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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Top 3 August proof takeaways…

…to help you create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS

1. There’s a variety of new Alta bulls that will sire Alta 4-EVENT COWS

No matter your comfort level on sire reliability, we have some impressive new sires atop our marketing lists.

  • Alta ADVANTAGE
    21 new sires are available exclusively for our Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds.
    These sires average an impressive 928 for the 6040 index, 158 CFP & 7.1 PL.

 

  • Alta G-STARS
    You currently have access to nearly 100 G-STAR sires! Among that list are sires that will fit whichever genetic plan is the right one for your operation.

 

  • Alta FUTURE STARS
    6 of the top 8 FUTURE STARS are new to the list. They join this the FUTURE STAR ranks after gaining calving ease observations to pair with their high fertility CONCEPT PLUS ratings. The familiar names in this elite group include AltaRONDON, AltaBUGGY, AltaALTUVE, AltaNITRO, AltaWILLIE, AltaGILMORE.

 

  • Daughter-proven new releases
    11HO11779 AltaTOPSHOT tops the line-up of bulls with milking daughters. With 164 milking daughters, he increased 125 points on the 6040 index and 111 for both TPI and NM$. What makes this even more exciting is that we have numerous AltaTOPSHOT sons at Alta, who gained traction on various rankings to fit your strategic genetic objectives.Other new release sires include popular sire of sons 11HO11778 AltaROBSON, as well as AltaTURNKEY, AltaBAYOU, and AltaAMULET. Learn more about the results from the newest additions to the daughter-proven lineup HERE.
4-EVENT COW Circle Logo

2. Stability will improve for fertility traits

You can have confidence in the future stability of a bull’s DPR, CCR and HCR values. A new calculation update from CDCB means that previous fluctuations for these female fertility traits should now be a thing of the past. So, with August proofs, keep in mind that industry averages for DPR did change as follows:

  • HO genomic young bulls: ↓0.6
  • HO dtr-proven bulls: ↓0.3
  • JE genomic young bulls: ↓0.3
  • JE dtr-prven bulls: no average change

Looking for more info? Read more about these changes HERE.

3. Focus on sire fertility to create more 4-EVENT COWS

We share your goal – to create more pregnancies on your dairy. Getting cows pregnant on the first service is a key piece to the puzzle of creating more Alta 4-EVENT COWS.

Regardless if you use conventional semen or sexed semen in your strategic breeding plan, we’ve got you covered. You have access to a LOT of sires that have proven themselves with higher conception rates than the norm – on large progressive dairies, just like yours.

Concept Plus Logo

CONCEPT PLUS high fertility sires will help you create more pregnancies with conventional semen.

High Fertility SexedULTRA sires

511 CONCEPT PLUS high fertility sexed sires will help you create more sexed pregnancies.

So if creating more pregnancies is a main goal of yours, be sure to focus on fertility as part of your customized genetic plan.

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New bulls top the Alta daughter-proven ranks

Familiar Alta sire names, now on top of the daughter-proven sire lists, were all previous staples on the G-STAR, FUTURE STAR, and/or Alta ADVANTAGE lists.

As the daughters of these bulls join the milking herd, you gain confirmation that they’re the type of bulls to help you create more productive, healthy, trouble-free cows. With real daughter information on health traits, production values, and sire fertility, our leading sires provide your dairy with traits that create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS.

Bomaz Topshot 277 from Bomaz Dairy, Hammond, WI

Bomaz AltaTOPSHOT
Supershot x AltaEMBASSY
GA6040: 1043 | 2754 TPI | Alta511

  • Impressive 178 pounds combined fat and protein
  • Long-lasting, healthy, trouble-free cows at 7.4 PL
  • Helps you create Alta 4-EVENT COWS with +1043 value on the 6040 index and +2128 PTA Milk
Bomaz Robson 7804 at Bomaz Dairy, Hammond, WI

Bomaz AltaROBSON
Rubicon x Bob
GA6040: 891 | 2713 TPI | Alta511

  • Feed efficient cattle with superior component percentages
  • Very fertile, trouble-free daughters at 2.2 DPR and 7.0 PL
  • Sire of sons, his progeny are favorites on the current Alta G-STAR list
3 Daughters of AltaTURNKEY
3 Daughters of AltaTURNKEY at Boadwine Dairy, Baltic, SD

PEAK AltaTURNKEY
Wickham x Ransom
GA6040: 832 | 2609 TPI | CP, 511CP & Alta511

  • Outstanding sire fertility, with both CONCEPT PLUS and 511 CONCEPT PLUS designations
  • Easy calvings at a 4.8 CE
  • Newly added type daughters prove that he sires deep and open dairy cows with high, wide rear udders
Pine Breeze Craig 9764 from Pine Breeze Dairy in Pine River, WI

