress, surface type). Furthermore, fertility traits such as DPR tend to have a low heritability (h2 = 4%), indicating the much larger role environment has on reproductive performance. Still, as DPR values increase in a herd, so should herd pregnancy rate. This is demonstrated in Figure 2. The data in this figure is based on a group of 278 Holstein herds divided into four groups (quartiles) based on the average sire DPR of the cows. The herds, from the GENEX database, each have ≥ 500 cows. The figure shows the average herd pregnancy rate for each quartile and the average sire DPR value for the herds in that quartile. From quartile 4 (bottom 25% for herd pregnancy rate) to quartile 1 (top 25% for herd pregnancy rate), the increase in herd pregnancy rate coincides with the increase in sire DPR. While increased DPR values generally lead to increased herd pregnancy rates, there is more to be examined. Figure 3 shows the DPR variability among herds in the top and bottom quartiles and how it relates to herd pregnancy rate. Here’s a quick interpretation, 15% of the quartile 4 herds (bottom 25% for Sire DPR) actually performed in the top 25%

Reproduction can be affected by genetics, management and the environment. (top quartile) for herd pregnancy rate. Likewise, 21% of the quartile 1 herds (Top 25% for Sire PTA DPR) ended up performing in the bottom 25% (quartile 4) for herd pregnancy rate. This illustrates that environmental or herd management factors may have caused some herds to overperform their genetic merit for DPR and others to underperform.

Striving for Improvement In conclusion, genetics plays an important role in herd performance. As herd management and environmental factors improve, greater differentiation between low and high genetic females will be observed. However, if performance is not meeting the predicted values of the genetic merit of

the herd, environmental or herd management factors may need to be investigated and addressed accordingly. Furthermore, improving upon these factors should provide a much greater return on investment for herds with higher genetic selection criteria.  (1) Fulkerson, W.J., T.M. Davison, S.C. Garcia, G. Hough, M.E. Goddard, R. Dobos, and M. Blockey. 2008. Holstein-Friesian dairy cows under a predominantly grazing system: Interaction between genotype and environment. J. Dairy Sci. 91:826-839.

Figure 3. Percent distribution of quartile 1 & quartile 4 herds by actual herd preg rate quartile performance (N = 278 herds; ≥ 500 cows in size/herd)

DPR Quartile 1 Herds 33%


Percent Distribution (%)

DPR Quartile 4 Herds








21% 20%


15% 10% 5% 0%

Preg Rate Q4

Preg Rate Q3

Preg Rate Q2

Preg Rate Q1

21-Day Pregnancy Rate Quartiles




Don’t Leave it to Chance Use a Planned Approach The Calf Math , Sort-Gate and Beef x Dairy programs complement each other to bring even greater precision to strategic breeding. SM


Strategic breeding plans are becoming more common among commercial herds. Producers are considering their future goals and breeding different groups of animals to certain types of semen to create the most profitable breeding plan. Beef semen and conventional and sexed dairy semen are among the options. Before leaping into a strategic breeding plan, however, it’s important to strategize so the results better meet the goals.

Think and Act Strategically Developing a strategic breeding program involves critical thinking. It’s about examining the options, conducting the research and gaining insight before making decisions. For this purpose, GENEX developed the Calf Math program. This program has been available for a decade but is perhaps even more applicable today than it was during its 2008 debut. SM

The Calf Math program, available through consultation with a GENEX representative, enables producers to see the impact breeding strategies (or strategy changes) can have on future animal inventories, herd genetic improvement and farm financials. This information helps producers decide which semen products to use and how much of each are needed to achieve herd goals and maximize farm profits.

2. Analysis of where changes can improve profitability in an efficient and cost-effective program as well as customization based on future expansion or growth plans. 3. Return on reproductive investment through genetic‑based improvement of herd performance.

