Spring & Summer 2013
At the end of 2012 we introduced you to a first in our industry, our Immunity+™ sires that will produce cattle with a broad based resistance to the bacterial and viral based pathogens that cattle are exposed to on a daily basis. Their daughters will produce colostrum that passes on more antibodies and they will respond better to vaccination protocols. We’re helping you build a healthier herd.
Evolving Jersey Program
The international response to this new genetic solution has been tremendous. Now, we want to tell you even more about how Dr. Bonnie Mallard, BSc (Agr), MSc, PhD, Professor Immunogenetics, Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph in Canada began her research, and how very important it is to all of us in genetics and animal husbandry. Through the past year Beyond Borders has taken you to China and Brazil. In this issue, we’re looking at India with its growing population and its desire to increase dairy consumption. Semex is there and we’re ensuring that dairymen in India have access to the genetics that will make them, just like dairymen everywhere, profitable.
Sons of Mr Burns *RDC
What type of herd are you anyhow?
And, we’re growing to meet the demands of countries like China, Brazil and India. We’re investing and expanding with a dedication to our customers and our owners. Working together we will establish the lifelong partnerships that will develop longlasting and profitable herds. Genetics for Life is all about enhancing lives and how we will feed the lives of tomorrow together. We invite you to read more about Immunity+, India and the Semex story in this newest edition of Beyond Borders. We hope that you enjoy reading it and that like us, you believe in Genetics for Life.
BeYOND BORDERS is a magazine designed to promote dairy genetics, technology and management published by Semex. Comments or submissions to the editor should be forwarded to Brenda Lee-Turner, Semex, 130 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 3Z2. tel: 519-821-5060, fax: 519-821-7225; email: email@example.com Sexxed™, Genomax™, Genomax Plus™, Repromax™, ProMate™, ReproMix™, Premier™, HealthSmart™, ai24™, ShowTime™, .25Plus™, CVG™, Robot Ready™, Calving Ease™ and Immunity+™ are registered trademarks of Semex.
Available Summer 2013
leading genetics Genomax™ sires are the youngest and brightest sires that are available globally. Semex’s rigorous genomic young sire standards means that these bulls are the very best young bulls in the world.
Top 30 GTPI Sires with a stud code
Robot Ready 0200HO03877 Show Time
Built for Automation 8
COYNE-FARMS Master Series JABIR 99%-I TM
Master Series 4
+2498 GTPI Calving #2 GTPI ActiveEase Sire Polled Red & White Semex Tropical Genomax Plus
Calving Ease Polled Red & White Semex Tropical Genomax Plus
Holstein USA High Ranking GenomicTMYoung Bulls (with a stud code), April 2013
High Fertility Pooled Semen SEMEX
White Tropical ax Plus
Time Tested Sires
Repromix Facebook x Freddie x Ramos
Elite Show Sires
Jay Shannon, Semex Global Dairy Solutions Manager
to Improve Animal Health
Immunity is not solely explained by environmental exposure to foreign agents and other factors, such as diet, temperature, housing and so on; there is an important genetic component to immunity. In fact, the immune system is under tight genetic control. Dairy producers have long recognized this fact by noticing how some cows or cow families possessed an inner strength to resist disease. Though exposed to the same environmental pathogens, some animals were less prone to disease. This greater resilience is in fact a better combination of immune response genes that gives the animals a more proficient and stronger immune system to fight disease.
first to conduct an experiment that selectively bred for high and low immune response based on an individual’s estimated breeding values for these traits. This research showed that immune response heritability is high enough to carry out effective selection, and in this way improve animal health and response to commercial vaccines. This research led her to a faculty position, as Professor of Immunogenetics, at the University of Guelph to work on genetic regulation of the immune system, with a particular focus on dairy cattle.
