Horizons April 2009
Genomics, GenChoice and Genex TM
Cooperative Notes p.6
Joins the Ranks p.10 ■
Genomics Top 10 p.12
Tricking the Estrous Cycle
And other Repro Reminders p.27
Advance your Herd at the
Speed of Genomics
50 sires in the 95th percentile for Lifetime Net Merit Elite sons of TOYSTORY, LYNCH, O Man and Shottle Create pregnancies from high ranking GenCheckTM sires Breed-leading trait specialists
G enomic Generation
Contact your Genex representative before genomics passes you by.
T able o f contents
Horizons April 2009 Vol. 15/No. 2 Published three times a year for dairy producers in the United States and Canada.
Address correspondence Cooperative Resources International 117 E. Green Bay Street, P. O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166 firstname.lastname@example.org
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Duane J. Nelson, President Winthrop, Minn., 507.647.2540
Jimmy Franks, 1st Vice President Waynesboro, Ga., 706.437.0527
John J. Ruedinger, 2nd Vice President Van Dyne, Wis., 920.922.9899
Paul Greene, Secretary Berlin, N.Y., 518.658.2419
Jacques Couture Westfield, Vt., 802.744.2733
Jim Crocker Valley City, Ohio, 330.483.3709
Jon Wayne Danielson Cadott, Wis., 715.289.3860
Kay Olson-Martz Friendship, Wis., 608.564.7359
Bobby Robertson Tahlequah, Okla., 918.456.2357
Ronald Totten Stafford, N.Y., 585.344.0758
Clarence Van Dyke Manhattan, Mont., 406.282.7579
Richard Vold Glenwood, Minn., 320.634.4665
Alfred Wanner, Jr. Narvon, Pa., 717.768.8118
HORIZONS EDITORIAL BOARD
4 Managing Cash Flow During Tough Times
6 CRI Reports 2008 Year End Results
8 Leadership In Action 10 TOYSTORY Joins Genex Millionaire’s Club 18 New Choice in Sexed Semen
Genomically Speaking 12 I Have a Question About Genomics 14 GENESIS Females Second to None
Genetically Speaking 19 Make the Choice for Easier Calvings 20 It’s Jersey Time 21 SCR. Just the Facts!
Reproductive Management 22 25 27 29
Proper Gun Loading Procedures Using ¼ cc Semen Straws Test Your Attention to the Details Tricking the Estrous Cycle Synchronization Protocols
Members David Ainsworth, South Royalton, Vt.
Raymond Diederich, De Pere, Wis. Jared Franklin, Bradyville, Tenn.
Pick Your Pose Horizons Photo Contest Announced
Barbara Nedrow, Clifton Springs, N.Y. Bob Prahl, Wausau, Wis. Ben Wilson, Mount Berry, Ga. Employees Ross Leix, Training Programs Manager Steve Schnell, Vice President Dairy Genetics John Underwood, Area Sales Representative, Ariz. Ron Visser, BPS Team Leader, S.D. Eric Whittaker, Area Sales Representative, N.Y.
HORIZONS STAFF Jenny Hanson, Editor, email@example.com Angie Kringle, Assistant Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Seefeldt, Graphic Designer
In a good heat?
Breed her with GenChoiceTM
REPRINTS Material may not be reproduced in any fashion without Cooperative Resources International’s permission.
20 Learn What
NOT to Do
Mission Statement: Provide products and services as effectively as possible to maximize the profitability of members and customers worldwide while maintaining a strong cooperative. ©2009 CRI
Managing Cash Flow During Tough Times By: Tom Bjelland, Vice President of Domestic Marketing, Genex The economics of the dairy and beef industries have, in recent months, been very challenging. When dairy and beef producers struggle with cash flow we, as the suppliers, also have the same cash flow problems. The current opportunities with higher genetic impact through genomics have tremendous potential for future generations. GenChoiceTM is another tool that allows for the development of heifers that can advance herd genetics. The key in both instances is utilization of sires high in the genetic traits you desire. Challenging to this is the need to keep a superior genetic program progressing through tight economic times. At Genex, we want to work with our members to help you through the cash flow crunch. The first and most important point is to work with us through our local representatives and to stay in contact with our credit department. Over the years, we have developed a number of financing options and will do our best to work with you. Four years ago, Genex started working with Farm Plan™ in our U.S. market and AgLine™ in Canada. Through these working relationships many dairy producers have been able to utilize financing options that Genex did not have the ability to initiate. Recently, when the economics of dairying became substantially stressed, we looked to Farm Plan for further financial options that could help our members. What we developed is based on futures as milk prices in the fall and winter of 2009 are expected to be higher. This new finance program is called “180,” describing the opportunity to turn your finances around. The “180” program allows for many payment options on special terms.
PROGRAM What is the “180” program and how does it work? 1. “180” allows for a 180 day no payment/no interest option on purchases. 2. If you are currently on Farm Plan, you can utilize the benefits up to available credit. If you don’t have a Farm Plan account or a Farm Plan special terms account, Genex can help set one up. Contact your local Genex representative, customer service (888-333-1783) or the credit department (800-333-9007, ext. 1) to get an easyto-complete form. 3. Upon completion of the 180 days, you can pay in full or continue to finance accruing finance charges (there are no charges for the 180-day period). These special terms accounts come due in total in March 2010. 4. The advantage of “180” is to pay for semen and services at the best time for you. If this cash management program has some value for you, contact your local Genex representative, customer service (888-333-1783) or the credit department (800-333-9007, ext. 1).
WE’RE ALL ABOUT THE ASSIST.
Purchase semen or arm service and take up to six months to pay.
Genex and Farm Plan™ have partnered to provide unique finance options to meet the needs of your operation. The new “180” program provides 180 days No Payments – No Interest.* Now more than ever, producers need payment terms that allow for better cash flow management. Get what you need when you need it. Just say, “Put it on Farm Plan.” Contact your local Genex representative for more information on the Farm Plan “180” program. *Purchases are subject to credit approval and the terms of the Farm Plan Credit Agreement. Up to 180 days with no payments and no interest. Due in full on customers' March 2010 statement payment due dates. Following the deferral period, the annual percentage rate (APR) applicable to your Account will apply to this purchase. Farm Plan™ is a service of FPC Financial, f.s.b. CR0312790 (09-04)
G RAS S ROOTS
CRI Reports 2008 Year End Results The first ever national, joint annual meeting for Cooperative Resources International’s (CRI) subsidiary members was held March 24-25 in Bloomington, Minn. Over 250 delegates represented CRI’s three subsidiaries - AgSource Cooperative Services, a comprehensive agricultural testing and informational services business, Central Livestock Association, a livestock marketing firm, and Genex Cooperative, Inc., a supplier of dairy and beef cattle genetics. “It was good for all of CRI to be assembled in one location. It gave members from across the country an idea of the breadth and depth of their organization,” stated Doug Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, CRI. During the annual business meeting, delegates were presented with the cooperative’s 2008 financial results. Chief Financial Officer Larry Romuald reported a consolidated income of $144,204,097, a 15.3 percent increase over 2007. The consolidated pre-tax income was $2,051,591, a 1.4 percent return on total revenue. These results included the earnings of the three subsidiaries and the cooperative’s International Division. Romuald commented on the year’s financial status. “2008 was the most volatile year most have known. Your
cooperative experienced the best and worst of it. From record gas prices, soaring commodity prices for feed, high milk prices and crashing investment markets, your cooperative’s financial statements reflect them all. Following the current economic situation, we will strive to return to record-breaking performances. It is our foundation and 2008 performance level that makes us confident of such a statement.” CRI President John Ruedinger, a dairy producer from Van Dyne, Wis., believes there are three words that sum up the cooperative’s position for the future. “People, products and services - These are our core values and even through tough economic times, we will not waiver. Because of these values, CRI has grown to become a world leader in all aspects of animal agriculture. We have grown outside our core businesses and have accepted the challenge to be an early innovator in new technologies.”
AgSource Cooperative Services
AgSource continued its positive earning trend throughout 2008. Continued growth in the cooperative’s DHI (Dairy Herd Improvement) operations and expansion of services in non-member areas led AgSource to its largest growth in DHI operations in the past 30 years. As of December 31, AgSource was providing DHI services to herds
totaling over 690,000 cows and in the past 12 months registered over 7.2 million individual cow recordings. Much of the growth was sparked by a marked increase in records processing activity outside AgSource’s Upper Midwest membership area. AgSource also had a successful year in its non-DHI services. Water testing activity increased 27 percent, and the cooperative analyzed over 360,000 soil samples. On December 31, AgriCheck, Inc., an agronomic laboratory in Umatilla, Ore., was acquired jointly by Genex and AgSource.