Genetic Advantage Through Intensive Selection

$9 per Replacement

$9,644 Annually


What more is in it for producers? The Calf Math program provides many benefits: SM

1. An evaluation of the dairy’s current breeding program success, replacement numbers and opportunities.

Calf Crop

Calves Value $

4. Real-time savings through “right-sizing” the replacement heifer inventory.

Cost to Raise 1 Heifer – Birth to Freshing


Heifer Rearing Expense Savings


A simple version of the program is available online at Herd-specific inventory, conception and event data can be entered to test breeding strategy ideas and to get updated projections. This online version does not include the genetic value or financial impact projections. Contact a local GENEX representative or call 888.333.1783 for the more in-depth analysis.

Total Dairy Females Generated 1562


Working in Concert

Dairy Male Calves



Beef Female Calves



Beef Male Calves






The Calf Math and Sort-Gate programs complement each other. While the Calf Math program helps producers determine how many replacements are needed, the Sort-Gate program helps identify which animals to get replacements from and which animals to breed for other purposes (or not at all). SM







Deciding her future ...

Should she be bred with GenChoice™ sexed semen from a bull with a high PregCheck+™ fertility ranking, conventional semen or beef semen? GENEX offers programs to help you make this strategic breeding decision.

Through the Sort-Gate program, GENEX consultants rank each cow, heifer or calf based on genomic data, pedigree information and/or on-farm performance data. Once ranked on an index that best meets the herd’s needs – i.e., a customized index or an industry index – the females can be sorted for different breeding purposes. For instance, the female may be bred with beef semen to produce a beef x dairy cross calf or to high genetic merit GenChoice™ sexed semen to produce a valuable replacement. SM

While the Calf Math program helps define the destination, the Sort‑Gate program helps determine the roadmap to get there. SM

The Next Step Dairy producers have experience in choosing high genetic merit dairy bulls to sire the next generation of replacements, but what about experience in choosing beef sires

What are EPDs? Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are genetic evaluations for beef cattle. EPDs provide an estimate of the genetic value of a beef animal as a parent. Specifically, differences in EPDs between two individuals of the same breed predict differences in performance between their future offspring when each is mated to animals of the same average genetic merit.


to create ideal cross calves that are of value to beef processors? That’s where the new GENEX Beef x Dairy (BxD) program and sire catalog can be of benefit. The BxD program pinpoints the most relevant beef breeds and sire options to use on dairy animals. The program features Limousin, Angus and Simmental/SimAngus™ sires, as these breeds meet the needs of dairy producers looking to make a profit through beef x dairy breeding. Each of these breeds has the ability to produce feeder calves that are homozygous polled and homozygous black for coat color. The designated sires also have the elite EPD rankings end-processors require, as well as calving ease and fertility which are a must for commercial dairy producers. Based on current market conditions, end-processor needs and commercial dairy producer desires, the BxD sires check all the boxes.

Keep in mind beef x dairy animals are terminal crosses, so no emphasis is placed on maternal beef traits. BxD program sire catalog is now available. To receive a copy, contact a local GENEX representative or call customer service at 888.333.1783.

Turning Vision into Reality After the goals are developed, the destination defined, the roadmap developed and the sires chosen, it’s time to make sure the breeding protocols are clear and, for best results, meticulously followed. This is the way to formulate a planned approach instead of leaving the future to chance. This is the way to use the Calf Math , Sort-Gate and Beef x Dairy programs in concert to bring even greater precision to a strategic breeding program.  SM


What EPDs are Applicable to BxD Sires?* Calving Ease Direct (CED): The difference in percentage of unassisted births with a higher value indicating greater calving ease in first calf heifers. Ribeye Area (REA): Square inches of ribeye. Weaning Weight (WW): The adjusted weaning weights of a bull’s progeny when compared to the breed average, in pounds. Yearling Weight (YW): Expressed in pounds, a predictor of a sire’s ability to transmit yearling growth to his progeny compared to that of other sires. *Each breed has its own base and scale for genetic evaluations.




if selection focuses on one or few traits. However, because many traits affect profitability, total profit usually increases when more traits are included in the selection index if the evaluations are accurate and correct economic values are used.” It’s been noted in other publications that custom indexes may result in over- or under-estimating the value of a specific trait and ignore the impact trait correlations have on genetic progress.2 The remainder of this article tackles these concepts and illustrates the unintended consequences custom indexes may have if not derived properly.