resistant to a number of economically important diseases such as mastitis. The research program directed by Dr. Mallard has resulted in about a dozen graduate theses and close to 100 research papers in referred journals on various aspects of genetic regulation of the immune system of livestock. One of the key research findings that attracted Semex to the technology was the relatively high heritability of immune response. Immune response traits measured under this technology have a heritability of approximately 25%. This means 25% of the differences between animals for immune response can be explained by the animals’ genetics. This is close to the heritability of production and conformation traits that have
DISEASE RESISTANT GENETICS
Over the course of the next 22 years, while she worked closely with her colleagues at the Centre for Genetic Improvement of Livestock, the research was refined and led Immune response is controlled by many to the development of a set of phenotypic genes. The next generation of females’ immune response can be genetically enhanced measurements to measure immune response and that were shown to be associated with by using bulls that possess more beneficial DAUGHTERS OFdisease IMMUNITY+™ SIRES ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE resistance. genes for this trait. Lately this is “all-thebuzz” surrounding the new product called Immunity+ sires, which Semex introduced to the market in December 2012. %
Building a stronger herd
4 toAnimals 8 with the $80 per less
It all began back in 1980, when a keen, young animal science student at the University of Guelph named Bonnie Mallard was added profit inspired by the possibility of genetically regulating disease resistance. She entered Including mastitis, metritis, In addition to the $ value her masters program in animal breeding and ketosis and retained placenta. of the genetics for genetics, under the tutelage of Professor Early indications show a desired other traits. Ted Burnside. She studied the inheritance response to Johnes as well. of immunoglobulins in dairy cattle in order to better understand the immune system’s The High Immune Response (HIR) technology genetic regulation and its impact on disease that resulted was ultimately patented by the resistance. This led to a lifetime career in a University of Guelph. vital new discipline called Immunogenetics. Over the years, there have been several Her PhD work within the Ontario Veterinary thousand animals tested for immune response College, under the guidance of Immunologist, including in research herds, commercial Professor Bruce Wilkie, examined a special herds and beta test herds. Many independent cluster of genes, known as the Major studies confirm the benefits of the high Histocompatibility Complex, and their critical immune responders. Research has shown role in regulating immune responsiveness in how high immune response cows are more swine. During her post-doctorate she was the
ability to make robust daughter disease and beneficial immune responses were termed high immune responders.
HERITABILITY Production Traits 25-35% Conformation Traits 15-40%
Immune Response 25% Longevity 8-10% Calving Ease Traits 6-7% Daughter Fertility 4-7% Disease Incidence 2-10%
been effectively selected for. Additionally, it is far greater than the heritability of traits such as productive life, daughter fertility or disease incidence traits. As a result, one can expect to make significant genetic gains for
immune response over successive generations, as has been achieved for production traits, while progressively reducing the incidence of health problems in our dairy cows. The immune response test requires three visits to the farm over a 15-day period. The animals are immunized with safe and inert test antigens to measure their ability to mount immune responses to the challenge. There are two distinct types of immune responses measured that are critical in providing a defense against a diverse group of microorganisms found in the broad-based spectrum of viral and bacterial infections that can be present on farm. Once the immune response measurements have been made, they are entered in a genetic evaluation system that provides estimated breeding values for overall immune response.
high immune response cows, and the severity of disease was also greater in the low immune responders. Preliminary research also indicates a reduced incidence of sero-positive Johne’s cows in the group that are high for cell-mediated immune response, compared to cows classified average or low. A similar benefit is expected for a wide range of other viral and bacterial diseases since the immune system shows little preference for any one infectious disease over another.
Research has also shown that individuals ranked as high immune responders have a better response to commercial vaccines. This really shouldn’t be a surprise since the response to an introduced antigen is precisely what is measured in the immune response test. By genetically selecting for higher immune 16% response, dairy producers will develop animals that take better 14% advantage of vaccination. Therefore they can The list of benefits demonstrated by this research maximize the return on their12% investment in a technology is quite impressive. Research across herd vaccination program. 10% 64 dairy herds has shown that high immune have also been response cows have a lower incidence of disease. High immune response cows 8% shown to produce higher quality colostrum with In a 3,000 cow dairy in North Florida, well over 6% more antibodies. So, high immune response 700 cows were tested. The results showed that immune 4% high immune responders had 27% less incidence cows not only pass on their higher response genes to their offspring, but they also of mastitis, 17% less incidence of metritis 2% pass on early life immune benefits through their and 32% less incidence of retained placentas colostrum. Herd strategies to0%build colostrum compared to herd average cows. Across all inventories from high immune response HIGH cows AVERAGE tested herds, and by averaging the incidence could be a future possibility. of all diseases recorded, low immune response cows had twice as much disease compared to
Given the low heritability of most health traits used until now it has been somewhat frustrating for dairy producers to try to improve animal health. And, this lower heritability has limited the gains that could be achieved. The High Immune Response technology and the use of Semex Immunity+ bulls can help reverse this situation. These bulls present the opportunity to breed healthy cattle that are naturally disease resistant.