Central Livestock Association
In April, Central Livestock completed the closing of its South St. Paul, Minn., market. A new market, Rock Creek, located at Pine City, Minn., was opened in July. This market serves as a convenient location for livestock producers in northwest Wisconsin and east central and northeast Minnesota. In the past year, Central Livestock also expanded TEAM (the Electronic Auction Market), an online interactive marketplace that brings cattle buyers and sellers together through the Internet. Working cooperatively through Central Livestock and Genex employees, Central Livestock promotes TEAM throughout the continental U.S.
G RAS S ROOTS Genex Cooperative, Inc.
In 2008, the milk prices aided by strong exports of dairy products allowed Genex to attain a record level of dairy semen sales, 16.7 percent above last year’s actual performance. Beef semen sales demonstrated strong increases too. In the past year, Genex also experienced a growth of over 180,000 arm services surpassing 2,139,000. This brought the total cows bred each day by Genex employees to 5,860.
CRI’s international marketing program generated a 40 percent increase in sales over 2007. Over three million units of cattle semen was sold in 60 different countries. 2008 marked the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking levels for the International Division.
Genex to Issue 50% Cash Patronage The Genex and CRI Boards of Directors have authorized the issuance of a
Qualified Notice of Allocation on the Genex 2008 patronage. The distribution will be 50 percent in cash and the remainder in allocated equities. The Boards felt this was an opportunity to aid dairy and beef producers as a result of the economic challenges they are dealing with in 2009. The Boards believe this is the best way to get cash in producer’s hands with little tax consequence. The cash payments will be mailed midyear.
The beef custom collection service, which collects more units from more bulls than any other organization, demonstrated growth of over 20 percent for the year. The Genex Farm Systems Division, marketing farmstead and milking equipment, established a new record with revenues at $12,124,593, a 55 percent increase. The Division’s contributions included the sale and placement of their first digester.
Roy Wilson of Genex and Donna James of Allflex spoke with delegates during the trade show at the annual meetings.
For a copy of the 2008 CRI Annual Report, contact customer service at 1-888-333-1783 or email@example.com.
According to Duane Nelson, Genex President
2008 was a year in which the technological advances in GenChoice, semen packaging and genomics along with a very high milk price, excellent international sales, increases in service income and Farm Systems sales led the way for performance and profit of Genex. 2009 is looking to be a more challenging year. The Genex board has the responsibility of guiding the cooperative through good and bad times. We realize it will not be “business as usual” and must make the necessary changes needed not only to survive, but to grow and be profitable. Our commitment to procure the best genetics will help increase our market share. But we will need to carefully analyze all areas of expense. Trim what we can, delay when possible and eliminate when necessary. All actions will be well thought out and at no time will we compromise quality of products or services to reduce costs.
According to Doug Wilson, Genex Chief Operating Officer
We would hope you feel a sense of pride when you think about Genex and the 2008 accomplishments. During its 10th year of existence as the merged Genex, we: Established a record level of beef sales. Established a record volume of Jersey sales. Established a record service level. Established record domestic dairy sales. Established a record international volume. Established a record Farm Systems revenue. Established a record resale product level. Established a record gross revenue. Fully implemented GenChoice in the marketplace. Structured the genomic launch. It is apparent 2009 will be different than 2008. However, just like most of our members, we will discipline ourselves, fall back to the basics, and make adjustments. Following this timeframe, we will return to record-breaking performances.
I n the N ews
Genex Board of Directors
Genex Employees Recognized
Elections were held at the Genex Annual Meeting. Re-elected for three-year terms were the directors for Regions 3, 6, 9 and 12. In Region 13, Bobby Robertson, Tahlequah, Okla., was newly elected to a one-year term. This vacancy was created by the redistricting completed in July 2009. Don Taber, Shoshone, Idaho, was recognized for his three years of service representing the former Region 13.
At the 2009 CRI annual meeting, six individuals who standout among their peers as leaders were awarded for their efforts. These Genex field representatives lead by example. They are responsive to members’ needs and help to develop the skills of fellow co-workers. They are encouraging yet firm and professional yet personable. In the end, they are simply leaders at work everyday helping Genex members and customers increase their profit potentials.
Excellence in Leadership Award Bill Ziese Upland, Calif.
At the young age of 70, Bill Ziese accepts many responsibilities; he breeds cows when needed, mates cows through MAP, provides support for the local service team and serves as an Area Sales Representative. While doing so, Ziese meets extraordinary consistent monthly sales and, while nearing retirement, has reached the pinnacle of his career just shy of the three million unit mark - the highest sales record in U.S. A.I. history.
Region 1 Jacques Couture Westfield, Vermont
Region 2 Paul Greene Secretary
Region 8 John Ruedinger 2nd Vice President
Berlin, New York
Van Dyne, Wisconsin
Region 3 Ronald Totten
Region 9 Jon Wayne Danielson
Stafford, New York
Region 4 Alfred Wanner, Jr.
Region 10 Duane Nelson President
Region 5 Jim Crocker Valley City, Ohio
Region 11 Richard Vold
Region 6 Jimmy Franks 1st Vice President
Region 7 Kay Olson-Martz
Region 13 Bobby Robertson
Region 12 Clarence Van Dyke
The Genex officers, plus Ron Totten and Alfred Wanner, Jr., were re-elected to represent Genex on the CRI board. John Ruedinger was re-elected to Chairperson of the CRI board. Jimmy Franks was elected Vice Chairperson and Ed Strauss, Sheboygan Falls, Wis., representing AgSource, was elected Secretary. 8
Ziese has a very optimistic outlook on life and leads through example. Fellow members of the eight-person team in southern California admire his honesty, trust and work ethic. Genex members enjoy the solid relationship he has built over many years of hard work. He has developed a strong rapport with customers after having provided service to three generations on many farms. Through it all, Ziese is committed to providing the best professional and personal service with outstanding integrity that continues to stand the test of time.
Leadership Awards Lloyd Friske Prior Lake, Minn.
Area Program Consultant Lloyd Friske leads with tough love. Friske works with the cooperative’s service force in central Minnesota to better their artificial insemination (A.I.) techniques. His teaching methods emphasize explaining “why” things are done as they are and instilling in his pupils a high level of commitment. Friske also deals with hundreds of A.I. students (college students, producers and herdsmen) each year. His willingness to work with individuals of all skill levels is a tribute of his patience and persistence. In working with members, Friske is quick to follow up on issues and take a proactive role in on-farm problem solving. One of his greatest strengths is to work side by side with members and their employees to improve upon shortfalls in their A.I. technique.
I n T H e N ews
with Leadership Awards Brad Beckman Faribault, Minn. As an Area Sales Manager, Brad Beckman leads by example. He is dedicated to the Genex mission and is a steward to both the membership and the cooperative. He is not afraid to deal with tough issues and suggest solutions for improvement. And, he is impeccable in his paperwork. While his area of southeastern Minnesota has many traditional herds, Beckman has worked tirelessly to acclimate staff to large herd reproduction work. During 2008, he implemented new service teams and worked to improve their efficiency. He has assisted these new teams in training staff, bidding accounts and developing on-farm plans to improve reproductive performance. One of Beckman’s greatest strengths is solving member problems and complaints. He reacts quickly, digs into both sides of the issue and acts decisively when the facts are known. Rod Heale Wyoming, N.Y. Rod Heale’s knowledge of the company and the dairy industry has grown over the past 17 years as he has strived to serve members and customers in the Northeast. During 2008, this Area Sales Manager led his area through remarkable growth while incorporating several new personnel. His area excelled in marketing the benefits of GenChoice sexed semen to local producers and
led the country in GenChoice VIP agreements. His was also one of the first to incorporate handhelds area-wide. In addition to marketing success, Heale worked closely with Area Program Consultant Dave Keller to develop a training curriculum which allowed Genex to partner with the Wyoming Institute. This led to an ongoing cattle genetics and reproductive training program for producers. He also organized member meetings focused on animal welfare and neighbor relations. By being aware of members’ needs, Heale has positioned producers for the future. Mike Schreiner Greenwich, N.Y. Mike Schreiner has taken a firm hold of his new position as Team Leader. He leads an 11-person team, one of the largest teams in the cooperative, which provides service in five counties in eastern New York and southwest Vermont. Besides providing daily reproductive service, Schreiner coordinates work schedules, guides sales and updates his team on the progress towards reaching their goals. He also utilizes an index he developed to monitor income per mile and help his team become more efficient.
