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NorthStar and Accelerated Genetics are Stronger Together for You!


Mark Adam, General Manager

Scholarship Deadline Near

The past 60 days have been nothing short of a whirlwind. The decision by the Accelerated Genetics membership to join forces with Select Sires has created great enthusiasm at NorthStar Cooperative.

directors. We are pleased to welcome Wisconsin dairymen Craig Swenson of River Falls, John Pronschinske of Arcadia and Tim Bowers of Marion. These three dairymen will serve on the NorthStar board for a term of two years and we look forward to their participation in our expanded cooperative.

Two things are clear in this business… people and bulls make the As you know, effective July 1 difference, and we are fortunate to NorthStar became the product and have added great ones in each group. service supplier for Accelerated With the August Sire Summary it is Genetics in northern Wisconsin, clear that when you choose to work Michigan and Indiana. Not only did with NorthStar you have access to we significantly extend our genetic the best genetics for TPI, NM$, and product offerings; but most Milk, CFP, SCR, DWP$ and many importantly we expanded our field other traits you are interested in. service team by 39, more than any With our combined lineup of Select other Cooperative in the Select Sires Sires, Accelerated Genetics and Federation. Genervations we offer 11 of the Top In our first 60 days we concentrated 25 TPI® Proven Holstein Sires and 16 of the Top 25 GTPI® Active Holstein on keeping “business as usual” as Young Sires. much as possible for you and our new team members. Now, our focus The work surrounding joining moves to a tighter integration of all forces has certainly created more team members and product lines; positive Stronger Together which will allow us to best serve you. energy that Watch in the coming months for will continue information on additional genetic to propel and animal health product options NorthStar which will be available through all of toward our mission of “enhancing NorthStar's team members. producer profitability through integrated services.” Clearly Another segment of joining NorthStar Cooperative is stronger forces includes the addition of three because of joining forces and you, former Accelerated Genetics board our customers and members are the members to the NorthStar board of beneficiaries.

NorthStar Cooperative offers scholarships for post high school study in the field of agriculture for stockowners and their children. Up to three $500 scholarships will be awarded. Application deadline is October 1, 2017. Scholarship guidelines and an application can be obtained online by clicking on “Stockowners” in the navigation pane at

Call for Candidates

Stockowners in districts 5, 6, 7 and 8 are sought to run for a three-yearterm on the NorthStar Cooperative board of directors. Additionally, stockowners are needed from each of the 12 districts to serve on the advisory and resolutions committee. Common stockowners are eligible to run for any of the available positions in their district. To be included in the election process, a candidate must submit a completed Candidate Application to the Cooperative by November 1, 2017 The Candidate Application and more information can be found online at stockowners.

Paid for Itself the First Year! Despite the current milk market, dairy producers continue to invest in the CowManager® herd monitoring system. Why? According to producer Jim Kroeplien, the payoff from CowManager’s real-time health data has proven greater than the investment. “CowManager has helped us improve our bottom line by increasing our awareness of our cows’ health and by dropping our herd’s death

Christine, Jim, Rachel and Josh


rate,” explained Kroeplien, owner of Fly-By Acres, LLC in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. “Just one year after installing the system, CowManager has already paid for itself in herd health improvement alone!” Kroeplien installed the electronic heat and health monitoring system in his 550-cow Holstein herd in April 2016. “My daughter, Rachel knew what the system was capable of from her hands-on experience with CowManager as an instructor at Lakeshore Technical College,” stated Kroeplien. “With her confidence and knowledge, along with the support of our NorthStar team, choosing CowManager was a no-brainer.” With a goal of decreasing the dairy’s death rate, Kroeplien was impressed

Enhancing producer profitability through integrated services.

by the system’s ability to catch sick cows up to three days before they started showing visual signs of illness. “CowManager has allowed us to find sick cows right away,” claimed Kroeplien. “Having the ability to treat or prevent an illness quicker than we could in the past, means we have fewer cows in the hospital pen and a lower death rate.” The CowManager health module alerts producers of abnormal cow behavior by detecting deviations in ruminations, activity and ear temperature. For a dairy herd, early diagnosis of any illness is a huge advantage. “Honestly, the health module is cheap insurance for us,” said Kroeplien. “The accuracy of CowManager is incredible. We’re picking up sick cows before their milk production begins to drop.” Providing more than just health monitoring, CowManager also offers

a fertility module. With insight on the optimal time for insemination, this feature creates opportunities for higher conception and pregnancy rates.