DISEASE OCCURRE BY IMMU RESPONS CATEGOR
12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0%
DISEASE OCCURRENCE BY IMMUNE RESPONSE CATEGORY LOW
Russell Gammon, Semex Jersey Program Manager
Evolving Into Tomorrow Together: Semex Jersey Program What we hear, see and learn from you drives us. It’s about you, and together, the Semex Jersey program is evolving into tomorrow.
The results are a stable of sires that certainly typify Genetics for Life. Semex Jersey sires are fertile bulls with healthy daughters that know how to work. These daughters are built to last and ask very little of those caring for them, making them the most profitable cows on dairies.
The April 2013 release of the year’s first official genetic evaluation took our already buoyant energy and Jersey Recently, Semex made some revolutionary passion to a whole new level! And, no changes in its Jersey sire selection criteria place is this passion more evident than in as opportunities to work with more Jersey our breed-leading Genomax™ program. clients and growing national Jersey Semex’s Genomax sires are the result of populations expanded. In 2012, these the industry’s most rigorous selection changes led to increased sales activity process. This has helped identify some of that outstripped industry averages. Now the most in-demand progeny proven bulls with the expansion of Sexxed™ semen in the world. And, they are proof positive offering, the identification of more that Genomax bulls should be used Immunity+™ sires and our sire lineup’s confidently to maximize genetic gain. growth, Semex’s Jersey future looks even brighter! Our selection criteria focuses heavily on customer value and profit-making traits such as Cheese Merit $, the Jersey Udder Index (JUI) and the important fitness traits, while constantly hunting for genetic diversity.
Genomax™ Lineup: • We have identified and released Genomax™ sire 0200JE00511 Vermalar Bruce (Branson x Iatola), bringing a unique pedigree, exceptional overall type and JUI numbers to the table. Bruce is an ideal expression of our commitment to offering truly valuable genetics, sporting a sky-high +2.4 for type! No surprise then that Bruce’s JUI is an equally impressive +6.18. What is even more valuable is that Bruce has a pedigree, like popular 200JE sires Renegade and Frontrunner, that is much different than the common bloodlines in the population. His sire Branson offers popular sires such as T Bone and Action, while on the maternal side, Iatola and Remake sired his dam and granddam. • The release of Genomax and HealthSmart™ sire 0200JE00514 DP Frontrunner in early 2013 caused a furor! The super-high enthusiasm level for this young sire has been at fever pitch because:
- His pedigree marries Premier with Iatola, offering a respite from the prominent bloodlines in the breed
- He offered a prime opportunity to utilize and integrate one of the rising cow families of the breed, the Flower Family at Desert Park in Oregon
- His numbers glistened then as they do now, with stats of +5.66 for JUI and a high +661CM$ building toward his high-ranking +219 GJPI
- His Jupiter maternal brother 0200JE00513 DP Goliath is one of our upcoming leading young Genomax sires, offering a powerful combination of 68 pounds of fat, 56 pounds of protein, yielding a CM$ in excess of +510 and a GJPI of +211
Genomax Graduate: Renegade Leading proven sire 0200JE00060 BW Renegade, a high fertility Repromax™ and HealthSmart™ sire, has been a Jersey sales leader for over three years. Every day producers reach out to tell us that they enjoy milking their profitmaking Renegades, and they’re working to make a lot more of them to populate their herds! At +85 pounds of fat he ranks in the top 10 of the breed for proven sires in the USA. Couple this with a top 10 ranking for his extraordinary fat percentage of +.35% and his third place ranking in the USA for CM$ of +642 makes perfect sense! Every sire we launch, including Frontrunner, Renegade and Bruce, is there for a reason. These reasons vary from breed-leading overall numbers, quality outcross genetics, exceptional type, health strength or the ability to sire daughters that perfectly fit specific milk markets. Ultimately, however, our goal relates to what we’re hearing from you, our customers worldwide, constituting Genetics for Life wherever Jersey cows are found.