Schreiner and his team regularly visit with members to keep them updated on Genex programs. Due to the strong commitment of Schreiner and his team, Genex is the dominant A.I. service provider in a very competitive area for both service and genetics. Harry Raeder Plymouth, Wis. After 42 years of service, the word professional definitely describes Harry Raeder. This A.I. industry veteran, who first began with Badger Breeders, works very hard to provide outstanding service to members. He is an industry leader in developing successful dairy reproduction programs. Raeder’s positive attitude and sincere personality make him an excellent mentor and coach. In recent years, these attributes helped him develop into an outstanding Team Leader in eastern Wisconsin. He develops sales and service skills in current and new staff, including the four new employees he field trained in 2008. Though he grew up on dairy farm dreaming of becoming a veterinarian, Raeder thoroughly enjoys his career in the A.I. industry because of the people he works with and the constant changes. According to Harry, “the changes are what actually renew your interest in the career.” ©2009 CRI
IN THE NEWS
TOYSTORY Joins Genex Millionaire’s Club
Schmitt TOYSTORY 529
Just as the second crop daughters of 1HO7235 Jenny-Lou Mrshl TOYSTORY-ET *TV begin to enter the milking strings of dairy herds across the world, this elite and prolific sire has produced his one millionth unit of frozen semen. TOYSTORY’s production achievement, attained on April 3, marks a historic event for Genex. TOYSTORY is only the third sire in Genex history to reach such a level. Previous sires that produced one million units and were inducted into the Millionaire’s Club include the influential 21HO0738 REX and, most recently, the reliable health and fitness specialist 1HO5045 LYNCH.
Dias & Dias TOYSTORY 160, second crop
Since his debut into the active lineup in November 2005, TOYSTORY has proven to be of the highest caliber. His daughters provide productivity, profitability and improved conformation impressing herdsmen, producers and dairy judges across the world. “When you combine the high rank for Lifetime Net Merit with TOYSTORY’s outstanding conformation pattern, you realize just how unique this bull is,” states Angie Coburn, Genex Sire Procurement Manager.
Vieux Saule Toystory Brooke, second crop
This five-star favorite BW Marshall son attained the one million unit mark while his genetic evaluations continue to escalate. TOYSTORY now stands at +$486 Lifetime Net Merit with over 2,100 milking daughters in more than 500 herds. With nearly 500 daughters in his conformation evaluation, TOYSTORY has solidly risen to +3.23 PTA Type, +3.22 Udder Composite and +2.46 Foot & Leg Composite. His list of credentials goes on with efficient production (1588 PTA Milk, +62 Fat, +50 Protein), +1944 TPI™, 6% Sire Calving Ease, +3.5 Sire Conception Rate and +1.5 SynchSmart™. 10
Brook-Corner TOYSTORY Elite, VG-86, second crop
IN THE NEWS
TOYSTORY: International Sensation! Across the United States and around the globe, producers are finding success with TOYSTORY.
South Africa ★★★★★
New York ★★★★★
In 2008, TOYSTORY was recognized by the South Africa Holstein Association as the “Most Popular Bull.” The number of registered TOYSTORY calves was almost double the next highest bull.
“Our TOYSTORY daughters have nice udders, well-attached fore and rear with a nice balance. They show dairy strength through the front end, displaying openness of rib and outstanding dairy character through the head and neck.” “The longer they are in milk, the better they look.” Bill Peck, Jr. & Bill Peck, Sr., Welcome Stock Farm, 430 cows
“I was looking through my nine to 10 month old heifers and the TOYSTORY heifers stood out. They were tall and strong and looked like the type of heifers I wanted to breed. I promptly ordered another 400 units of TOYSTORY." Seymour Currie, Joyce’s Dairy, 650 cows
United Kingdom ★★★★★ “Without doubt TOYSTORY has been on this farm. From two months of age, their type shows well above other calves. They are exceptionally bright from the minute they are born they seem to get going from day one. I am very excited about the prospect of these animals”. R Pike
Canada ★★★★★ “We are really pleased with our TOYSTORY daughters. They have great appetites and are always eating. We like their dairyness and they milk extremely well. They will be our top two-year-olds this year!” Jimmy Perreault, Ferme Vieux Saule, 40 cows
Brazil ★★★★★ TOYSTORY received recognition by the Holstein Association Paraná - Brazil for his popularity. In 2008, he had the most registered offspring as compared to any other dairy sire. When compared to the next popular sire, TOYSTORY accounts for 82 percent more registered daughters!
Japan ★★★★★ “TOYSTORY daughters are consistent in their dairy form. TOYSTORY has been used in Japan for more than three years and continues to be very popular.” Hisatsugu Oki, ZEN-NOH Livestock Co., LTD
California ★★★★★ “The TOYSTORYs are as good a group of heifers as we’ve ever had. They’re the tall, upstanding type with good quality udders. We’ve been very happy with them. From the high type to the quality production, they’re everything I’ve hoped for.” Dale Matheron, Hilmar Holsteins, Inc., 1800 cows “The mark of a good bull is a bull that can stamp consistent daughters. I’ve used TOYSTORY on all kinds of cows, and there isn’t a bad one in the herd. They all have the great combination of type and production, are easy to breed back, and the calves are born easily. When the TOYSTORY daughters freshen, they dairy down and develop a beautiful udder. TOYSTORY is going to be an impact bull for a long time!” Richard Dias, Dias & Dias Dairy, 800 cows
Wisconsin ★★★★★ “So far we’re quite impressed with our TOYSTORY daughters. We have a pair of TOYSTORY sisters fresh and they’re both very nice. They have a lot of strength, hardtopped and are extremely willing producers. On the last test, both two-year-olds were over 120 pounds of milk!” Dan Siemers, Siemers Holsteins, 2300 cows “We are currently milking four TOYSTORY daughters. They calved in well and seemed to get going fine. All are within 60 days fresh and have above average production for this stage of lactation. They are a great group of well-uddered cows with sound feet and legs.” Andy, John & Bev Wolf, Golden Corners Dairy, 230 cows
G E N O M I C A L LY S P E A K I N G
I Have a Question about Genomics By: Roy Wilson, AVP-Large Herd Business Center, Genex Genomics has not lacked press in recent months. Although the tone of each article has been slightly different, each author has attempted to explain the technology’s background and potential impact. But have we really answered the farm owner’s questions? I have had the privilege to speak to thousands of dairy producers on this subject; some in one-on-one conversations and some on grand stages such as the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin annual conference, the National DHIA annual meeting and the CRI annual meeting. Here are the top 10 questions farm owners have asked.
How does genomics impact crossbreeding?
Several who considered or tried crossbreeding did so for immediate impact on some “challenging” traits for the Holstein breed. For example, many producers were frustrated with the lack of progress in Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR). This trait is relatively new in dairy genetics time (first reported in 2003) so procurement staff have not had ample time to procure sires specifically for it. DPR has also “lagged” due to low heritability and low reliability. Therefore, in some instances crossbreeding has been used as a quick fix.
Now, with genomics, procurement staff can realize the true effect of traits like DPR sooner. When selecting a mating sire or dam of future sons, genomic tests on those animals reveal an accurate description of their DPR at a much higher reliability. Holstein procurement staff that select intensely for these kinds of traits can utilize genomic evaluations to produce faster genetic improvement. So does genomics erase crossbreeding? Most likely not, but it does allow the Holstein breed to address a few troublesome traits that prompted some to start crossbreeding in the first place.
Do we make faster progress on low heritable traits now?
The simple answer is yes. The increased reliability gained from genomics dramatically increases the rate of genetic progress for low heritable traits. This is another huge benefit to utilizing genomics. Let me explain further. After sire summaries, the sire procurement staff decides which sires to use as sires of sons. These are generally new releases with 80 to 120 daughters and reliability ranges from the high 70s to mid 80s. Few 99 percent reliability sires are used because by 12
the time they reach this high reliability level, their genetics are considered “old.” (When talking about an 80 percent reliability sire, the reliability refers to his production PTA reliability. In actuality, his reliability for a low heritable trait such as DPR is about 60 percent.) Adding genomic information results in a higher reliability; bringing it to a more comfortable level for procurement staff. Then adding daughter information brings it to an even more acceptable level.
Why do the numbers look so big?
+4.75 PTA Type and +8.5 Productive Life are large numbers, but it makes sense. Right now, genomics identifies the superior bulls that would typically have received daughter proofs in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It is also important to remember that every five years the USDA-AIPL performs a base change. In simple terms, this re-adjusts the proof numbers for genetic progress. It keeps the numbers in a “normal” range or prevents PTAs (Predicted Transmitting Ability) from getting too large. Therefore, genomically-proven sires should have large PTA numbers as they represent genetic progress. Next January’s base change will lower these PTAs to some degree.