Matt started breeding for us and utilizing the CowManager system, our pregnancy rate has increased by 6 percent!”

“I rely on the CowManager system every day,” stated Matt Cracraft, NorthStar Reproductive Specialist. “At other farms, I spend a lot of time walking cow pens and looking for visual signs of heat. At Fly-By Acres, CowManager not only flags the cows in heat, but it also keeps track of heats when I’m not on-farm. This technology has been very beneficial in getting cows bred at the ideal time. In fact, we’ve already brought the dairy’s pregnancy rate up.”

With mobile friendly data, CowManager is also available on-thego. “I look at CowManager every day on my smart phone,” stated Kroeplien. “Receiving alerts on my phone, I can see what cows need attention no matter where I am.”

Just one year after installing the system, CowManager has paid for itself in herd health improvements alone!”

“CowManager has been great for detecting early heats,” explained Kroeplien. “Matt has done a great job using the entire system including the activity and rumination graphs to determine what the best breeding option is for individual animals. Since

“I also receive alerts to my phone if a router goes out or if the power goes out on the farm. I didn’t realize how much we rely on CowManager until our power went out one night,” laughed Kroeplien. With 24/7 cow-side insight, a higher pregnancy rate and decreased death rate, Kroeplien believes he made the right decision by investing in CowManager. “NorthStar has really brought our dairy to the next level

with CowManager,” said Kroeplien. “With healthier cows and a stronger reproductive program, CowManager has proven to be a very valuable, money-saving tool.” ~Kailey Watson

NEW Young Sire

Dtr: Macland HF Yoder Rachel-ET (VG-85)

Dam: OCD Supersire 9882-ET (VG-86-DOM)

Dtr: Farnear Adeen Adella-ET (VG-85)

7HO12266 YODER

507HO13771 KENNEDY


+$1024 NM +1,487 Milk +9.0 PL +1.72 Type

+$855 NM +2,101 Milk +6.8 PL +0.96 Type

+$866 NM +1,235 Milk +6.7 PL +1.82 Type

+150 CFP +2710 GTPI®

+169 CFP +2861 GTPI®

+169 CFP +2600 GTPI®

8/17 CDCB/HA Genomic Evaluation Yield Rel % & HA Rel. %. 7HO11351 99, 99; 507HO13771 76, 75; 7HO12266 98, 95. ®TPI is a registered trademark of Holstein Association USA.


The Importance of Monitoring Somatic Cell Julie Ainsworth, Coordinator Reproductive Solutions, PAS @