Brenda Lee-Turner, Semex Marketing Communications Specialist
Master Series™ Sire Delivers Genetics for Life
0200HO05024 Dudoc Mr Burns *RDC Semex believes that Genetics for Life is about delivering the best possible product to our clients. Each proof round gives us the opportunity to reaffirm this commitment to our customers worldwide. In April 2013 Semex delivered four sons from Canada’s #1 Sire of Newly Proven Sons, the Semex Master Series™ and Red & White™ sire, 0200HO05024 Dudoc Mr Burns *RDC.
“Mr Burns has been a popular and high-ranking *RDC sire since his release in February 2007,” says Mike West, Semex Sire Analyst. “Very few bulls have stayed at his levels for this long, especially with his popular red genetic recessive, making it no surprise to see him be so influential as sire of sons.” “When Mr Burns was first proven, he was very attractive for both his type and production breakdowns. His pedigree allowed him to be used on a variety of cow families, enabling us to produce some very interesting proven sires,” comments West. “His consistency in feet & legs, rear udder width, strength and balance of frame and improvement on rump angle are traits we see in many of his sons. Mr Burns has been able to deliver the needed type that many Red & White breeders are looking for, but also provide the necessary production that makes them the kind of sires that advance the breed.”
“Very few bulls have stayed at his level for as long as he has.”
Mr Burns*RDC is a Markim Thunder son from VG87-6YR-CAN 4* Granduc Maggie Storm, who is a full sister to Semex’s popular 0200HO04163 Granduc Tribute. Next dam is Granduc Marla Astre VG-85-4YR-CAN 11*, then VG-87-5YR-CAN 12* DOM Cloverlands Skylar Cherry-Red. Today, Mr Burns*RDC remains one of the industry’s highest second crop *RDC sires available today, ranking as the industry’s #61 LPI sire with 70% of his +6500 Canadian daughters classified Good Plus or better.
HIS SONS DEMOCRACY *RDC
0200HO06027 Delaberge Democracy *RDC (Mr Burns *RDC x Shottle) “Democracy is clearly a consistent breeding bull,” says Carl Saucier, CIAQ Progeny Analyst. “They show a near perfect pattern in their feet, having a very deep heel and strong pastern. They carry a little more substance to their bone that goes along with the consistency we see in the tremendous strength, power and angularity this bulls transmits. His udders show a nice shape to them and he should be used on cows with a little more texture to their udder quality. They are a very quiet groups of cows, and he should work very well on Goldwyn bloodlines.”
0200HO06003 Regan-ALH Diplomat *RDC (Mr Burns *RDC x O Man) “Diplomat is a Mr Burns son with a very clear pattern,” says Saucier. “His daughters show great amounts of chest width that we see carrying back through their midsection and over their rumps. We do see an excellent shape and strength to his foot traits, and their udders show good shape to them and have a good center ligament. I have seen four of his five VG daughters and they stand out in their herds for their strength and power.”
0200HO03685 Greenlea Artie-Red (Mr Burns *RDC x Regiment Apple’s full sister) “The Artie daughters show a very consistent breeding pattern,” says Ryan Corrigan, Eastgen Progeny Analyst. “They are hard-topped with outstanding feet & legs. They track straight and have the foot structure to succeed in any environment. Given his pedigree and proof figures, Artie certainly has the ability to make Red & White show cattle. Producers are very pleased with the Artie daughters, noting their great temperment and calving ability.”
0200HO05979 Claynook Tennessee *RDC (Mr Burns *RDC x Goldwyn) “The Tennessees are always some of the easiest cows to find in their barns,” says Raphaelle Lemay, CIAQ Progeny Analyst. “They stand out for their strong top lines, stylish frames and tall stature. More importantly, breeders of these cows have been very happy with them, as they have a really good foot structure, soft udder texture and a great center ligament. Breeders seem to really like his profile as he has a good balance of strength and dairyness with improved health traits.”
Amar Dhumal, Head Sales & Marketing, Semex-Provet Genetics (I) Pvt. Ltd.
Semex Beyond Borders: INDIA The Indian dairy sector has experienced substantial growth in recent years. This has resulted in India being the world’s number one milk producing nation, with an annual output of about 127.3 (anticipated) million tons of milk during 2011-2012, compared to 121.8 million tons in 2010-2011. This represents sustained growth in the milk production, and more importantly, in the milk products made available for the growing Indian population. Additionally, dairying has become an important secondary income source for millions of rural families, and has assumed the extremely important role of providing employment and income for marginal and female farm workers. Mainly produced by small farmers and landless labourers, the Indian per capita milk availability reached 281 grams/day during 2010-2011. This is still lower than the world average of 284 grams/day, but with the help of government programs it is on the rise. The Indian government is working to strengthen the entire dairy sector through various development programs. These programs include: the Intensive Dairy Development Program; Strengthening Infrastructure for Quality & Clean Milk Production; Assistance to Cooperatives and Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme.