Choosing the Index that Meets Your Dairy's Needs By Joe Binversie, Value Added Programs Manager, GENEX

In recent years, many U.S. producers have adopted use of a custom index. This index is used for sire selection or sorting females for culling or strategic breeding programs. These custom indexes are used in place of standard selection indexes such as Net Merit (NM$), Cheese Merit or breedspecific indexes (TPI®, JPI™, etc.). In its simplest form, a selection index is a way to determine the total economic merit of an animal based on its predicted breeding merits. Selecting the correct traits of economic value and their proper relative weightings will result in maximizing the rate of genetic improvement for total economic merit.1

Understanding Custom Index Popularity Why have custom indexes become popular? First, creating a custom index is relatively easy and has become a commonplace offering of most A.I. companies.




Second, producers can make their custom index as simple or complex as they would like. With the ever‑increasing number of genetic traits available, it can seem overwhelming at times. Thus, creating a custom index may appear to keep sire selection simplistic and more focused towards the dairy’s needs. This leads to what may be most appealing about a custom index: it can be specific and personal to the individual farm. It allows a producer to build a selection index that is specific to the farm’s individual management needs and milk market. Hence, it puts more emphasis on traits of importance to the dairy and less (or no emphasis) on traits that do not have value to the farm. Are custom indexes an accurate way to achieve faster genetic progress and herd profitability? In a recent interview with Dr. Paul VanRaden published in the August 2018 CDCB Connection, he states, “Producers may believe that genetic progress should be fastest

Trait Correlations and Genetic Progress The relationships (i.e., correlations) between genetic traits can be easily overlooked when creating a custom index. Over time this can have a significant impact on genetic progress in the herd. To illustrate this point, a spreadsheet was created using the individual trait correlations and formula for genetic progress published in the August 2018 revision of NM$.3 The spreadsheet can predict the expected genetic trait correlation response and progress when altering the percent emphasis on each trait. With that said, it’s time to create a custom index! For this example, assume a dairy is in a protein market for milk and wants to put a large emphasis on PTA pounds of Protein and only a small emphasis on PTA pounds of Fat. The dairy is also interested in health traits, emphasizing Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) and Productive Life (PL). Based on this, the dairy’s custom index is weighted 60% Protein, 10% Fat, 20% PL and 10% DPR. This custom index is simple and only emphasizes the traits deemed important to the dairy. Table 1 shows a comparison of this custom (Cust$) index to NM$ for relative trait weightings, trait

Table 1. Comparison of index relative weightings, trait correlations and expected genetic progress between NM$ and a Custom Index (Cust$). A


Cust$ 0 10 60 20 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NM$ -0.7 26.8 16.9 12.1 7.3 -4.0 6.7 1.6 1.4 7.4 2.7 -5.3 4.8 2.3

Expected 5-Year PTA Gain

Correlations Cust$ 0.74 0.64 0.92 0.49 0.30 -0.14 0.14 0.08 0.15 -0.06 0.04 -0.12 0.37 0.26 0.86

NM$ 0.48 0.73 0.63 0.69 0.53 -0.36 0.34 0.27 0.29 0.15 0.13 -0.16 0.48 0.46 1

Cust$ 836 26.4 27.2 1.8 1.2 -0.05 0.5 0.3 0.4 -0.1 0.1 -0.2 12.7 2.5 276

NM$ 542 30.1 18.6 2.6 2.1 -0.12 1.2 1.1 0.8 0.2 0.2 -0.3 16.7 4.5 319

Trait correlations were derived from individual correlations and formulas described in the 2018 revision to NM$.3

correlations and expected genetic progress. The cells highlighted yellow indicate which index had the advantage for genetic progress in each trait over a five-year period. Table 1 confirms the Cust$ index will result in greater genetic progress on PTA pounds of Protein in comparison to NM$. However, also interesting is the expected decrease in genetic progress for DPR and PL compared to NM$. Keep in mind the Cust$ index has higher weightings on both traits. This is a result of not considering the relationships DPR and PL have with the other traits in NM$ (visit for more on trait correlations). By not selecting on the other traits correlated with DPR and PL, there is a reduction in their expected genetic progress.