Can there really be this many bulls in the 90th percentile?
How soon will we have new traits like feed efficiency or resistance to Johnes?
There appears to be an unbelievable number of sires in the 90th percentile for Lifetime Net Merit (LNM). The USDA-AIPL calculates the percentiles from the previous sire summary’s list of active sires with daughter information. For instance, in January 2009 the USDA-AIPL used the August 2008 list of active sires to determine the percentiles. For the April sire summaries and into the near future, the USDA will continue to base percentile breaks on traditional methods, meaning genomic sires will not be included.
The ability to investigate non-traditional traits is an exciting benefit of genomics. DNA analysis allows for discovery of such traits. These “new” traits will not be discovered overnight as 10,000 to 25,000 observations are needed. But compared to traditional methodology this is a vast improvement.
G E N O M I C A L LY S P E A K I N G Together with other organizations, Genex is aggressively pursuing the discovery of several new traits. Other large corporations have also expressed interest in this research. While it may take a few years, we are confident this technology will lead to several new selection traits.
Will reliabilities stay the same or go up?
As reported in April, most reliabilities range from 68 to 74 percent for genomically-proven sires. With that in mind, you may wonder why the reliabilities differ. The answer is some bulls come from more “popular” families. If more of the sire’s family members have been genomically tested, the reliability of the sire is higher. If pedigree information was not recorded and no direct family members were genomically tested, his reliability is lower. The reliabilities of genomically-proven sires continue to increase based on the number of animals in the breed that have been genomically tested. However, the increase in overall reliability is now smaller due to diminishing returns. For instance, the 1,000th animal tested increased the overall reliability for genomic evaluations more than the 31,000th. Without improvements to the calculation methodology and/or larger marker panels, I do not foresee the average reliability increasing much over 75 percent.
How does the system work, from sample to result?
A sample containing DNA must be submitted to one of the three approved labs. The samples consist of a clump of hair, blood or semen. Upon receiving the sample, the lab extracts DNA and submits the marker sequence to the USDA-AIPL. Approximately every 45 days the USDA-AIPL calculates genomic proofs. Then the owner of the animal receives a one-page report with the animal’s PTA and corresponding reliabilities for all the traits. Anyone can test female animals through kits provided by the Holstein and Jersey associations. The cost is approximately $250. Until May 2013, only a NAAB member can have a bull genomically tested.
How can genomics just all of a sudden be here?
Genomics, although new to the A.I. marketplace, has been a work in progress for several years. The USDAAIPL and eight A.I. companies have supported research on genomics since 2004. A.I. companies have been saving semen (DNA) samples on every bull sampled for the past 15 years thinking this technology would one day be possible.
How quickly will this technology improve?
It is hard to say how fast this technology will progress. Although it is a new technology for the dairy
industry, the poultry and swine industries successfully implemented this technology long ago. The next step in the dairy industry is the development of a “low-density” chip. This is scheduled for release in early 2010 and will allow for large application on the female side. For approximately $30, dairy producers will be able to receive evaluations with reliabilities averaging in the 50s. This should allow incorporating female genomic evaluations into breeding program scenarios to become more affordable. After that, the next step is identification of 100,000 or 300,000 markers (compared to the 58,000 markers currently identified) followed by over a million markers and/or entire genome scanning. Some predict this will happen in less than 10 years.
What confidence should I have in 70% reliability?
There are a few things to consider when deciding how to use 70 percent reliability sires in your breeding program. Keep in mind the reliability advantage of genomic information. Before genomics, young sire evaluations were based only on parent averages with about 35 percent reliability. New active sires with daughters averaged about 80 percent reliability. Now, genomically-proven sires average about 70 percent reliability. Secondly, think about the projected change in performance for a 70 percent reliable genomically-proven sire as he adds daughters and goes to 95 percent reliable. According to calculations, the change for a trait such as LNM is ±$147. Said another way, if the genomically-proven bull is +$700 LNM at 70 percent reliability, then at 95 percent reliability he is expected to be between +$847 and +$553 LNM. Take that range into consideration when selecting 70 percent reliable sires. If your current genetic requirement for a sire is 90th percentile (or +$490) to maintain that level use genomically-proven sires above +$637 LNM. I tell producers to get greedy with genomics. Raise your genetic requirements if considering genomic sires.
A U T H O R B I O
Roy Wilson has established experience in dairy genetics and reproduction. Wilson completed dual master’s degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in animal breeding and reproductive physiology. He served as a University of Wisconsin Extension agent before joining Genex. ©2009 CRI
G enomically S peaking
GENESIS Females Second to None By: Angie Kringle, Communications Specialist, CRI The February 2009 issue of Holstein World featured the top genomic tested females. This list included cows with many well-known prefixes. Among this list were nine cows with the “Co-op” prefix and “CRI” suffix. These notations signify that the females are part of the Genesis Cooperator Herd. Through concentrated mating and selection efforts the GENESIS MOET (Multiple Ovulation Embryo Transfer) program has created many elite cows, sires and families. No other artificial insemination (A.I.) stud in the United States operates a herd or program similar to the GENESIS program. The January issue of Horizons focused on six new sires that carried the Co-op prefix as graduates of the GENESIS program. This issue will highlight two exciting cows that are making waves in the program today. We will also explore the benefits available to Genex members and customers as a result of the GENESIS program.
Pandora’s Story The story of Pandora begins with an embryo purchase from the family of 1HO5550 PARADOX-Red. Net-A-Way Paris-CRI-ET is a red-carrier cow out of the full sister to the favorite red sire, PARADOX. Paris was flushed to Potter, Marmax and Jordan-Red in addition to the O Man flush that resulted in Pandora. Among all her sisters, Pandora has tested highest genomically.
Co-op Oman Pandora-ET (pictured at right) is a second generation graduate of the GENESIS program. Appearing on the list of top-ranking females, this red-carrier cow has countless sons in-waiting at the Genex sire barns. As a heifer, she was flushed to 1HO7235 TOYSTORY. Those embryos were made available for purchase and resulted in three bull calves. All three of these calves have been bought back through a bull contract and have returned to the Genex sire barns. Through genetic testing, one of these TOYSTORY sons has been confirmed as a red-carrier. Pandora was bred to 1HO6960 VIC-Red resulting in another bull calf, young sire 1HO9650 PANDA-Red. To date Pandora has also been flushed to Shottle, 1HO8910 Matrix-Red and 1HO2565 CASSINO. Watch for Pandora's natural Mac son, Pembroke, for future genomic release. As a red carrier sire, he tops the TPITM and Lifetime Net Merit (LNM) lists for red carrier sires. As a red carrier, Pandora’s story is always exciting. Any mating to this cow has the chance of resulting in a red-carrier son of an elite sire.
Co-op Oman Pandora-ET, VG-86
Dam of Pandora:Net-A-Way Paris-CRI-ET
G enomically S peaking
Kings-Ransom TM Deva CRI-ET’s history with the GENESIS program does not run as deep as that of Pandora. But that does not mean her connections are limited. Deva was acquired through an embryo purchase. In fact, that same purchase resulted in 1HO7949 DIVA. Deva is also a maternal sister to 1HO8521 DANGER. Deva’s potential was recognized early on, before genomic testing was an option. She was flushed as a heifer to O Man, and embryos were sold to producers. Active sire 1HO9167 O-STYLE was the result of the heifer flush to O Man and was re-purchased off the farm and brought back to the Genex sire barns.
Kings-Ransom TM Deva CRI-ET, VG-88
Udder Composite and +2.02 PTA Type he provides something for everyone.
Deva was recently moved to Sunshine Genetics where she is on a continuous flush program. Most recently she has been flushed to 1HO8784 FREDDIE and 1HO9493 KAMIN.
O-STYLE debuted in January as an elite sire for LNM and appealing health traits. With updated numbers this April, he still stands out among the industry's best. At +$794 LNM, +1791 PTA Milk, +6.7 Productive Life, +2.5 Daughter Pregnancy Rate, +2.28
In addition to O-STYLE, there are other exciting sons at Genex. Deva has sons of 1HO5045 LYNCH, Potter, and Billion. She has five daughters from flushes to Auden, Billion and Colby. Four of the five will be flushed late this summer. Her TOYSTORY heifer just freshened this January.
possess. We can use the combination of high males and high females to make the most genetic progress.”
family member that is genomically tested helps to increase the reliability and accuracy.