Information from an ongoing study◆ of large Midwest herds again points to the significant effect of somatic cell count (SCC) on profitability. This may not be headline news – but the effect on production is! The study showed a 19 pound difference in money-corrected milk between the top one-third most profitable herds, who had an average SCC of 196,000; compared to 239,000 SCC for the bottom one-third herds for profitability. Amazingly, for every 100,000 increase in bulk tank SCC, milk yield declined 5.2 pounds per cow. I often feel the data collected through Dairy Herd Information (DHI) is not fully utilized. As such, and with mounting evidence of SCC’s influence on productivity, it seems timely to share a few ways you can use DHI data to help with your herds profitability. All of the examples below are information you can gather from your DHI data, which can be turned into graphs and reports with PCDART management software. Milk Production Projected 305 ECM - Grouped by Lactation within Lactation Average SCC Score This chart shows the difference by lactation group in actual projected 3053rd day energy-corrected milk for cows with a 2nd 3rd linear SCS, less than 4.0, and 4.0 or greater. 1st 2nd Clearly cows that are not impacted by high 1st SCC are better for production in this herd! The differences are in the neighborhood of 2,000 pounds of energy-corrected milk per lactation. That difference in production can really add up. For example, if the 4.0 to 9.9 SCC 0.0 to 3.9 SCC price of energy-corrected milk was $17 per hundredweight, that would be a difference of $340 per cow per year. Health & Reproduction Mastitis also impacts health and reproduction; both of which are significant costs to a dairy farm. Let’s again use linear score to see the influence on conception. These reports look at conception rates by month for cows with a linear lactation average SCS of 0.0 – 4.0, and those greater than 4.0. Clearly mastitis has a negative effect on conception rates particularly in the summer months.

SCS 0.0 - 4.0

Target Highest SCC Cows A report we talk about often that is available through NorthStar is the “Hot Sheet”. The Hot Sheet allows you to quickly know which cows are contributing the highest counts to the bulk tank and perhaps keeping you from a premium. You can also use the Hot Sheet to target which cows to culture or PCR test.


Enhancing producer profitability through integrated services.

SCS 4.0+

Stage of Lactation Monitoring SCC for individual cows at different points in the lactation cycle will improve herd health and increase milk production. Knowing where an infection is coming from allows you to concentrate efforts where needed and correct the problem. Cows that calve with high cell counts are much more likely to experience clinical mastitis and production loss. Monitoring the difference between dry off and calving allows you to assess your dry treatment effectiveness and the incidence of dry period infections. This is important when 50-60 percent of all new infections during lactation are caused by environmental exposure in the dry period. This graph, while messy to look at, quickly shows that this herd has a 25 percent new infection rate occurring in the dry period. This is very high and costly to this herd! Being able to pinpoint stage and lactation groups quickly allows you to know where to target your resources to improve SCC. Identifying Chronic and New Infections There is no easier way to identify your percentage of new and chronic subclinical infections than to have SCC data. Having a goal and watching your herd’s compliance to that goal will be effective in warding off a problem before it gets started.


Effect of Culling too Many Older Cows Having SCC data allows you to develop a strategy that can keep the culling, especially of older cows, at a lower level. This graph shows an example of why you want to keep older cows in the herd. This herd peaks in energy-corrected milk in the fifth lactation. Those cows are very profitable at that stage, but notice there are very few. Bottom Line Ask yourself, are you managing SCC to the degree you are able to? Are you using the data you receive from your DHI test day to its fullest advantage? No other service allows for the ease of monitoring and pinpointing problems more easily than monthly SCC data from your DHI data. If you would like to learn more, talk to your DHI Specialist or contact me. The NorthStar team is committed to helping you take full advantage of your data. â—†

AgStar Financial Services and Zoetis


Make Way for a New Era in Mastitis Detection Todd Byrem, Ph.D., Director AntelBio,

It’s time to pack up those traditional beliefs on causes and diagnosis of mastitis and make way for a new era. The application of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and next generation DNA sequencing to milk samples is finding that it is much more crowded inside the udder than suggested in the past by culture. The analysis of DNA in milk reveals, that at any single time, there are 500-1,000 species of microbes inside a healthy mammary gland. Therefore, culture can no longer be considered the gold standard for diagnosing mastitis. Throughout our education, either on the farm or in the classroom, we’ve been taught that a healthy udder produces sterile milk, void of any bacteria. Well, just like our view that the Earth was at one time flat, our view inside the udder has now changed. The mammary gland does not function alone in the production of milk, but is aided by a host of bacteria and other microbial species that maintain an ecosystem inside the gland. It is this symbiosis within this microbial community that maintains an environment favorable to udder health and milk production. How do these new findings influence the diagnosis of mastitis? Culture results such as “no growth” or “contamination” are artifacts and do not necessarily reflect what is actually happening in the udder. While traditional microbial culture has been a tremendous tool in combating mastitis, it was designed to identify in-vitro growth of known pathogens, not to display a snapshot of the residents that make up the microbial community.


