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Select Sires is Best-in-Class AGAIN! If J.D. Power and Associates offered a Best-in-Class award for dairy genetics, Select Sires would certainly earn it. All A.I. companies strive for high-genomic young sires, but the real test is when sires get daughter performance data, and it turns out to be what the customer wants. In April our report card (Sire Summaries) arrived and again Select Sires continued to meet and hopefully exceed customer expectations, being the provider of the industry’s best proven sires (and genomic young sires too). Regardless of what combination of traits you are looking for, Select Sires offers the greatest variety of high ranking sires in the industry. Select Sires is home to nine of the Top 10 GTPI® and six of the top eight GLPI sires in Canada. 7HO12165

MONTROSS is again the No. 1 sire on the Holstein Association USA Official TPI list and new graduate 7HO12266 YODER debuts at No. 2.

Top 10 TPI® Proven Sires 9 out of 10 are at Select Sires

If selection for Net Merit (NM$) is what you are looking for, Select Sires leads the industry with 13 of the top 25, 18 of the top 50 and 34 of the top 100. With 158 sires representing our active Holstein Lineup (proven and genomic young sires), Select Sires offers 120 sires that are ≥+1.0 for Sire Conception Rate (SCR); 65 of those are ≥+2.0 and 24 ≥+3.0. Additionally, the Select Sires lineup has the highest SCR average compared to all others. Proven or genomic young sires, Select Sires has been recognized time and time again as Best-in-Class for breed-leading, reliable customer satisfaction genetics.

April 2017 Holstein Association Top 100 TPI Bulls.

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Stud E Stud G Stud C Stud D Stud F Stud B April 2017: Holstein Active Proven A.I. Listing, Domestic, Limited Active and Foreign Bulls

NorthStar Wisconsin Lab Complex Open for Business On May 1, just eight months after breaking ground, we opened our doors for business at the NorthStar Wisconsin Lab Complex at 200 East Kelso Road in Kaukauna. The new 11,500 square foot Lab Complex is nearly four times larger with more features, than the previous 3,000 square foot Appleton Lab we occupied for 17 years. The expansion allows NorthStar to more efficiently analyze more than 200,000 DHI, health, reproduction, mastitis, and diagnostic samples each month. The expanded warehouse also provides much needed room to support

growing product sales, as well as conference facilities for employee team meetings. “NorthStar is excited about our investment for growth in our Wisconsin service area,” said Mark Adam, NorthStar Cooperative General Manager. “Investing in the Wisconsin Lab Complex, along with the Michigan Lab in 2016; are major commitments

to providing the dairy and beef industries state-of-the-art diagnostic services.” Watch for more information to tour the Lab Complex at an Open House later this year.


Chronic Somatic Cell Cows: Cull or Keep? Julie Ainsworth, Coordinator Reproductive Solutions, PAS @ ainsworthj@northstarcooperative.com

I am often asked what to do with the chronic somatic cell count cow that is milking well. My answer to that is it depends. Dairy Herd Management recently published an article by Jim Dickrell listing the six factors that largely determine herd profitability. Number one on that list was somatic cell counts. The study cited found that for every 100,000 increase in bulk tank somatic cell count, production drops 5.2 pounds per day. But as you know, the effects of high somatic cell are further reaching than production losses, it also impacts various aspects of health, reproduction and culling. Even knowing this information, it can still be difficult to decide which cows to cull or keep, so here are a few guidelines to help you.

Chronic somatic cell and low Energy Corrected Milk (ECM). Using DHI data, a report (Figure 1) can be created to highlight cows that are chronic for somatic cell (two or more tests in a row over a linear score of 4.0) and low for profitability. In this data we are using the “Rating” column as the low profitability indicator. Cows that have a rating of “D” or “E” are ones I would list as “do not breed” and milk until they are not profitable, as long as they are not keeping you from a somatic cell bonus. If you need

to keep cow numbers up, then target the “E” cows first. Type of mastitis. Staphylococcus aureus cows should always be considered for culling, especially if more than one quarter is infected. Staph aureus is very contagious with poor cure rates and a high rate of reinfection. Mycoplasma cows also should be considered for culling. They should always be considered infectious and there is no treatment for this organism. In addition to mastitis, this organism can cause upper respiratory

Figure 1

The letter “rating” in this report is determined using the 305-2X-ME records for all cows which are adjusted to an ECM basis. The ECM for each cow is divided by the ECM lactation average for the herd and the results are designated as follows: A = Top Cow, more than 110% of herd average; B = Above Average, 100 to 110% of herd average; C = Below Average, 90 to 100% of herd average; D = Marginal Cows, 80 to 90% of herd average; E = Probable Cull Cows, < 80% of herd average.