Steve DeWall, Dairy Genetics Specialist, also touched on additional advantages, “The GENESIS herd is a great tool for product development and increased accuracy. Because of this program, we have bulls like DIVA, DANGER and O-STYLE.”
The GENESIS program also improves the bottom line of the cooperative. Our international partners remain among some of the top customers when it comes to embryos from the GENESIS herd.
As the Co-op prefix becomes more prominent among both the elite cows and elite sires of the industry, the excitement continues for your herd as well. The benefits of the GENESIS program stretch to your barns. With the introduction of genomic proofs, the GENESIS program has taken a giant leap forward. Lloyd Simon, Dairy Procurement Manager, highlighted the advantages of genomics paired with the GENESIS herd. “There have been 500 females from the GENESIS herd genomically tested to date. We know where these females are and the strengths they
You can use GENESIS sires with confidence because of the increased accuracy this herd provides. Due to the extensive number of females that have been tested, genomic sires resulting from this program have higher than average reliability. Each
Combined with elite genomic matings, the future for Deva's offpsring is full of promises.
As a Genex member or customer, you truly have the advantage. No other A.I. stud has direct access to such a genetically powerful female population. For more information on the GENESIS program, contact Steve DeWall, at 715-526-7594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
P roo f H ighlights
Improving Your Herd’s Genetic Value Has Never Been Easier! A quick examination of the Genex Holstein lineup reveals more high Lifetime Net Merit (LNM), profitable sires than ever before. This makes improving your herd even easier. While others are cutting back on their genetic inputs, now is the time to put your herd a step ahead of the rest. This is your defining moment in time. To aid in your efforts, the Genex lineup has 13 sires over +$700 LNM including eight new releases. Several, such as the highly used mating sire, 1HO2565 CASSINO %-I, have extraordinary evaluations (+3.19 PTA Type, +2.82 Udder Composite, +3.09 Foot & Leg Composite, +7.3 Productive Life and +2.65 Somatic Cell Score) due to genomic data. Others debut through a combination of genomic and daughter evaluations. 1HO8777 AWESOME (O Man x Zade) and 1HO8778 SUPER (Boliver x O Man) join the lineup with 73 daughters and 53 daughters respectively and stand in the 99th percentile for LNM. Within the top 10 percent for LNM, all dairy producers are sure to find elite genetics to meet and beat their current genetic selection criteria. The lineup highlights 48 Holstein bulls with Productive Life over +4.0 and 18 bulls with Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) over +2.0. A large selection, but even more impressive are the extreme outliers in these traits. Nine Holsteins have Productive Life over +6.0 with 1HO8784 FREDDIE %-I leading all at +8.5. For DPR, there are three very extreme bulls available over +3.0. Using traits such as these to genetically develop healthy, long-lasting, efficient reproductive cows is very important. Fertility enthusiasts can look to high conception bulls +2.0 or higher Sire Conception Rate (SCR) such as 1HO2571 COLE, 1HO7900 EARNIT, 1HO7918 PING and 1HO9659 ARMY %-I. A large list of top GenCheck™ bulls, as indicated by or +, includes AWESOME, 1HO9315 ALABAMA, SUPER, 1HO8654 LOYDIE and many more. For those focused on improving conformation, there are numerous sires over +3.50 PTAT with spectacular udder evaluations too. 1HO9192 HILL, 1HO9184 SPA, 1HO8997 PENOSH, 1HO9543 KOLTON, 1HO9544 KAMPMAN are a few prime examples. Production specialists over +2000 PTA Milk include ALABAMA, HILL, EARNIT, 1HO9417 HO-HO and 1HO9248 SIGNIF-P among others. Strong components improvements can be seen in daughters of AWESOME, 1HO8642 GARNETT, COLE, 1HO9040 CAVANA and 1HO8534 LO. Any way you look at it, the Genex lineup has the sires you need to position your herd for the future.
Top Red Sire in the Industry
At +$531 LNM, 1HO8910 MATRIX-RED is the new leader for profitability among Red & White sires. He’s loaded with production power at +1825 PTA Milk, excels at health traits with a +4.7 Productive Life and +1.0 DPR, and is favorable for conception ability. All this comes from an outcross pedigree in Marmax x Rudolph.
There’s Never Been a Polled Bull Like This!
The Holstein breeder world has never seen a bull quite like 1HO9248 SIGNIF-P. This polled sire option enters stardom at +$623 LNM and is the highest PTA Milk bull in the Genex lineup at +2878 with +101 Fat and +70 Protein. SIGNIF-P improves all health traits and conformation traits (+3.03 PTAT, +2.03 Udder Comp., +1.25 Foot & Leg Comp.) and gets cows bred at +2.1 SCR.
The Total Genetic Package
The profit-packed Jersey lineup just got better with the addition of 1JE0666 VERMEER, 1JE0670 JOULE and udder specialist 1JE0619 AHLEM. VERMEER (Artist x Lemvig) stands at +$548 Cheese Merit (CM) while siring attractive udders (+4.70 JUI™) on long-lasting daughters (+3.7 Prod. Life). JOULE, too, is an elite sire at +$539 CM. This Artist x Roulette son improves milk yields while siring healthy production at +2.68 SCS. Health traits are his forte with +5.7 Prod. Life and +1.0 DPR. Diversity comes easy with an outstanding EFI of 4.8%. Both JOULE and VERMEER are GenChoice™ sires producing great opportunities for Jersey breeders. Add these sires to the great 236JE0003 IMPULS; the in-demand leader for Milk and JPI™, 1JE0604 GANNON; the elite udder sire, 1JE0552 ACE; as well as the other backbones to the lineup and you’ve got everything: Profitability, Diversity and Longevity.
See the Genex Web site at genex.crinet.com for more detailed proof highlights on all dairy breeds. 16
Improving Your Herdâ€™s Genetic Value Has Never Been Easier! Thereâ€™s never been a 90th percentile quite like this. To advance your herd's genetics, contact your Genex representative today!
I n T H e N ews
New Choice in Sexed Semen to be Available Midyear
Genex Members Recognized by Magazine
By mid-2009, Genex members and customers will have multiple choices for GenChoice™ sexed semen. While the current GenChoice product produces 90 percent heifer calves, the new “GenChoice 75” will produce 75 percent heifers. The new option comes with production efficiencies and therefore, a more favorable price tag for dairy producers.
John Ruedinger of Van Dyne, Wis., and the Schneider family of Schneider Farms Inc. near Hilbert, Wis., were named Master Agriculturalists by the Wisconsin Agriculturalist magazine.
GenChoice 75 offers all the great benefits of sexed semen – fewer calving difficulties, fewer freemartins, better biosecurity, greater opportunity for voluntary culls, and increased profit potential through high genetic merit replacements and merchandising prospects.
Ruedinger currently serves as the CRI chairman and as a member of the Genex board. He and his wife, Karen, purchased their farm in 1995 from Ruedinger’s parents. Since that time, they have expanded the operation from 120 cows to 900 cows with a herd average of 28,490 pounds.
In addition, GenChoice 75 (indicated by the stud code 751) will provide producers with a larger lineup of sires with sexed semen available. “GenChoice 75 will be an exciting addition and choice for our membership,” stated Doug Wilson, Genex Chief Operating Officer, who announced the new product to delegates at the cooperative’s annual meeting. “Utilization of new technologies, including the GenChoice products and genomics, will put our membership one step ahead. These technologies will directly impact their herd’s future profit levels.”
2009 Horizons Photo C ontest
Both the 90 percent and 75 percent products are produced by Sexing Technologies using the same technology and sorting process. Fertility is expected to be similar between both GenChoice options.
N ew C ategories G enex
Schneider Farms Inc. is operated by brothers Ron, Al, Mark, John and Dave Schneider and Al’s son Ryan. Besides farming 2,750 acres, the Schneiders custom raise 3,800 Holstein heifers annually for five large dairies. The heifers are bred by Genex Breeding Program Specialists and calve on average at 23.6 months. Congratulations to both the Ruedingers and the Schneiders!
2009 I nclude :
Work - Catch your Genex representative hard at work.