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However, in order to meet this rapidly growing demand for milk, the government has focused on improving milk production, and in February 2012 approved the National Dairy Plan Phase-I (NDP-I). NDP-I will help India meet the projected national demand for 150 million tons of milk by 2016-2017 through domestic production enhancements. These enhancements include strengthening and expanding the village level infrastructure for milk procurement, and providing producers with greater access to markets. This strategy also involves improving bovine genetics, producing quality bulls, superior quality frozen semen and adopting adequate biosecurity measures. The program will be implemented by NDDB (National Dairy Development Board) through end implementing agencies like dairy cooperative federations or unions. NDP-I will focus mainly on the 14 major milk producing states that account for over 90% of India’s milk production: Uttar Pradesh; Punjab; Haryana; Gujarat; Rajasthan; Madhya Pradesh; Bihar; West Bengal; Maharashtra; Karnataka; Tamil Nadu; Andhra Pradesh; Orissa; and Kerala.
350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0
The average annual rate milk production growth rate has been around 4% during the last decade, double that of the population growth. The per capita milk availability has gone up from 197 grams/day in 1995–1996 to 281 grams/day in 2010–2011, close to the global average per capita availability of 284 grams in 2009–2010.
Per Capita Availability (gms/day)
The Indigenous Dairy Breeds of India: Most tropical indigenous cattle breeds in India are multipurpose due to physical and economic parameters (milk, draught and buffalo), with only a few breeds having good milk Built for Automation production.
Semex In India 350 Genetics (I) Pvt. Semex and India’sMILK Provet Genetics formed a joint venture, Semex-Provet PRODUCTION - ALL INDIA Ltd., in February 2012. Successful to date, this venture has proven to be300 popular with Indian dairy producers, capturing a significant share of the imported semen market. 250
Production in million tonnes
200 milk per lactation “Our dream is to develop cows that can produce more than 10,000 kgs of 150 for the Indian dairyman,” says Pratap Bhosale, General Manager Semex-Provet. “Semex and Semex-Provet are committed to the Indian producer with future plans involving a state-of100 the-art bull centre catering to the Indian market.” 50
100 80 60 40 20 0
Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Gir and Deoni. Elite Show Sires
Dual Purpose Breeds:
Ongole, Hariana, Kankrej, Tharparker, Time Tested Krishna Valley, RathiSires etc.
“Markets like India can be a dream or a nightmare for an AI company depending on 0 Khillar 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12* 1991-92 & Business 1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09High Fertility Pooled Semen their perspective and sales strengths,” says Sam Mitra, Semex Director, Sales *projected Development, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Asia. “For Semex, withPer Capita ourAvailability sales(gms/day) Buffalo Breeds: 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06huge 2006-07strengths 2009-10 2010-11 segmenting and cost 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2007-08 2008-09 operational efficiencies and our in identifying, Murrah effectively servicing varied market segments, India is a prime market for growth and Surti development. I am sure that within a few years India will be one of our leading markets Nili-Ravi MILK PRODUCTION - ALL INDIA WORLD TOP 10 MILK PRODUCING COUNTRIES IN 2011 (including Cows/Buffalos) globally.” Jaffrabadi 140 TM
Calving Ease Polled Pandharpuri Mehsana etc. & White Red Semex Tropical Genomax Plus TM
Important to this is the support and development of tropical breeds120 and water buffalo.