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Figure 2 - SCC Hot Sheet

infections, ear infections and joint infections in calves.

they are open and not profitable.

Number of cases of clinical mastitis. Three or more cases of mastitis in one quarter or more than five cases total is too many. Cows like this should always be considered for culling.

High contributors to the bulk tank. Look at cows that have the highest percentage contribution to the bulk tank that are keeping you from a quality bonus. The DHI SCC Hot Sheet (Figure 2), which is emailed free to producers, ranks high somatic cell cows and their contribution to bulk tank. The top two cows on this list are very fresh but certainly bear close watching. Ask yourself if selling these cows now would make a difference to your bottom line?

Close to dry-off and will dry treatment cure it? The best chance to eliminate an infection in the udder is with long-lasting dry treatment at the beginning of the dry period. It would be useful to test with the Mastitis PCR test and know if her organism is susceptible to antibiotics. If it’s curable, it would probably be prudent to keep these kinds of cows; otherwise cull. Overcrowding. Overcrowding is detrimental to production and feed efficiency and if you need room chronic somatic cell cows make the most sense to cull. Fertility and health. Set a limit for the number of times to breed chronic somatic cell cows. My suggestion is three times, and certainly no more than five. Cull high somatic cell cows if

120 ≥ +1.0 SCR

Genetic merit. Only the very best genetic merit chronic somatic cell cows should escape the culling criteria previously presented. The reason being the value of their future offspring. Remember, one of the biggest drivers of profitability in a herd is milk quality

If you have questions contact me. If you need assistance with DHI reports that will help you manage milk quality or want to begin receiving the FREE Hot Sheet ask your DHI Specialist.

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and somatic cell counts. Using the above guidelines for culling chronic somatic cell cows should result in healthier cows, better fertility and more milk in the tank. Culling is just one tactic that can help enhance your other mastitis strategies, such as good sanitation, teat dipping, culturing, good milk preparation and appropriate treatment.

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Can Mastitis PCR be used as a Surveillance Tool? Somula Schwoeppe for Progressive Dairymen

Figure 1 We are all familiar with the phrase “time is money” and this is never so true as when fighting contagious mastitis in dairy herds. One of the most frustrating challenges a dairy farmer faces is the inability to identify what is causing the problem; you send off a sample for culture, wait over a week and then get back a report stating “No Growth”. According to Roger Buse, Midwestern field rep with over 30 years’ experience, this past summer provided the toughest SCC challenge he has ever seen. “It hit hard, some farms took a tremendous financial loss. They treated and treated, dumped milk, cultured samples, and still they got nowhere positive with the problem cows.” Producers were frustrated and looking for answers. After reading about mastitis PCR testing in the NorthStar newsletter, Indiana dairy producer David Graber became intrigued about what kind of tool it offered to monitor mastitis in his herd and called to learn more about the process. Initially five producers sent samples to be analyzed and were so impressed with the speed and accuracy of the results, they encouraged others to do the same. The mission of NorthStar Cooperative Inc. is “Enhancing producer profitability through integrated services.” When Todd Byrem, Ph.D., director of AntelBio Systems, and Will Raphael, BVSc Ph.D., research scientist at NorthStar Cooperative Inc, were presented the opportunity to work with 41 producers to conduct a research trial to help determine the usefulness of mastitis PCR as a surveillance tool, they did not hesitate to offer their time and assistance for this diagnostic event. Two PCR test options are available, Contagious 3, which detects contagious organisms Mycoplasma bovis, Streptococcus agalactiae, and