With mastitis PCR, we are able to look at what was actually present in the udder at the time of infection or at the time of high SCC; not what we were able to grow from the milk in the laboratory. Environmental “contamination” does not significantly impact PCR results and “no growths” are rare, especially with the Complete 16 assay, because growth is not required for PCR. Therefore, veterinarians and producers are finding more infected cows faster, and using this advantage to eliminate persistent struggles with the same organism. One such instance I would share is when Veterinarian Dr. Eric Duch, found himself in a culture versus PCR battle while addressing a persistent Staph. areus infection in his client’s 550-cow Wisconsin herd. He shared, “The dairy made progress lowering their SCC with culture, but they kept going through 'on-again, offagain' phases of Staph positive results. I began to think that we needed a more sensitive test, as the ‘on-again, offagain’ was probably the culture missing low or intermediate shedding cows, allowing Staph to linger in the herd. That’s when we decided to try PCR.” Using the herd’s PCR results, Dr. Duch successfully identified and removed all Staph positive cows from the herd. Nearly three years later, the dairy has implemented a mastitis PCR surveillance strategy and has remained Staph free. Just like the finding of microbial communities, these new DNA technologies available through NorthStar are detecting what culture can’t. But let’s not stop there. Once you’ve identified mastitis pathogens in your herd, now what about changes in treatment? Infection typically refers to the introduction of a new pathogen into

Enhancing producer profitability through integrated services.

With PCR, we are able to look at what was actually present in the udder at the time of infection; not what we were able to grow from milk in the laboratory.” an aseptic environment. These recent findings indicated that mastitis should not be considered an infection, but rather an imbalance in the microbial community. Some imbalances will allow pathogenic microbes to dominate the community and damage secretory tissue. In this new era, in order to restore a healthy microbial community, mastitis may be treated with a cocktail of microbes or nutrients instead of antibiotics. This will certainly be timely given the recent concerns on the industry’s dependence on antibiotics to control infection. How does this affect NorthStar Cooperative and you? Our research and development team, AntelBio, is investing in personnel, equipment and collaborations to participate in this new era. These investments are securing a research pipeline that can be readily used to study the microbial community in the mammary gland. Once the pipeline is in place, NorthStar will work to source and analyze milk samples under varying conditions to determine, relative to udder health, desirable and undesirable microbial communities. Think of it as another very promising phenotype that has always been there, but until now, couldn’t be measured. Technology changes over time and so too must prevailing wisdom. Understanding mastitis is not strictly an infection, but instead, an imbalance in the udder’s microbial community will change the way the industry addresses it.

Robbed by Mycotoxins Account passwords, microchipped credit cards and anti-virus computer software are just a few precautions you have probably taken to keep your financials protected from theft. Still, many dairy producers are robbed every day. Scott Karl, herd manager of Liquid Coin Dairy in Milladore, Wisconsin, has come face-to-face with these dairy thieves and knows they do not exist in cyber space but in feed bunkers – these thieves are commonly referred to as “mycotoxins.” Mycotoxins are poisonous chemical compounds produced by molds and their metabolites. Though molds may not always be visible, there are some common signs that a herd may be suffering from mycotoxins including poor reproductive performance, cystic ovaries, abortions and loose bowels. In any dairy herd the signs can be fatal. “About four years ago we knew there was something seriously wrong when our reproduction and herd health simultaneously decreased,” recalled Karl. “Cases of ketosis were popping up and our fresh two-yearolds were too thin. Some animals were even experiencing hemorrhagic bowels which is something every dairy producer dreads.”