No-Fla AltaCRAIG
Stoic x Supersire
GA6040: 786 | 2602 TPI

  • Definite udder improver with high, wide rear udders with strong attachments
  • Deep, strong cows to thrive in progressive environments
  • High quality milk producers with a low SCS of 2.51
Pine Breeze Amulet 9639 from Pine Breeze Dairy in Pine River, WI

PEAK AltaAMULET
Josuper x Mogul
2549 TPI | CP, 511CP & Alta511

  • Elite sire fertility, as a CONCEPT PLUS AND 511 CONCEPT PLUS sire
  • A type and udder specialist at +2.06 PTAT and +2.54 UDC
  • More than 100 production daughters prove his strong focus on production with +2069 PTAM

011HO11784 AltaBAYOU

No-Fla AltaBAYOU
AltaSPRING x Supersire
2583 TPI | CP

  • A Fertility Focus sire at a 5-Star CONCEPT PLUS rating
  • Best used on cows, with 8.7 CE
  • A production specialist at a +1713 PTAM

011HO11781 AltaUPSHOT

Bomaz AltaUPSHOT
Supershot x AltaEMBASSY
GA6040: 891 | 2571 TPI

  • A breed leader for milk production at an impressive +2320 PTAM
  • Sires fertile cows with a +1.4DPR
  • An economic advantage to your 60-40-0 Genetic Plan
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Stability will improve for fertility traits

With the August 2019 proof round comes a complete revision of the fertility evaluations. This means previous seasonal fluctuations in a bull’s value for Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) should now be a thing of the past.

This adjustment will also improve the stability of a bull’s values for Cow Conception Rate (CCR) and Heifer Conception Rate (HCR).

The simple, primary reason that DPR fluctuated from one proof to the next was that seasonal groupings used for the calculations were previously based on heifer breeding dates instead of cow breeding dates.

After correcting the seasonal groupings, CDCB reran the past four proof evaluations and saw a much more stable trend for all fertility traits. This means you can have confidence that the lingering instability should now be resolved.

This means you can trust that selection for DPR, CCR or HCR within your customized genetic plan will help you create more fertile, Alta 4-EVENT COWS.

What does that mean for this proof round?

With this August proof adjustment, the average industry values for DPR, CCR, and HCR did drop slightly. The table below outlines the overall average drop for these fertility traits in the Holstein and Jersey breeds.

Young genomic Holstein bullsDtr-proven Holstein bullsYoung genomic Jersey bullsDtr-proven Jersey bulls
Average DPR change from April to August 2019-0.6-0.3-0.30.0
Image of cows eating as feature image about trait stability for Daughter Pregnancy Rate and other fertility traits

For more information, and to see comparisons between previous and current fertility trait evaluations, find the full article on the CDCB website HERE.

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The making of an Alta 4-EVENT COW

Meet cow 5677.

She lives on a 1500-cow dairy farm that partners with Alta Genetics and uses an Alta AI technician to handle all of the herd’s reproduction. On the dairy, she’s milked three times per day through a double-20 parallel parlor.

She’s fed a well-balanced ration, and when she’s not eating, spends her time comfortably resting in sand-bedded freestalls. 5677 is currently in her second lactation. And at Alta, she’s what we call a 4-event cow.

What is an Alta 4-EVENT COW?

If you look at any cow card in DairyComp or your herd management program, a 4-event cow has only four major events listed throughout her lactation:

  1. FRESH
  2. BRED
  3. CONFIRMED PREGNANT
  4. DRY
4-EVENT COW Circle Logo

In the case of 5677, this means she had a live calf with no troubles. She had no milk fever, ketosis, or retained placenta. No other metabolic issues slowed her down after calving, and by avoiding those issues, she did not incur treatment costs.

After the dairy’s 60-day voluntary wait period, 5677 was bred. Since BRED is only listed once on her cow card, we know it took only one unit of semen – meaning just one insemination for her to conceive.

She was later confirmed pregnant, noted as PREG on her cow card. This is only possible because she did not have early embryonic death loss or an abortion, and no other reproductive troubles.

The fourth, and final event of 5677’s lactation shows as DRY on her cow card. This means there were no other lingering issues throughout her lactation. She went about her business as usual, until time to be dried off in preparation for her next lactation.

What’s missing?

You might wonder what is missing from 5677’s cow card. Of course, maintenance events like pen moves, foot trims, vaccinations, and pregnancy re-checks also occur during a cow’s lactation.

But what’s really missing in a 4-event cow’s lactation are the setbacks – the costly, time-consuming issues that hinder overall herd profitability. A 4-event cow like 5677 does not get mastitis. She doesn’t become lame, and she does not abort her calf midway through the pregnancy. She avoids the sickness, infections and troubles that can cause major headaches for even the best dairy producers.