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Staphylococcus aureus, and the Complete 16 PCR which contains the Contagious 3 and detects the majority of environmental and contagious organisms (Table 1). PCR (polymerase chain reaction) detects the genetic material (DNA) unique to the mastitis causing organism. DNA testing for mastitis works in ways culture cannot by detecting a variety of organisms including the ones who are dead or dying, thus the frustrating result “No Growth” is much less likely than with traditional culture testing. PCR is accurate, quick and flexible; results can be obtained in as little as 24 hours from milk that is either fresh, frozen, treated, untreated or collected thru DHIA. PCR’s extreme sensitivity and rapid turnaround, up to 10 days sooner than traditional culturing, allowing fast, effective decision making when working toward improving udder health and combating contagious mastitis. For this trial, the Complete 16 PCR was utilized on bulk tank samples. Questions presented were “Can we use PCR as a surveillance tool, and is it consistent?” Samples from 41

Enhancing producer profitability through integrated services.

herds were collected on December 2, and again on December 9. During a meeting held in Montgomery, Indiana on December 13, Byrem discussed the data from the Complete 16 PCR Assay and stated, “Everyone now has a baseline, so when SCC spikes, PCR can determine what is going on or different in the herd. An assay that has consistency will allow producers to identify abnormal findings and allow them to trigger protocols to get pathogens back under control.” Both Byrem and Raphael stressed equipment maintenance, compromised teat ends, environmental factors, milking procedures and milking order all have a great effect on mastitis. Control the controllables and develop a baseline to monitor for new challenges. When asked about follow up with producers on the research trial, Raphael stated, “Todd and I are quite comfortable to take 41 phone calls and interpret your results.” During the meeting, Raphael commented on the frustrating problems associated with traditional culturing of samples and then challenged the group by saying, “Many times you send the sample


management styles, so it is important to use people like your local veterinarian to identify your problem areas. It is dangerous to interpret one test, but testing regularly gives confidence in results from one week to the next. If we repeat these bulk tank tests again, we will really be set with a baseline profile of subclinical mastitis organisms before the environmental challenges of Spring.”

A test that has consistency will allow producers to identify abnormal findings and allow them to trigger actions to get pathogens back under control. to the lab and it shows no growth, why would you use antibiotics when the organism is already dead? It is a waste of resources.” Furthermore, he went on to advise the crowd “The most beneficial role of intramammary antibiotics in subclinical mastitis is at dry-off. Use the culture lab to identify gram positive or gram negative or no growth. The role for intramammary antibiotics for gram negative infections is really, really minimal-it all comes down to prevention, and keeping the cows pristine has a lasting impact.” Drawing attention to the summarized results, Raphael stated, “Many of you, upwards of 40 percent of you, have the same problems-staph species and Staph aureus (Figure 1). Many cows infected with Staph aureus will be difficult or impossible to cure. You need to know which cows have this in order to make an economic decision.” He suggested utilizing DHI records to determine the highest SCC cows and then doing individual cow PCR tests. If DHI is unavailable, identify infected cows using CMT. Raphael said, “The magic rule of mastitis is that many mastitis risk factors are possible across 41

top SCC cows are quickly identified, their samples pooled, then individual problem cows can be identified. Results are available within 24 hours of receipt at the lab and can be accessed online, through email or text. Call your local DHI Specialist or go to: www. northstarcooperative.com/mastitis-pcr to learn what PCR testing can do for your herd. This article has been reprinted with permission from the Jan. 19, 2017 issue of Progressive Dairyman magazine.

It is important to Table 1 understand, there are Target Organism limitations to PCR testing. (Gram Staining) Clouded interpretations Staphylococcus aureus (+) may result if milk lines Staphylococcus species (+) or other equipment are Streptococcus agalactiae (+) not sanitary. PCR must Streptococcus dysgalactiae (+) be interpreted alongside standard cooperative results. Streptococcus uberis (+) To develop a baseline and Escherichia coli (–) identify what mastitis Corynebacterium bovis (+) organisms are in your herd, Enterococcus faecalis a bulk tank sample or group & faecium (+) Klebsiella pneumoniae sample is convenient and & oxytoca (–) economical. You can send Serratia marcescens (–) samples directly to the lab. Arcanobacterium pyogenes & For individual samples, Peptostreptococcus indolicus (+) save time and labor, by Staphylococcal using DHI samples for beta-lactamase gene Contagious 3 or Complete Mycoplasma bovis 16 tests. There is also a Mycoplasma species pooling option available to Yeast cut testing costs. By working Prototheca species with DHI records, the