Understanding that the herd was under attack, Karl contacted his NorthStar Representative Wayne Westrich for help. “I told Wayne what we had been experiencing, and he sent a feed sample to be tested for mycotoxins right away,” explained Karl. “The results showed high levels of Vomitoxin [Deoxynivalenol] along with other mycotoxins. Wayne recommended we start feeding Select DTX™.”

DTX has been a large cost savings for our herd in the long-run, not to mention it's a more economical choice compared to other microbial products.” “We decided to mix the DTX into our TMR that we feed to all of our heifers, milking cows and dry cows,”

explained Karl. “We quickly saw our conception rate shoot back up, and the ketosis and hemorrhagic bowel cases were greatly reduced.” With the herd on the mend and the hot, humid summer months behind him, Karl decided to stop feeding DTX with intentions to return to the microbial in the Spring. “I thought I would save some money by only feeding DTX during the summer months when the environment is perfect for mold to grow,” stated Karl. “As soon as I took DTX out of our TMR, our conception rate started to drop – an obvious response to removing the microbial. Since then, we’ve been feeding DTX yearround and have experienced steady conception rates and healthy cows.” “DTX has been a large cost savings for our herd in the long-run – not to mention it’s a more economical choice compared to other microbial products on the market” claimed Karl. “By helping us keep our death rate and herd health issues down and conception rate up, it’s cheap insurance for us!” Liquid Coin Dairy was established in 1998 by Leroy and Leann Altmann, Joyce and Scott Karl, and Pat and Jill Altmann.

Toxin Levels on the Rise Since 2013, toxin levels have continuously increased, especially in the central Midwest states, and have now reached record levels. The most commonly found toxins are DON (Vomitoxin) and Zearalenone which both cause reproduction and production problems in cattle. Symptoms of DON typically include sporadic loose manure, appetite suppression, and other poor health symptoms, which result in loss of production or an increase in metabolic occurrences. Zearalenone

is an estrogen and causes cows to show weak or silent heats, resulting in decreased conception rates, and in severe cases, can cause abortions and pre-mature udder development in virgin heifers.

Changes in Vomitoxin Levels (PPB)

Toxin issues are nothing new, and most dairies are already feeding a binder or similar product. Select DTX is a product that can assist with the negative effects of mycotoxin exposure by switching on a naturally occurring mechanism in the intestine that prevents the mycotoxins from

being absorbed into the blood stream. Since DTX is a unique technology, not a binder, it is not limited to certain mycotoxins, but works against most of the more than 300 mycotoxins known to be of concern.

Samples from NorthStar's service area

™Select DTX is a trademark of Select Sires and manufactured by Agrarian Solutions, Middlebury, IN.


Presorted Standard Class U.S. Postage PAID Lansing, MI Permit #505

MASTITIS DETECTION P.O. Box 23157, Lansing, MI 48909-3157 800.631.3510

ST USING 21Unlike CENTURY TOOLS culture,

Return Service Requested

DNA TESTING Unlike culture, DNA TESTING provides: • Speed • Flexibility • Versatility • Cost Savings • Convenience Call 800.631.3510 to learn more.

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 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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The MOGUL Influence Continues in the pedigrees of the best proven and young sires.



+$843 NM +3,074 Milk +5.2 PL +2.09 Type

+$957 NM +1,800 Milk +7.9 PL +2.10 Type

+178 CFP +2773 GTPI®

#2 on Top 100 TPI

S-S-I Mont 1882 9272-ET (VG-85) Hidden Hills Dairy, McBain, MI

+152 CFP +2838 GTPI®

Young Sire

Aprday-F M Calisoga-ET Edward Peck & Fertile Ride Dairy LLC, Mount Horeb, WI

8/17 CDCB/HA Genomic Evaluation Yield Rel % & HA Rel. %. 7HO12600 76, 78; 7HO12165 99, 98. ®TPI is a registered trademark of Holstein Association USA.

September 2017 Point Newsletter  

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