Production in million tonnes
Production in million tonnes
120 300 Domesticated in India approximately 5000 years ago there’s over 172 million head of water
buffalo worldwide, making buffalo the second largest source of milk in the world. In India 80 200 this accounts for a significant portion of milk and milk products. 250
80 150 “To be a leading edge bovine genetics player in India we need to expand our product range
into buffalo and tropical dairy breeds. In many circumstances these40 would be the preferred 20 and optimal choice for our clients and it is only natural that we develop an expertise in these 50 breeds in addition to our leadership in Holsteins and Jerseys,” says Mitra. “This is Genetics 0 40 0 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 for in India.” 1991-92Life1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12* 60
WORLD TOP 10 MILK PRODUCING COUNTRIES IN 2011 (including Cows/Buffalos) India
China Pakistan Brazil
Russian Germany France Federation
MILK PRODUCTION - ALL INDIA 140
New United Zealand Kingdom
Production in million tonnes
120 100 80 60 40
140 120 100 80 60 40 20
20 0 2000-01
WORLD TOP 10 MILK PRODUCING COUNTRIES IN 2011 (including Cows/Buffalos) 120
Per Capita Availability (gms/day)
Production in million tonnes
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China Pakistan Brazil
Russian Germany France Federation
New United Zealand Kingdom
Mark Carson, MSc., BSc. Agr., EastGen, Reproductive Strategy Manager
What Type of Herd There are many ways to benchmark your herd’s reproductive performance. But, pregnancy rate is the best measurement to use when it comes to getting a sense of how well your whole herd is doing. This is because pregnancy rate answers the basic question of how many of your open cows are getting bred in a timely fashion. And, it tells you if those breedings are getting your cows pregnant.
an opportunity to improve conception rate, improve insemination rate, or both. First, though, we needed to classify what constitutes a low conception or low insemination rate.
$171 per cow per year in reproductive opportunities
$36 per cow per year in reproductive opportunities
Average days open 138
Average days open 108
50% insemination risk 40% conception risk
50% insemination risk 40% conception risk
50% insemination risk
50% insemination risk
A herd with a low insemination 40% conception risk 40% conception risk rate was defined as breeding less Average days open 154 Average days open 124 than 50% of the available open If you want to improve pregnancy rate, cows waiting to get bred during of herds of herds you need to know where the big picture a year. A high insemination rate $243 per cow per year in $108 per cow per year in opportunities for improvement are. You reproductive opportunities reproductive opportunities was defined as breeding over need to either improve the conception rate 50% of the available open cows of the cows you’re breeding, or improve the during a year. Although the A Low Insemination Rate/ ability to detect cows in heat. And then, just recommended goal for insemination rate is Good Conception Rate Herd as important, you need to find out how your 60%, it was decided to use a lower number herd compares to your neighbours’ herds and to account for different voluntary waiting The first group of herds (35% of the dairies) other herds in the industry. had low insemination rates, while their periods between herds. conception rate was considered to be good. So, how many herds need to focus on A low conception rate herd was defined as improving conception or insemination rates? getting less than 40% of cows pregnant after The average days open for this group was 138 days with an average economic opportunity How many need to focus on both? breeding annually. A high conception rate of approximately $170/cow/year. These herd was defined as getting more than 40% To get a sense of how the industry is herds should focus on getting more cows of cows pregnant after breeding annually. At performing at the herd level, and where bred. To get more cows bred in a timely 40%, the conception rate is slightly above opportunities exist we looked at data from fashion, they need to either spend more the industry average of 37%, but this figure 2,300 CanWest DHI herds that collect good time doing visual heat detection, increase is achievable for all dairies. reproductive data. the usage of timed AI or deploy an activity These herds were divided into four different monitoring technology such as Semex’s categories, based on whether they had ai24™. Most herds with high insemination
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rd Are You Anyhow? rates deploy more than one heat detection tool, minimizing the chances of missing any open cows. Also working with your herd veterinarian is very important in order to make sure that you’re conducting pregnancy checks at the appropriate frequency.
A Low Conception Rate/ Good Insemination Rate Herd The second group of herds (15% of dairies) needed to improve their conception rates, while their insemination rate was considered to be good. Their average days open was 124 days with an average economic opportunity of approximately $108/cow/ year. For this particular group, the goal would be to focus on ways to improve conception. Primary areas to focus on would be improving the cow’s fertility through transition, nutrition and environmental management. As well, they should consider reviewing heat detection and timed AI protocols to make sure that timing is being delivered as effectively as possible. For owner inseminator herds, reviewing semen handling and placement on an annual basis is beneficial.
A Low Conception Rate/ Low Insemination Rate Herd
A Good Conception Rate/ Good Insemination Rate Herd
The third group of herds (45% of dairies) needed to improve both conception and insemination rates. Their average days open was 154 days with an average economic opportunity of approximately $243/cow/ year. With opportunities existing in both areas, and with a lot of potential money to be made from an investment in reproductive performance, any investment made that improves both conception and insemination rates will give a great payback.