The Dairy F uture - Capture the future of the industry. Entries are limited to five per person per category, so submit your best. The contest is open to any family member of a Genex member or customer with submission deadline of July 1. Entries will be judged on composition, quality of image, creativity and overall impression. Submission guidelines: Digital entries are preferred if submitted as a high resolution (300 dpi) JPEG at least 5” x 7” and can be e-mailed to email@example.com. If submitting a print, do not submit photos larger than 8” x 10”. Mail your entry to Horizons Photo Contest, Genex Cooperative, Inc., 117 E. Green Bay Street, P.O. Box 469, Shawano, WI 54166. On all submissions, please identify the photo with the photographer name, address, phone number, e-mail address and Genex account number (found on the back of Horizons or on your Genex statement). HORIZONS
G E N E T I C A L LY S P E A K I N G
Make the Choice for Easier Calvings By: Amy te Plate-Church, Market Development Manager, Genex The benefit of calving ease and better transition is becoming real as producers freshen heifers bred with GenChoice™. Due to the higher percent of heifer calves, fewer difficulties and stillbirths are expected with pregnancies to GenChoice compared to conventional semen. These easier calvings lead to healthier cows which produce more in their first lactation and generally breed back more quickly.
Why the Difference?
When a Holstein heifer has a bull calf, producers rate the calving as difficult twice as often as when a heifer freshens with a heifer. Stillbirths – calves born dead or dying within 48 hours – are also reported more often when bull calves are born. Table 1. Effect of Calf Gender on Calving1 Difficult Births
Heifers having heifers
Heifers having bulls
What does this mean for an individual herd? We estimate expected calving difficulties for a 500-cow herd which breeds all virgin heifers, first service to conventional semen (Scenario 1) or GenChoice (Scenario 2). We expect difficult births cut in half when GenChoice is used. We’d also expect a 33 percent decrease in stillbirths.
What’s the Dollars and Cents?
Stillbirths are more frequent – generally eight to 10 percent of all calvings. Their cost is easy to figure – number of dead calves times their value if born alive. Plus, the dam may be lost as well. Heifers that survive the difficult calving are likely to get off to a slow start, milk less, and have more health and breeding problems. According to published research2, up to $383 in expenses could be tallied when a heifer calves with extreme difficulty. That could be a $1,915 savings in the scenario here with five fewer difficulties.
Consider these statistics: • 19 percent of all first calvings require assistance, compared to 6.8 percent of later calvings. • Difficult births reduce milk by 700 pounds for average 305-day lactation. • Days open is extended by 20 days, on average, after a difficult birth. In sire evaluations, USDA estimates the following costs for each calving recorded as “considerable force needed” or “extreme difficulty” (four and five respectively on a five-point scale). • $100 loss in milk production per difficult birth • $75 reproductive costs • $70 for farm labor and veterinary charges Certainly, fewer difficult births, fewer stillbirths and better transition in that first lactation can add to the bottom line.
All Conventional Semen 200 heifers bred first service to conventional 62 heifer calves, 68 bulls expected Expected Calving Difficulty 62 heifers x 4.9% = 3 difficult births 68 bulls x 10.7% = 7 10 difficult births Expected Stillbirths 62 heifers x 9.4% = 6 stillbirths 68 bulls x 12.6% = 9 15 stillbirths
Scenario #2: GenChoice™
200 heifers bred first service to GenChoice 90 heifer calves, 10 bulls expected Expected Calving Difficulty 90 heifers x 4.9% = 4 difficult births 10 bulls x 10.7% = 1 5 difficult births Expected Stillbirths 90 heifers x 9.4% = 9 stillbirths 10 bulls x 12.6% = 1 10 stillbirths
“Since calving in heifers bred to sexed semen, our assisted calvings are below five percent.” -Rick Rausch, Rausch Farms, Athens, Wis. Calvings from sexed semen were reported as difficult half as often as those from conventional semen, when evaluating Dairy Comp 305 records from the 325 first lactation cows in the herd. 1
Dematawewa and Berger (1997 Journal of Dairy Science 80:754). ©2009 CRI
G E N E T I C A L LY S P E A K I N G
It’s Jersey Time
By: Scott Carson, Dairy Procurement Specialist, Genex January 2009 was an exciting and challenging time to begin a job as a sire analyst. Stepping into the genomic era with the stud that has the most aggressive genomic strategy has been a thrill.
are currently five bulls in our active Jersey lineup with SCRs of +2.0 or higher.
At Genex, we see genomic evaluations as the future of improving and accelerating genetic progress in the dairy industry. We are already using genomic evaluations Becoming a sire analyst became my goal to select bulls from groups of full brothers after earning a degree in dairy science and look forward to applying genomic from Virginia Tech and beginning a evaluations to sire selection and marketing master’s program. However, the desire to really get my hands dirty prevailed; I began strategies. Jersey breeders nationwide have expressed an eagerness to utilize managing my family’s Vermont Holstein this new technology. farm. In 1991, my career took a dramatic turn when my wife Kristin and I purchased The relationship with Viking Genetics a Jersey herd. We spent the next 17 years of Denmark has allowed Genex to developing the Celestial prefix. In 2008, bring dramatic improvement in health I was ready for a new challenge. After traits and solids to North American much soul searching we dispersed the herd, which brings me to where I originally Jerseys while adding much needed diversity to increasingly concentrated hoped to be 20 years ago. bloodlines. 236JE003 IMPULS and the formerly marketed ARTIST have had The Genex mission “to maximize an enormous impact on the breed. They the profitability of our members and have thousands of daughters worldwide, customers” is an easy one to embrace dozens of sons in sampling and many as my personal breeding philosophy daughters in contract matings. closely mirrored that of Genex. This is demonstrated by the fact five cows with In January, 236JE0136 HULK and the Celestial prefix have been contracted 236JE0135 LATTE were added to a by Genex in the last decade. Both Genex lineup that already included Danish and I have strived to develop profitable sires 236JE0133 BREJS, 228JE0004 cows that are easy to work with, possess ILSLEV and 236JE0121 HOVBORG. All excellent health traits and exhibit are below 5.0% for EFI (Expected Future outstanding conformation. Inbreeding) lead by the great IMPULS at 2.4%. Genex and Viking Genetics will The focus of the Genex Jersey program, continue to jointly sample promising young to maximize member profitability, involves sires from both countries through the a continually evolving selection strategy. Lifetime Cheese Merit (CM), Jersey Udder QUEST program and bring the best Danish Index (JUI™), Productive Life and Daughter bulls to our U.S. members and customers. Pregnancy Rate (DPR) are currently traits The Genex Jersey program will continue to of emphasis. provide bulls that sire profitable cows that are easy to work with, possess excellent Sire Conception Rate (SCR) is a natural health traits and exhibit outstanding focus point for a stud committed to conformation. I look forward to spending producer profitability. We are convinced my career as a Genex sire analyst selecting our traditional emphasis on producing bulls that will have a positive impact on the semen of the highest possible quality has breed’s future. led to our industry leading SCRs. There 20
Angie Coburn Dairy Procurement Manager Tel: 715-526-7555 Fax: 715-526-3219 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Procurement Locations: Eastern and southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois Lloyd Simon Dairy Procurement Consultant Tel: 715-524-7303 Fax: 715-526-3219 Email: email@example.com Locations: Central Wisconsin, Iowa, southern Illinois Paul Haskins Dairy Procurement Specialist Tel: 419-447-6262, ext. 119 Fax: 419-447-6084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Locations: Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey Scott Carson Dairy Procurement Specialist Tel/Fax: 518-794-5028 Email: email@example.com Locations: New England, Washington, Oregon Steve DeWall Dairy Genetics Specialist Tel: 715-526-7594 Fax: 715-526-3219 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Locations: Northwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota Brad Davis Progeny Support Specialist Tel: 715-526-7611 Fax: 715-526-3219 Email: email@example.com Locations: Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, northwest Iowa Morgan Welper Progeny Support Specialist Tel: 888-297-9424, ext. 185 Fax: 607-272-3928 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Locations: Northern and western New York
G enetically S peaking
SCR. Just the Facts! FACT…
Genex is committed to producing the most high Lifetime Net Merit, high Sire Conception Rate (SCR) sires to improve your herd and your herd’s reproductive program.
64 percent of Genex Holstein sires with SCR data have SCR ratings of +1.5 or higher.
According to the Genex Achieve™ program, each percent increase in SCR is valued at approximately $5.00 between sires of equal value. This means, when deciding between two sires of equal genetic merit and price, the higher SCR sire provides $5 more in value to you, the producer.
SCR alone should not be used to improve a herd’s general conception rate. Attention should also be directed toward the day-to-day reproductive herd management.
1HO8812 MARCELLUS has an SCR of +6.4. Therefore, you can expect a 6.4 percent higher conception rate from MARCELLUS than from a bull with a +0.0 SCR.
The Genex fertility advantage can reduce days open, shorten calving intervals, decrease breeding costs and most importantly - with so many high fertility, high LNM sires - improve your profit potential.