Verifying the Prediction Table 2. Comparison of trait PTAs between active A.I. Holstein bulls or genomic females sorted on a Custom Index (Cust$) or NM$

Top 25% Holstein A.I. bullsB Top 25% Genomic FemalesC Count MILK FAT PRO PL LIV SCS DPR CCR HCR UDC FLC BWC CA$ HTH$ NM$

Cust$D 845 1756 81.7 63.6 5.8 1.7 2.78 2.2 3.7 1.9 1.82 1.04 0.28 44.8 10.2 844

NM$ 843 1503 86.4 58.0 6.1 2.1 2.76 2.4 4.0 2.2 1.94 1.14 0.08 48.5 11.0 876

Cust$D 2904 1270 58.7 47.5 5.6 2.2 2.78 2.2 3.4 1.7 1.22 0.69 -0.27 39.9 9.5 682

NM$ 2902 1106 62.5 43.6 5.8 2.6 2.76 2.4 3.6 1.8 1.26 0.74 -0.38 43.3 10.0 706

Table 1 illustrates the predicted genetic progress between NM$ and the Cust$ index. The next step is to see if similar results are observed comparing A.I. bulls and genomic females. To demonstrate this, the active A.I. Holstein bull population from August 2018 was ranked on NM$ and the Cust$ index and subsequently quartiled from the top 25% to the bottom 25% for each index. Likewise, genomic-tested females from two large Holstein dairies were pooled together, ranked on NM$ and the Cust$ index, and quartiled as well. The top quartile (i.e., top 25%) for each population was compared to see the difference in expected trait PTAs between NM$ and the Cust$ index. Table 2 includes these comparisons and shows the same outcome as previously predicted.

August 2018 active Holstein A.I. bulls. Sires needed to have an evaluation for all traits in NM$ to be included Genomic PTA averages include cows and heifers from two 3,500-cow Holstein herds D Cust$ index includes weighting of 60% Protein, 10% Fat, 20% PL and 10% DPR B


Continued on page 26.




Table 3. Average lifetime production and PTA trait values for cows that freshened in 2012 as heifers from a large U.S. Holstein dairy. Cows were sorted on a Custom (Cust$) index and NM$.

lbs ECM


Daily lbs ECMA

Daily lbs Protein

Daily lbs Fat






368 368

68090 65988

780 747

87.3 88.3

2.43 2.48

3.17 3.14

572 816

31.0 28.8

17.6 22.7

1.4 0.8

-0.2 -0.4


Energy Corrected Milk (ECM) means the amount of milk produced adjusted to 3.5% butterfat and 3.2% protein


Cust$ index includes weighting of 60% Protein, 10% Fat, 20% PL and 10% DPR

This example can be taken one step further to see the phenotypic response from the Cust$ and NM$ indexes in an actual herd setting. A retrospective analysis was done on about 1,500 Holsteins that freshened as heifers in 2012 on a large U.S. dairy. Parent Averages were used to calculate the Cust$ index and NM$ values for each female. The formula of: Parent Average = (½*PTA Sire ID) + (¼* PTA Maternal Grandsire) + (1/8*PTA Maternal Great Grandsire) was used. These females were ranked and quartiled on NM$ and the Cust$ index. Table 3 shows the lifetime production and genetic trait values when comparing the top 25% of females for each index. The impact on average lifetime days in milk is intriguing, with 33 fewer days for the Cust$ index.

When comparing all quartiles for both indexes, greater differentiation is seen between the indexes for average lifetime days in milk. This is illustrated by the NM$ linear trendline in Figure 1 having greater separation from the Cust$ index trendline, indicating a better selection response for average lifetime days in milk. Figure 1 includes the same group of females quartiled by PL for comparison.

Final Considerations Ultimately, custom indexes should be approached with caution. It is possible for a farm to derive a custom selection index that better meets its needs than standard selection indexes. However, a clear understanding of the expected outcomes should be determined prior to implementation.