The fourth and final group of herds (just 5%) were considered to have both good insemination and conception rates. This shows in their low average days open at just 108 days and small economic opportunity of $36/cow/year.
Interestingly, the data showed that if you had to pick just one area to improve, raising insemination rates gave the better return. The average days open for herds that have a high insemination rate was 14 days less than the high conception herds, for an economic difference of approximately $60/cow/year. Ideally, you should focus on improving both, but this shows that getting semen into cows by improving your insemination rate can be an effective way to improve your herd’s overall reproductive performance.
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Although this elite group of herds is doing well reproductively, there are always opportunities to improve. If your herd falls into this category, look at small adjustments in your reproductive program, and make sure you are taking full advantage of the genetics you’re using in order to meet your goals. So what category of herd are you? Take a minute and review your herd averages for conception and insemination rate and see where your herd falls, and if you’re not at the elite level, make the necessary changes to help your herd get there.
SEMEX REPORTS GROWTH IN REVENUE, PROFIT & RETURN ON REVENUE IN 2012 Semex’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Larmer has recently reported 2012 to be a great success for Semex. “In the past three years we have witnessed growth in all three of our major focus areas: Revenue; Profit; and Return on Revenue,” says Larmer. “In 2012 we witnessed record revenues and achieved targets originally established for 2015. Our increasing diversity has proven to both strengthen our solutions offering to our customers, and decrease our reliance on specific markets and specific products. Additionally, we’ve supported growth in new areas and to new customers, all while enhancing existing relationships with our loyal customers.” In 2012 Semex remained steadfast in its dedication to its customers. This was evident in many areas with the following being just a few of this past year’s highlights: Genetics for Life supports Semex’s evolution as a company, defining who Semex is and what Semex stands for while embracing the longevity of both its genetics and client relationships. Additionally, it promotes Semex’s social and business responsibility to support global food production in order to nourish our growing population. Semex’s commitment to research and development continues, and has yielded new, game-changing and innovative technologies that have been added to its portfolio:
Paul Larmer, Semex’s Chief Executive Officer
Immunity+™ is a highly heritable, proprietary and groundbreaking technology that was developed by the University of Guelph. Never before seen in the dairy industry, clients can now utilize Semex sires that have the ability to transmit a natural resistance to disease. Semex’s R&D arm, Boviteq, is now able to perform genomic
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biopsies on conventional and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) embryos. This adds efficiencies to Semex’s genomic testing program and saves its clients money.
In order to select the very best entrants to its genetic program Semex genomically tested well over 5,000 young bulls globally in 2012. And, while many competing companies are now in the business of owning females, Semex continues to support its breeders by partnering with them. Semex believes these partnerships offer a mutual success - developing and acquiring elite sires.
Semex invests approximately $10 million into industry infrastructure and data collection each year as it believes data integrity and data collection are key to maintaining and increasing the accuracy of genomics. Semex will continue this support, working with industry partners on behalf of its members, and for the entire industry’s long-term success.
Semex continues to focus on product quality while developing efficiencies in our housing, production and distribution facilities. In 2012, Semex opened a new distribution centre in Guelph, Ontario, replacing three existing facilities. With 15.0% additional enhancements planned for 2013, Semex’s Gold Standard™ ensures excellence at every point of housing, production and distribution at each of its centres located on four continents.
“Semex is well positioned to meet changing markets and to continue to capture market share,” says Larmer. 5.0% “Our global investments give us diversity and assist us as we drive growth while excelling in developing markets. As markets 0.0% change, Semex will continue to 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 strategically evolve, meeting needs and expanding our global footprint.” 10.0%
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Disease resistant genetics
DISEASE RESISTA What if you could breed disease resistant animals for your herd?
By selecting Immunity+™ sires, with naturally high immune response, you can improve your overall herd’s health. Daughters of Immunity+ sires have less disease and provide additional benefits which improve overall herd health and increased longevity. DAUGHTERS OF IMMUNITY+™ SIRES ARE EXPECTED TO H
Building a stronger herd
In addition to the of the genetics other traits.