SCR rankings are calculated by the USDA and are based on confirmed pregnancies. The calculation takes into account herd differences, the number of times the cow has calved, and how often she was serviced during the lactation as well as the location, season and standardized milk yield. Factors related to the bull include inbreeding level of the bull and potential embryo, mating age of the bull, stud year and the bull itself.
At least 300 services (100 in the last year) in at least 10 herds are required for a published SCR evaluation.
When you use Genex semen, you are using a product that has been quality checked in our lab and by the largest artificial insemination technician force in the industry. If the semen doesn’t meet our stringent standards, it never makes it to the cow! ©2009 CRI
R eproductive M anagement
Proper Gun Loading Procedures are Important when Using ¼ cc Semen Straws By: Sarah Thorson, Training Programs Manager, CRI Genex is transitioning the semen straw packaging from the ½ cc size to the ¼ cc size. This new straw package size comes with exciting benefits for fertility of semen. Research conducted by Genex staff shows ¼ cc semen straws result in increased pregnancies compared to the standard ½ cc straw. Conception rates for the ¼ cc straws were 2.1 percent higher. Along with this increased fertility, the ¼ cc straw package has allowed Genex to transition to 10 straws in the bottom goblet on a cane of semen versus five on top and five on the bottom with the ½ cc straw size. This new way of packaging and storing semen has fertility advantages on its own. By holding all 10 straws on the bottom goblet, there is less chance of damaging semen while removing straws of semen from the tank as the whole cane is held lower in the tank's neck tube where the temperature is much cooler. It is important to recognize gun loading procedures for ¼ cc straws are different and should be followed to optimize performance of the new package size. We have developed a set of protocols that should be used when loading the ¼ cc straw into either a universal artificial insemination (A.I.) gun or ¼ cc A.I. gun. When removing the ¼ cc straw from the semen tank it is important to always use tweezers. (Tweezers designed specifically for ½ cc straws may not work effectively with ¼ cc straws; ask your local Genex representative about tweezers for ¼ cc straws.)
To Properly Load Universal or ¼ cc Guns:
3. 4. 22
Pull the plunger of the gun back six to seven inches.
Place the straw directly into the barrel of the gun with the plugged end in the gun and the crimped end sticking out. Give the straw a quarter turn to ensure it is properly seated in the gun. Use a clean scissors to cut through the air space below the crimped end of the straw. Keep in mind
½ cc straws : cut the straw at a slight angle.
¼ cc straws : cut straight across the straw.
½ cc and ¼ cc straws are cut differently. For ½ cc straws, cut at a slight angle. For ¼ cc straws, cut straight across.
Secure the cut end of the straw into the insert of the sheath. a. For the All-2-Mate™ O-ring gun use the split sheath with the green insert. b. For the All-2-Mate™ spiral gun and KombiColor use the non-split sheath with blue insert.
To secure the straw into the sheath, place the sheath over the gun and straw. Pinch lightly above the insert and apply pressure until you feel the straw lock into place inside the guide cup. Seating the straw into the insert assures the semen cannot run back into the sheath during deposition.
Finally, secure the sheath onto the gun. a. To secure the sheath onto the spiral gun, pull the sheath down over the barrel of the gun until the end of the sheath touches the spirals on the gun and the insert is near the end of the sheath (Figure 1). Screw the sheath onto the spirals at the base of the gun until you meet resistance (Figure 2). The end of the insert should now be into the tip of the sheath (Figure 3).
Did you know? Figure 1
b. To secure the sheath onto the O-ring gun, slide the sheath down the barrel of the gun and push the O-ring up (Figure 4). Slide the sheath beneath it and slide the O-ring down the barrel of the gun until it is held firmly in place over the top of the sheath (Figure 5). Then give the O-ring a slight twist to lock into place.
c. To secure the sheath on the KombiColor gun, simply slide the sheath down the barrel of the gun until the guide cup comes to the end of the sheath. There is a lip on the base of the KombiColor gun (shown in Figure 6) that holds the sheath in place (Figure 7).
The average U.S. dairy producer only catches about 50% of heats in their herd. Use DETAIL™ tail paint to increase heat detection efficiency and create more pregnancies. DETAIL is a water-based, non-toxic paint developed and tested in New Zealand to identify animals in heat. The applied tail paint is removed or “broken up” when the animal is ridden indicating estrus or standing heat. If the animal is not ridden, DETAIL will last for weeks with minimal touch-up every seven to 10 days. DETAIL can also be used for Reproductive management systems Indicating animals for shots Marking treated quarters Sorting groups of cows
These guns are designed to be loaded in this manner. By using the proper techniques, you will reap the rewards of the ¼ cc package size. If you have any questions about these procedures, please do not hesitate to contact your local Genex representative. They are confident in the advantages of the ¼ cc straw and want to help you realize the potential to improve conception rates on your dairy. Good luck and happy A.I.ing.
A U T H O R B I O
Sarah Thorson is a graduate of Montana State University. She served as a GENESIS MOET intern before accepting her current position. As a Training Programs Manager, Sarah conducts reproductive education programs as well as trains Genex employees and producers who breed their own cows.
in 4 e l b a l i a v a w o N l o r s! f lu o re sc e n t c o
Catch more animals in heat for pennies a day! Ask your Genex representative about DETAIL tail paint. ©2009 CRI
Save the day by creating pregnancies for profitable, trouble-free daughters!
Quarryville AWESOME Snowflake
Quarryville AWESOME Snowflake
Full Sister of Super Charlesdale Bol Saviour-ET
Lifetime Net Merit Great Fertility! ()* +2.2 Daughter Pregnancy Rate +5.8 Productive Life 7% Calving Ease +2.57 Somatic Cell Score
Lifetime Net Merit Great Fertility! (+)* +1.1 Daughter Pregnancy Rate +6.8 Productive Life +3.12 PTA Type +1749 PTA Milk
*GenCheck™ rankings are derived from actual breeding data acquired through the professional Genex breeding staff.
Ask your Genex representative how to add superhero powers to your breeding program!
R eproductive M anagement
Attention to The Details
By: Angie Kringle, Communications Specialist, CRI
The process of artificial insemination (A.I.) includes a series of detailed semen handling steps. Whether it’s been a few years or a few months since your last A.I. refresher, this test will help remind you of the important details. Check out the photos below and see if you can pick the element that is out of place. When you’ve determined what is wrong with these photos, check your results on the next page!
Don't try this at home! The photos pictured on this page illustrate the WRONG way to handle semen. Turn the page to view the correct semen handling methods. A
R eproductive M anagement Follow the examples illustrated by the colored photos for proper semen handling technique.
Minimize Semen Handling and Exposure A
Place Sheath Over Insemination Gun E
B Answer E: Maintain a clean environment by removing the sheath from the bag immediately before loading the gun.
Don’t introduce additional bacteria to the reproductive tract by holding the sheath in your mouth. Remove it from the package and place it directly on the gun. Replace the warmed gun in a glove inside your shirt (as shown below) to ensure the environment remains clean.
Answer A: Use tweezers. Answer B: Raise the canisters just high enough to grasp the straws. Answer C: Utilize a paper towel to protect the straw.
Due to the intense processing of semen, handle the straws with care. Raise the canister just high enough to grasp the straw with tweezers. Do not handle the frozen straws with your fingers. Don’t jeopardize the rest of the semen in your tank by holding the canister in the raised position for too long. Try to keep the canister in the neck tube for no longer than eight seconds. Do not raise the canister above the frost line. Protecting the straw with a paper towel will eliminate the moisture on the outside of the straw while also protecting the straw from the sun.
Place Straw in Warm Water Bath D
Answer D: Thaw in 90-95°F warm water bath for at least 45 seconds
Correct water temperature is imperative when using the warm water bath. Semen should be thawed at 90-95°F for at least 45 seconds. 26
Transport Loaded Gun F
Answer F: Don’t thaw more straws than can be used in 15 minutes.
Loading too many guns drastically shortens the window of time for semen to remain viable. It is important that the insemination occurs within 15 minutes of the time the straw was removed from the tank. Did you catch all the details? If you were stumped by a couple of them, maybe it’s time for an A.I. refresher. Ask your Genex representative if there are upcoming clinics in your area. If you aced this test, congratulations! You’ve mastered the details of semen handling! Keep up to date by reading Horizons for the latest industry advancements.
A U T H O R B I O
Angie Kringle is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She grew up on a dairy farm in northwestern Wisconsin and interned at the GENESIS MOET facility before becoming the Communications Specialist.