Figure 1. Average lifetime days in milk by index or trait quartile for cows that freshened in 2012 as heifers from a large U.S. Holstein dairy (n=1484). Cows were sorted and quartiled (top 25% to bottom 25%) on a Custom Index (Cust$), NM$ and PL. 850



750 700 650 600 550 Cust$ NM$ PL

Quartile 4 632 619 636

Quartile 3 763 731 681

Quartile 2 728 742 734

Index or Genetic Trait Quartile C


Cust$ index includes weighting of 60% Protein, 10% Fat, 20% PL and 10% DPR



With a desire to have simple sire selection, one solution is the use of economic-based sub-indexes such as those in the GENEX ICC$™ indexes for Holsteins and Jerseys. Subindexes are a logical way to eliminate oversaturation of genetic traits and still emphasize specific breeding objectives. It's easier to select on a single sub-index than to select on the many traits that may be associated with an area of farm management. As for other industry indexes, NM$ already has two economic sub‑indexes with Calving Ability and Health dollars (values not currently published). Perhaps a future version of NM$ will go entirely to economicbased sub-indexes. Sub-indexes do enable producers to keep sire selection and female sorting simple, based on herd breeding objectives, and not compromise the overall genetic progress of their herds.  (1) Shook, G.E., 2006. Major advances in determining appropriate selection goals. J. Dairy Sci. 89:1349–1361 (2) Dickrell, Jim. Build your own sire index: These dairies use customized indexes to better meet needs. Dairy Herd Management. Feb 2017: Pages 12-17. (3) VanRaden, P. M., and J.B. Cole, and K.L Parker Gaddis. Net merit a measure of lifetime profit: 2018 revision. Available at: nmcalc-2018.htm Accessed Sept. 28, 2018.



Average Lifetime Total Days in MIlk


For more information on using ICC$™ sub-indexes for sire selection, visit

NM$ Top 25% Cust$ Top 25%B


Quartile 1 747 780 835

It’s Time

to Break these Bad Habits

Bad habits. We all have them. They are often developed as a way to get the job done faster or easier, but that doesn’t always mean the job is done right. Members of the GENEX A.I. training team share the most common bad habits they witness on farms. If you are victim of these bad habits, accept that you’ve made them and begin paving your path to improvement. According to Carlos Marin and Javier Cheang, here are the five most common bad A.I. habits they see on farms today.

Javier Cheang A.I. Training Instructor

Carlos Marin A.I. Training Instructor Manager

1) Over confidence. Once an individual has gained experience breeding cows, it is easy to try to skip steps. Don't! Every step is important to achieving good results. 2) Pulling the gun out instead of pushing the plunger when depositing semen. This is very common. To properly deposit semen, push the plunger half way and then double-check placement of the tip of the gun. If the tip is in the right place (through the cervix and just into the uterine body), deposit the second half of the semen. 3) Depositing frozen semen. The Pocket Thaw™ method is easy to do, but sometimes not enough time is allowed for the semen to thaw properly (should thaw in pocket for 2-3 minutes). If the cow is located really close to where the gun is being loaded, it is better to opt for the water thaw method. 4) Dirt, grime and slime. This is a combination of several instances where a little extra time and effort can yield big results. Wrap the loaded A.I. gun in a clean breeding sleeve. Often breeders place the guns directly into their shirt, but remember, whatever is put into the cow's reproductive tract is going to stay there. If the gun was not wrapped, it could mean way more than just semen is being deposited (e.g., sweat, lint, dust, manure, deodorant).

Place the loaded A.I. gun into a clean breeding glove before placing inside a shirt to avoid contamination from sweat, lint, dust, manure, deodorant, etc.

Clean the semen thawing vessels. It is common to find slimy water in thaw vessels. This is a good source of contamination for semen straws and A.I. guns. Also check that the thermometer is working properly. The water must be between 95 to 98° F (35-37°C). Clean those gunky pockets in A.I. gun warmers. If using a gun warmer, make sure to clean and wash the inside pocket often. Clean contaminated A.I. guns. Guns should be cleaned at least once a week with warm water, but never add detergent. Let them dry standing upright. Spray them with alcohol to help with disinfection. Clean manure off the vulva. Be sure to clean the vulva with a paper towel prior to inserting the A.I. gun to prevent contamination. 5) Raising the canister above the semen tank frost line. Be careful when removing semen from the tank. Lifting the canister above the frost line exposes the remaining semen straws to room temperatures and starts the thawing process, thus providing opportunity for sperm damage. 