Contagious 3

Complete 16

X

X X

X

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X

X X X X

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The Hunt for the Right Monitoring System Ends with CowManager® As you step into the office at North Road Farm, there is no question you have entered the hunter’s den. Stares from various species of deer, black bear, African Kudu and wild boar, meet yours from their assigned place on the wall. However, after talking to Bob Schindler, the hunter himself, it is clear that his passion for hunting extends far beyond the plains of South Africa. A dairy producer for most of his life, Schindler dedicates his time to hunting down any program or product that may improve the efficiency and profitability of his Colfax, Wisconsin Holstein herd. One of his most significant finds was the CowManager® herd monitoring system he installed in March 2015. With an increased number of cows in the sick pen, Schindler knew they needed an extra set of eyes within the herd. “We did some research on a few different brands and styles, but finally decided on the CowManager system,” explained Schindler. “I had a lot of confidence in the CowManager system after talking to other producers. The fact that we didn’t need to mess with collars or worry about tracking down animals to change batteries was an added bonus.”

The North Road Dairy Team, Bobby Schindler, Bob Schindler, Pat Lindgren, NorthStar A.I. Specialist and Graham Schindler rely on CowManager for early identification of cow illness and their ability to transition from treating illness to using preventative protocols.

the day, the system was up and already tracking information on our milking herd.”

using preventative protocols. We’re just catching things so much quicker.”

More than just a health monitoring system, CowManager has a fertility module. Providing insight on the optimal time for insemination, this feature allows for higher conception and pregnancy rates. “CowManager is great at finding heats, flagging at least 85 percent of cows in heat” said Lindgren. “As the herd’s Reproductive Installing ear tags in his 550-cow Specialist, I look at the system first CowManager’s health module alerts herd was a quick process for Schindler. thing every morning, print out a list producers of abnormal cow behavior “It only took one day to get 550 cows by detecting deviations in ruminations, of flagged cows, look at where they are tagged,” boasted Schindler. “Jared, in their cycle using the activity and activity and ear temperature. For a rumination graphs and then decide dairy herd, early what the best breeding option is.” diagnosis of CowManager makes herd health “CowManager has also helped us checks effortless. Walking the pens twice any illness is a huge advantage. catch cows in heat after absorbing a a day to check for visual signs of illness “The health calf,” explained Lindgren. “Bob does just isn't necessary anymore. module has been pregnancy checks between 34 and 38 a life-saver for days after breeding, which means a us,” said Schindler. “CowManager’s cow who absorbed her calf after 38 [Krull, NorthStar Electronic Activity accuracy has helped us increase our days wouldn’t be bred back until the System Specialist] set up our routers bottom line by picking up sick cows next pregnancy confirmation at 65 and computer while Scott [Ellevold, before milk weights begin to drop and days carried calf - that’s a lot of wasted NorthStar Team Leader] and Pat has decreased our death rate. We’ve time! With CowManager, we find these [Lindgren, NorthStar Reproductive transitioned from treating illnesses to animals much quicker. They’re flagged Specialist] helped us tag. At the end of

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“Since installing CowManager, I often feel like I’m cheating,” laughed Schindler. “The system makes herd health checks effortless. I get an alert anytime an animal is sick or acting suspicious. Walking the pens twice a day to check for visual signs of illness just isn’t necessary anymore.”

Enhancing producer profitability through integrated services.


on the system as being in heat, so I know I need to go see what’s going on.” A Reproductive Specialist on numerous dairies, Lindgren has first-hand experience with a variety of herd monitoring programs. “I was skeptical when Bob decided to install CowManager because I didn’t want to change my daily routine,” admitted Lindgren. “Now, I can’t imagine breeding his herd without it! I use a total of four different herd monitoring systems on the farms I breed for, but CowManager has proven to be the most userfriendly. The service Bob has received with the system is outstanding as well. It only takes one phone call to Jared, and our questions are addressed right away. That’s something that I don’t see with other systems.”