Contact us to incorporate Immunity+ sires into your breeding strategy and genetically armour your herd. Learn more about Immunity+
www.semex.com – 16 –
Robert McRae, Semex Vice President Global Operations
Semex is pleased to announce the recent opening of its new semen distribution facility. Located at its production centre north of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, this state-of-the art facility is the direct result of the increased demand for Semex’s product globally. “With worldwide demand growing year after year, Semex is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality semen possible, while increasing efficiency in our operations,” says Robert McRae, Semex Vice President Global Operations. “This is all part of the Semex Gold Standard™, representing Semex’s commitment to our customers, and our mandate at each of our production facilities worldwide.”
Growing to meet
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Semex’s Gold Standard demands excellence in all aspects of semen production, handling and distribution including: genomic selection; sire care; semen collection; semen processing; semen evaluation; storage & distribution; and fertility. This Gold Standard is directly tied to Genetics for Life, because at Semex we understand that the top priority on any dairy, anywhere in the world, begins and ends with getting healthy calves on the ground. “We are continually working to improve our semen quality and fertility,” says McRae. “This new distribution centre underscores Semex’s commitment to our product and to our staff. We know that our people are the cornerstone to our success, and in order for them to be successful and to produce a top-quality product they must work in the best environment possible.”
Crossbreeding for Profit
.25Plus™ Best Use Practices Semex recommends utilizing a universal insemination gun and tweezers (or ¼ cc gun and tweezers) along with the following standard handling procedures when using the ¼ cc straw: • Ensure a warm, draft free environment for thawing semen • Be sure that all equipment including guns, sheaths, and paper towels are warm before coming in contact with thawed straws • Hands should be clean • Keep equipment free of contamination, use clean thaw water • Use a 1-pint, wide-mouth thermos filled with clean water and a dial thermometer to thaw straws • Periodically confirm the accuracy of your thermometer by comparing it to a known standard • Check to make sure that the thermos water temperature is 98°F (36.6°C) before each straw is removed from the tank – 18 –
• Always use nitrogen cooled tweezers to handle the straws; fingertips should not be used • Thaw semen in 98°F (36.6°C) water for 60 seconds • Only thaw one straw at a time • Breed cow as soon as possible. No longer than 15 minutes after thawing • Use paper towels to clean vulva, use a clean towel to open vulva • Keep the tip of gun that enters cervix & uterus free of contamination • Ensure animal is in heat by picking up the cervix and uterus. If you get a clear mucous discharge from the vulva it’s a good sign she is in heat
Open doors for international visitors
The European Championship Red Holstein and Holstein Show was held on March 1-2, 2013, and was a major success in every way. Breeders and Holstein enthusiast came to the Forum Fribourg from all over Europe and around the world to see which of the 163 cows would become the new European Champions. Not less than 8,500 visitors attended the show, creating an unmatched atmosphere around the ring. Switzerland reclaimed both individual Grand Champion titles. Along with the All European Championship Show, Swissgenetics organized farm tours for international visitors. At first, we were curious to find out how many people would take advantage of this opportunity. Plattery Savard Renita, Reserve European Junior Champion, Bred and owned by Plattery Holstein
With over 1,300 participants from 25 countries, our farm tours reached heights not seen before in our country.
For complete information please visit www.swissgenetics.com
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A group of cows was highlighted on each farm that were specially presented by the breeder, to illustrate his breeding philosophy within the herd. Afterwards people looked around on the farm, visited with the breeders and enjoyed locally produced products such as bread and cheeses. We were pleased to receive so much positive feedback from these farm tours. Swissgenetics is proud to have shown so many visitors a few of our top Holstein and Red Holstein farms. This provided a valuable addition for visitors visiting Switzerland, and was a true inside view of Swiss Holstein breeding. These visits were only made possible with the support of many enthusiastic individuals. Additionally, we are especially thankful for the Swiss breeders that opened their doors for us and shared their farms with the world.
IT’S ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER
Our Genetic Consultants are trained to listen, look and learn from you, then bring solutions and strategies to improve your herd’s performance and profitability. Most importantly, we understand that on your dairy it all begins with a pregnancy, and our clients work side-by-side with their Semex Genetic Consultants on reproductive strategies including Repromax™ and Sexxed™ sires. It’s about working together to develop long-lasting, profitable herds and lifelong partnerships. That’s Genetics for Life.
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Published on Apr 23, 2013