For best results, do not raise canisters above the frost line as shown here. This can damage or destroy sperm. HORIZONS




has Transformed Semen Production Processes By Ben Rogers, Operations Coordinator, GENEX

Genomics has accelerated genetic progress in dairy cattle. This technology has shortened the generation interval and enables producers to make strategic decisions about calves at a very young age. While genomics has brought forth changes on the farm, it has also been the driving force behind changes in the semen production and bull management processes at A.I. studs and semen production facilities around the world. Young Sire Management After genomics was introduced, the average age of sires in production facilities decreased by nearly half. This is noticeable today when paging through a sire directory. When progeny testing was the primary source for sire genetic evaluations, the useful life of a sire was about five years. Today it’s between two and three years. How have A.I. studs had to adapt to these changes? The increased demand for semen from young, high genetic merit bulls has A.I. studs moving bulls into production centers at an earlier age. This is a delicate process with calves transported at or around weaning. This timeline can pose challenges, as it’s a vulnerable stage in a calf’s life. The potential for exposure to foreign pathogens during transport and the stress brought on by environmental changes simply adds to the challenges. These younger bulls have required changes to facilities and animal care protocols as well. Staff have had to learn to care for smaller bulls in retro-fitted facilities originally built for much larger, mature animals. Additionally, these younger bulls consume less feed and bedding than mature bulls; however, work in the semen collection arena and young bull calf care has increased.




of semen to be sex sorted too, delivering ejaculates to the sorters throughout the day. To maximize GenChoice™ semen production, extra staff are necessary in the lab and livestock areas so sires can be collected at all hours as needed. Genomics has been a driving factor for the increase in the sex-sorted product, greatly expanding the list of sires being sorted.

Keeping Up the Pace

With the introduction of genomics, A.I. studs have altered many bull handling and semen collection processes to better accommodate smaller-sized sires.

Semen Collection Changes The usefulness of an outstanding sire is limited largely by the bull’s ability to produce enough semen to meet market demand before his genetics become obsolete. To maximize semen output from young genomicproven bulls – and ultimately to best meet the genetic needs of members and customers – bull handling and collection procedures were updated. Most bulls undergo an initial semen collection and evaluation once they reach about 1 year of age. To better accommodate these smaller-sized sires in the collection arena, A.I. studs have added smaller teaser animals. These animals are used as a stimulus to illicit mounting and ejaculation for maximum sperm harvest. Miniature beef breed steers have been found to be very effective for the job due to their small frame size and stability. The size of the bull has led semen collection professionals to modify their procedures too. These individuals must get low enough to safely reach under the animal for an effective semen harvest. The added work in the collection arena is also due to more collections per week from genomic-proven sires. It is difficult for younger bulls to match the amount of semen

previously produced by older bulls. In fact, it takes approximately three young bulls to produce the amount of semen one mature bull can produce. More collections per week help to maximize output so more females can be mated to each genomic‑proven sire.

With genomics and removal of the in-waiting period, the genetic merit of bulls is increasing at an exponential rate. Data from the last five sire summaries indicates one point of Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$) is gained every four days in the Holstein breed, and Cheese Merit (CM$) gains are similar for Jerseys. This shows just how fast genetic progress is being made and how important it is to carefully choose the bulls that come into stud.