MemberStockownerNews Election Results

NorthStar Cooperative memberstockowners recently elected members to serve on the Cooperative’s board of directors, as well as advisory and resolutions committee. Member-owners in four districts cast votes to fill positions on the NorthStar board of directors. Incumbents Brad Crandall, Battle Creek, Michigan (district 3), Jeff Horning, Manchester, Michigan (district 4); Dan Mielke, Colby, Wisconsin (district 9) and Lee Jensen, Elk Mound, Wisconsin (district 11) were reelected and will serve a three-year term. Additionally, Dana Sue Kirk, St. Johns, Michigan and Steve Maier, Jim Falls, Wisconsin were appointed to fill one-year at-large positions on the board of directors. Stockowners also elected members to the Cooperative’s advisory and resolutions committee. Dairymen elected this year include: Duane Molhoek, Falmouth, Michigan; Mike Wardin, Saginaw, Michigan; Larry Haywood, Hastings, Michigan; Hank Choate, Cement City, Michigan; Dale Phillips, Marlette, Michigan; Gary Palosaari, Chassell, Michigan; Jack Banker, Black Creek, Wisconsin and Joe Meyer, Unity, Wisconsin.

A good hunter uses every available tool to make the best possible shot at success. When it comes to herd health monitoring and heat detection, Schindler invests in the greatest ammunition. “I would recommend CowManager to any dairy producer,” stated Schindler. “Even if milk prices Congratulations and thank you to were less than $15, CowManager is the stockowners that help direct the worth the investment. It’s a tool I business of NorthStar Cooperative. wouldn’t be without!” ~ Kailey Watson Scholarship Winners At the NorthStar Cooperative annual meeting, scholarships were awarded to Riley Lewis of Lagrange, Indiana; Libby Venema of Deford, Michigan; and Leta Larsen of Scottville, Michigan. Each student received a $500 scholarship for continuing their education in the field New flexible payment options of agriculture. available. To learn more talk Lewis is a Junior at Purdue to your NorthStar Specialist or University, majoring in Agricultural Economics. He is actively involved call 800.631.3510. in the Purdue Dairy Club where he

currently serves as the Legacy Sale Co-Chair. The son of Brian and Debbie Lewis of Lewis Century Stock Farms, Lewis’ goal is to use his education to improve profitability and productivity on his family’s dairy after graduation. A sophomore at Michigan State University (MSU), Venema is majoring in Animal Science. At MSU, Venema is an active member of the MSU Block and Bridle, the MSU Dairy Club and the MSU Collegiate Farm Bureau, serving on the Public Relations Committee. Venema is the daughter of Martin and Lisa Venema of White Creek Dairy, Inc. A 2016 graduate of Mason County Central High School, Larsen is currently a freshman at MSU majoring in Agribusiness Management. At MSU, Larsen is involved in the MSU Dairy Club, and the MSU Running Club. Larsen is the daughter of Burke and Lisa Larsen of Larsen Farms. The NorthStar Cooperative Scholarship program was established in 2005 to encourage post high school study in the field of agriculture for stockowners and their children. The 2017 application is available online at www.northstarcooperative.com/ stockowners.

®CowManager is a registered trademark of Agis Automatisering

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gender SELECTed is a trademark of Select Sires Inc. SexedULTRA is a trademark of Inguran LLC. All gender SELECTed semen is processed using Sexed ULTRA technology. Limitations and Conditions of Sale: gender SELECTed semen shall be used only for the single insemination of one female bovine during natural ovulation with the intent to produce single offspring unless specifically approved on an individual customer basis by Sexing Technologies in writing. As a condition of purchasing gender SELECTed semen, the purchaser agrees that gender SELECTed semen will not be reverse sorted or re-sorted unless specifically permitted, in advance, on a case-by-case basis by Select Sires in writing. Select Sires intends to monitor the use of the gender SELECTed semen and vigorously enforce these restrictions on use. Please see http://www.selectsires.com/designations/genderselected. html for additional details. NorthStar Cooperative, its agents or employees cannot and do not guarantee the conception rate, gender, quality or productivity to be obtained in connection with the use of its products, recommended techniques or services. WE MAKE NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, WHICH EXTEND BEYOND THE DESCRIPTION OF ITS PRODUCTS OR SERVICES AND HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. In the unlikely event that any of our products or services shall be proven to be defective, damages resulting from their use shall exclude consequential damages and be limited to their purchase price.

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“Enough Said” [9 of the Top 10 are at Select Sires and they all have sexed semen!]

The Point - May 2017  
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