Tricking the Estrous Cycle:
A Review of the Estrous Cycle and the Effects of a Timed A.I. Program By: Ross Leix, Training Programs Manager, CRI The estrogen also sends a signal to the hypothalamus gland which triggers the release of GnRH. GnRH is then directed to the pituitary gland which releases FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) or LH (Lutenizing Hormone). At this point in the cycle, LH is released and directed to the ovary and causes the follicle to rupture resulting in the release of the egg (ovulation). The egg is caught by the infindibulum and funneled into the oviduct where it meets the awaiting sperm cells.
Dairy managers know the protocol, GnRH on day zero, prostaglandin on day seven and then another dose of GnRH on day nine followed by timed breeding. Of course, I am referring to the popular Ovsynch protocol, but what is the purpose of the order and timing of the injections? Sometimes we get so tied up in routine that we forget the purpose of the synchronization program, to trick the estrous cycle into producing a viable ova (egg) in the timeframe of our choice. Let’s take a step back and review how the estrous cycle works.
Back on the ovary, the crater left by the ruptured follicle fills with blood. The blood forms a structure called the corpus hemoragicum. After about five days, the corpus hemoragicum begins to transform into luteal tissue, resulting in a corpus luteum or CL. This marks the beginning of the second phase of the estrous cycle, the luteal phase. During this phase, the CL produces the hormone progesterone. Progesterone’s responsibility is to maintain pregnancy. Around day 17 of the cycle, the cow makes a “gut check” to determine if she is, in fact, pregnant.
A Review of the Estrous Cycle
The estrous cycle is the period of time from one estrus period to the next. The length of the estrous cycle varies depending on age, environment and production levels. The average length for a bovine is 21 days. However, high producing dairy cows tend to average closer to 23 or 24 days in length. The length of an average heifer’s estrous cycle is 18 to 19 days. Now that we have a better understanding of the variations in the length of the bovine’s estrous cycle, let’s take a look at what is going on during those 18 to 24 days.
If she is pregnant, the CL will remain on the ovary and continue to produce progesterone. If she is not pregnant, the uterine lining begins to produce the hormone prostaglandin which causes CL regression. As the CL regresses, GnRH is released which sends a message to the pituitary gland that FSH should be released. The FSH stimulates a new group of follicles to begin growing on the ovary.
The estrous cycle can be broken into two phases. The first phase of the estrous cycle is the follicular phase. This is the time period when the female shows estrous and ovulates. Starting on day zero (day zero being the first day signs of estrus or heat are expressed), the cow experiences increasing levels of estrogen produced by a dominant follicle. The spike in estrogen causes the physical signs of heat like standing to be ridden, mucus discharge and a swollen vulva. Inside the cow, estrogen causes contractions in the uterus which help move sperm cells from the uterine body through the uterine horn into the oviduct (the site of fertilization). Corpus Hemorrhagicum
Egg Dominant Follicle
Ovary Dominant follicle produces estrogen which causes physical signs of heat.
After FSH levels begin to decline, one follicle becomes dominant and the rest die off. At this point, the dominant follicle begins producing estrogen, starting the cycle over at day zero. Whew, that’s a lot of different hormones in just three weeks! Continued on page 28…
Ovary GnRH directs release of LH causing the release of the egg.
Regression of CL
Ovary Follicle fills with blood.
CL produces progesterone which maintains pregnancy.
If not pregnant, protaglandin causes CL regression
REPRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT … continued from page 27.
The Effects of Timed A.I.
Now let’s look back at the Ovsynch protocol and see how it sets up ovulation.
Inject On day zero of the Ovsynch protocol, we inject GnRH the cow with GnRH. There are three things
GnRH could do. 1-If the cow currently has a mature follicle, GnRH triggers the release of LH which causes the release of the egg and the cycle to start over. 2-If there is a CL, GnRH will trigger the release of FSH which creates a new group of follicles. 3-If the cow has just released an egg in the past four to five days, GnRH does nothing. Basically, GnRH sets the cow up to have a CL between day seven and 13.
Inject On day seven, Prostaglandin is injected. The PGF2 injection of prostaglandin regresses the CL
resulting in the emergence of a group of follicles and eventually a dominant follicle.
in the afternoon since there just wasn’t enough time in the morning. But, in every synchronization protocol the accuracy of the injections is very important. Every published synchronization protocol has been studied extensively. The way it is published has been proven to give the best results. It is vital to follow the protocol as closely as possible in order to receive the best results. Several synchronization protocols are printed on the following pages. Take time to think about what happens during each step of the protocol and make sure you are implementing the protocol correctly. If you have questions, contact your local Genex representative.
Traditional Method ■ GnRH – Day 0 ■ PGF2 – Day 7 ■ GnRH – Day 9 ■ Timed A.I. – up to 24 hours after second GnRH 0
On day nine (48-56 hours after the
Inject prostaglandin injection), the final injection of GnRH GnRH is given stimulating LH release which will cause the follicle to ovulate and release a fresh egg.
A U T H O R B I O
Sixteen to 24 hours later, the cow is
Timed artificially inseminated. A.I.
With hectic schedules, it is easy to skip a shot one day because you can’t find the cow you’re looking for, to give the shot to the wrong cow because you didn’t check the ear tag closely enough or to end up giving the shot later
Ross Leix grew up on a large dairy in southern Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in animal science. As a Genex Training Programs Manager, Leix conducts educational programs on reproduction and A.I.
Synch Smart for Success
Real breedings have shown real differences. For the greatest return, use high SynchSmart™ sires on synchronized females.
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R eproductive M anagement
Cow Synchronization Protocols Ovsynch®
Traditional Method ■ GnRH – Day 0 ■ PGF2 – Day 7 ■ GnRH – Day 9 ■ Timed A.I. – up to 24 hours after second GnRH
Higher fertility than Ovsynch®, but higher drug cost. Two PGF2 are therapeutic while presynchronizing the cows. Labor intensive. ■ PGF2 – Day 0 and Day 14 ■ GnRH – Day 28 and Day 37 ■ PGF2 – Day 35 ■ Timed A.I. – up to 24 hours after second GnRH
Same method as Ovsynch®, but last GnRH and Timed A.I. at the same time. ■ GnRH – Day 0 ■ PGF2 – Day 7 ■■ GnRH and Timed A.I. – Day 9
Cosynch & CIDR®
Timed A.I. using a CIDR. ■ CIDR Inserted/Inject GnRH – Day 0 ■ CIDR Removed/Inject PGF2 – Day 7 ■■ GnRH/Timed A.I. – Day 9 (60 ± 6 hours after CIDR Removal)
A.I. = Artificial Insemination PGF2 = Prostaglandin GnRH = Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone CIDR = Progesterone Cattle Insert MGA= Melengestrol Acetate
Early option for resynchronization. Sets up females for resynchronization the week before first pregnancy check after A.I. ■ GnRH (All Females) - Day 0 ■ Pregnancy Check/Non-Pregnant Females receive PGF2 – Day 7 ■ GnRH – Day 9 ■ Timed A.I. – Day 10 - up to 24 hours after second GnRH
✹ Only females determined to be open at pregnancy check should receive PGF2 injection to continue through the Resynch program.
R eproductive M anagement
Success of Synchronization Program A synchronization program is not a substitute for good management. Success of a synchronization program will depend on a nutrition and herd health program that has been specifically designed for the females in the herd. A successful program requires: 1) Females exhibiting regular estrous cycles; 2) Healthy animals that are free from disease and on a good nutrition program; 3) A willingness by producers to learn how to use the product(s) and program; 4) Facilities to handle cattle effectively; 5) Providing and preparing for extra labor needs; 6) Accurate and thorough detection of estrus; and 7) The individual identification of females, with accurate recordkeeping.
Heifer Synchronization Protocols Oral MGA
Heats are less fertile before PGF2 . Only A.I. after PGF2 . ■ Feed Oral MGA – Start Day 0 until Day 14 ■ PGF2 – Day 32 ■ Heat Detect and A.I. – Day 33 and on
A.I. = Artificial Insemination PGF2 = Prostaglandin GnRH = Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone CIDR = Progesterone Cattle Insert MGA= Melengestrol Acetate
Cow Synchronization Protocols
Higher drug cost and more labor intensive. For best results, use on first lactation cows. ■ GnRH – Day 0 and 10 ■ PGF2 – Day 7 ■ GnRH – Day 17 ■ PGF2 – Day 24 ■ GnRH – Day 26 ■ Timed A.I. – up to 24 hours after last GnRH
■ PGF2 – Day 0 ■ Heat Detect – Day 2 ■■ PGF2 all non-inseminated cattle and Heat Detect – Day 14
■ CIDR Inserted – Day 0 ■ Inject PGF2 – Day 6 ■ CIDR Removed – Day 7 ■ Heat Detect – Days 8-11
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