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News December ‘17 - January ‘18

Genetics are Worth the Investment! As herd size grows and labor is increasingly harder to find, it’s critical that we identify who our “forgotten cows” (those that never get sick, produce well and breed back right away) are and devise a plan to make more of them. So the question is, Can we breed for those types of cows, and can we quantify it? The answer to both is YES! There are many different ways we can now measure genetic impact for health, production and fertility by combining your dairy herd management data (PCDART, Dairy Comp) or genomic test results with a program developed by Select Sires. There are lots of ways to measure genetic merit, but let’s start with looking at a few examples of the way genetics impact your herd’s health and your bottom line.

Bottom Line

An investment in better genetics can create more cows that are pregnant, healthier, live longer and add dollars to your bottom line. Your NorthStar team can show you how genetics are working in your herd, and can help design a plan to create trouble free, profitable cows for the future. If you would like to see this information for your herd please ask. Julie Ainsworth, Coordinator Dairy Production Analysis, PAS

Somatic Cell Score (SCS) In an extremely well-run dairy where somatic cell is not an issue, would SCS make a difference? Remember SCS is an indicator of mastitis in a bull’s daughters based on the direct measure of somatic cells in milk samples. The lower the number the better. This example uses genomic data. With nearly a similar number of cows in each group, it’s easy to see that the lowest quartile for SCS has significantly fewer cases of mastitis and a much lower average linear score. Considering that one case of mastitis costs on average $75/lactation, paying attention to SCS can make a difference to your dairy.

Livability (LIV) Livability is a fairly new measurement and is best defined as an evaluation of the percent of a bull’s daughters that remain alive in the milking herd until they are culled. Higher values are better. Using farm data we can see genetic influence at work. There is a difference of 2.7 months between the Low and High LIV groups. Comparing similar group sizes (Fresh column), you can also see that 15 more animals died in the Low LIV group compared to the High LIV group. Longer lasting cows = more milk to ship = improved bottom line.

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Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference February 8–10, 2018 Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Mount Pleasant, Michigan The program includes: • The latest in global trends, local markets and strategies to survive the challenges facing the industry today from experts David Kohl and Gary Sipiorski

Take a break from the day-to-day dairying challenges, expand your knowledge and network with others at this year’s Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference. Learn new tools and strategies to move your farm forward.

• All things milk: pricing, local challenges, marketing and quality, and LPC • An in-depth look at in vitro fertilization and its practical application on dairies across the U.S.

Tell your DHI Specialist which cows you want tested.

NorthStar Cooperative • 800.631.3510 •

• Workshops that include “Milk Check Economics: What Can Dairy Farmers Do?” “Labor Regulations and Legal Requirements” and “Lean Management Strategies” as well as a robotics producer panel • 517-884-7089 •

Seeing is Believing

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• The use of transition-cow behavior to improve cow care, cow health and overall productivity

11/21/17 8:25 AM

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Buy 50+ sensor ear tags (125 cows minimum herd size). Get FREE use of modules,coordinator and routers for a 90-day trial period.

Call 800.631.3510 for complete details. Offer ends 3/15/18.

NorthStar News December '17/January '18  

Inserted with Dairy Herd Information management reports.