Laboratory Adaptations A mature bull is capable of producing about 2,000 semen units per week, whereas a 1.5 year old genomic‑proven bull is capable of producing about 500 units. With more collections needed to achieve harvest goals, semen processing labs have more ejaculates to evaluate and less units to process per collection. The laboratory staff thoroughly evaluate the ejaculates for concentration, motility and percent of abnormal cells. While this evaluation is done on every ejaculate, it’s especially important for very young bulls as they can be prone to semen quality issues associated with underdeveloped reproductive tracts. These late maturation issues are more typical among Jerseys than Holsteins. The increasing demand for high genetic merit bulls available in GenChoice™ sexed semen means labs are providing greater volumes

With genomics and the increased demand for semen from young, high genetic merit bulls, A.I. studs are moving bulls into production centers at an earlier age, at weaning or around 70 days of age.

As the rate of change accelerates in the bovine genetics industry, GENEX continues to refine processes for the ultimate in bull care and the production of high-quality semen. Focus is on managing change to ensure the semen produced meets the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s producers in terms of quality, fertility and genetic level. 




Quality Matters to Us, Because Performance Matters to You By Kari Beth Krieger, Director of Production and Quality, GENEX

Breeding cows with cryopreserved semen is really an act of faith. You can’t see the sperm cells or know they are fertile unless you thaw the straw for evaluation, thus destroying the possibility of using it for insemination. You must have faith in the company that produced the straw and in the semen handling protocols that kept the straw in good condition – from the time it was frozen all the way through shipping, storage and placed in tank inventories – until the straw is selected for breeding. GENEX has a solid history of fertility and quality, allowing you to place your faith in our product. Let’s take a tour through the GENEX semen processing lab to understand all the ways GENEX ensures we deserve that faith.

We only keep the good stuff After semen is collected, it arrives in the lab for a thorough evaluation of concentration, motility and percent of abnormal cells. Semen that doesn’t meet our rigorous standards is discarded and does not go any further in the process. We toss up to 25% of raw ejaculates!

A unique product GENEX uses a milk-based extender made in-house. It takes extra time to make and process semen in milk, in comparison to using a purchased extender, but it gives our customers several advantages. When combined with our processing methods, semen extended with milk can tolerate a wide range of thawing temperatures with no negative impact on fertility. More importantly, large field trials have indicated that GENEX milkextended semen has a significant fertility advantage over extenders 30



with an egg yolk base. Furthermore, the milk seems to provide the antioxidants and nutrients sperm cells need for maximum viability. This 1.5% fertility advantage translates to a major advantage for your bottom line.

We check our work Every step of our process is connected to the demand for high quality. From the time a sire walks into the collection room to the time his semen straws are packed on a cane for shipment, we track sire identification and ensure accurate labeling. We test each filler/sealer machine daily to ensure the straws have functional seals, and we confirm correct function of measurement instruments like scales and spectrophotometers. Our staff members are trained to notice deviations or abnormalities and address them immediately. GENEX staff has an extraordinary commitment to producing a top-quality product.

Someone else checks our work To ensure our protocols are working correctly, approximately 10% of all semen batches produced are sent to an independent reference laboratory for evaluation. At the reference laboratory, advanced technology is used to evaluate semen quality and count the number of cells per straw. Feedback from this analysis allows us to verify our routine quality control evaluations are accurate. GENEX is dedicated to being your partner by offering world-class cattle genetics and the most fertile semen in the industry. We follow rigorous semen collection and laboratory protocols so you can rest assured that what you are unable to see is as good as you could expect. 



YOLO BANDARES x MERIDIAN x ROBUST +2876 GTPI® +958 NM$ | +2.77 PTAT | +2.2 DPR



Bourbon x Altaspring x Supersire +2755 GTPI® +839 NM$ | +2.33 PTAT | +3.2 DPR



Superhero x Monterrey x Mogul +2747 GTPI® +807 NM$ | +2.69 PTAT | +2.5 DPR



Jedi x Bombero x Predestine +2744 GTPI® +816 NM$ | +2.13 PTAT | +1.4 DPR

Providing more genetic options to meet your herd goals! Contact your GENEX representative for the full Jetstream Genetics lineup.

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Genex Cooperative, Inc. PO Box 469 Shawano, WI 54166 Phone 888.333.1783

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Profile for GENEX

HORIZONS, Dairy Edition  

HORIZONS, Dairy Edition

HORIZONS, Dairy Edition  

HORIZONS, Dairy Edition