Make more like 5677

Cow 5677 is not only a 4-event cow. She’s a profitable cow. Consider the time and money you save, and peace of mind you gain, with 4-event cows. A herd full of cows like 5677 don’t require costly treatments, and don’t drop in milk production due to those health concerns.

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CONCEPT PLUS in the making of an Alta 4-EVENT COW

Remember cow 5677? At Alta, she’s what we call a 4-event cow. That means the management records on her individual cow card tell us she only experienced four events in her most recent lactation:

  1. FRESH – with a healthy calf and no metabolic issues
  2. BRED – serviced just one time, which means she got off to a health start after calving
  3. PREG – confirmed pregnant from a single service, and with no subsequent abortions
  4. DRY – dried off while healthy, and with no health problems throughout her lactation
Polaroid style image of Alta 4-EVENT COW #5677

How does Alta CONCEPT PLUS help make more 4-EVENT COWS?

Events 2 and 3, as listed above, both rely on several factors related to genetics and reproduction. One sure way to create more cows that will be confirmed pregnant after just one insemination is to use sires with the highly coveted, high fertility Alta CONCEPT PLUS rating.

Alta CONCEPT PLUS is the industry’s most accurate sire fertility evaluation, and it’s exclusive to Alta.

That means it’s the most reliable way for you to know the individual sire fertility for every Alta bull. It’s based on real pregnancy check results and accounts for all factors that can affect how well a bull creates pregnancies. And since the data only comes from the most progressive, large dairies like yours, you can have full confidence that Alta’s CONCEPT PLUS rated sires will help you create more pregnancies on your dairy.

Fewer services for more pregnancies!

If you’re using conventional semen in your breeding program, then the Alta bulls rated as CONCEPT PLUS high fertility sires will give you a 2%-5% conception rate advantage over an average conventional sire.

Concept Plus Logo

When sexed semen is part of your breeding strategy, then Alta’s 511 CONCEPT PLUS high fertility sexed bulls are the ones you’ll want to use, because they will help you achieve a 4%-9% conception rate advantage over any average sexed bull.

High Fertility SexedULTRA sires

Sire fertility = profit

Cow 5677 is not only an Alta 4-event cow. She’s a profitable cow. Whenever it takes just one service to create a pregnancy, you know your reproductive program is saving time and money and giving you peace of mind.

Using Alta’s high fertility CONCEPT PLUS sires improves your odds at creating a pregnancy on every service, on every cow. Regardless if you choose conventional and/or sexed semen as part of your breeding strategy, you can make the most of your genetic investment and create pregnancies with confidence.

When you use a group of Alta’s highest fertility CONCEPT PLUS conventional high fertility sires, or the highest fertility sexed Alta bulls, designated as 511 CONCEPT PLUS, you will create more Alta 4-event cows in your herd – just like 5677.

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Genetics in the making of an Alta 4-EVENT COW

One of the best ways to create more four-event cows for your future herd is to focus your genetic selection on health traits like Productive Life (PL).

When you work with your trusted Alta advisor to put enough emphasis on PL in your customized genetic plan and strategy, it doesn’t only mean that you’ll create more old cows. PL predicts which cows will be toughest, healthiest and easiest to manage.

How does a genetic plan relate to our Alta 4-event cow, 5677?

If you remember cow 5677, she is a second lactation cow living on a 1500-cow dairy – and she’s an Alta 4-event cow.

We also know that her sire is 11HO11499 AltaMEGLO. As of April 2019, AltaMEGLO’s PL value was +5.6. That means cow 5677 is expected to be productive in the herd for 5.6 months longer than her herdmates sired by a bull with a 0.0 PL value.

Polaroid style image of Alta 4-EVENT 5677 along with the 4-EVENT COW and Alta Genetic Plan and strategy logos

This actual measure of PL is not calculated until after a cow leaves the herd. However, we can look at other events in a herd’s management records to see if higher PL bulls like AltaMEGLO actually create healthier and more trouble-free cows.

Table 1 below breaks down the events within the herd where cow 5677 lives. It includes all animals with known Holstein sire ID’s. Based only on each animal’s parent average for Productive Life, this shows the real difference in the health events between cows with a pedigree for high PL, and cows with a pedigree for low PL.

This graph illustrates the real number of events, recorded on this farm’s herd management software program. Keep in mind, management is consistent throughout the herd, and no preferential treatment is provided for any given cow.

Graph comparing health events of high productive life cows versus low productive life cows

The table clearly shows the high PL cows had fewer issues after calving and throughout their entire lactation. High PL cows had fewer abortions, and fewer of them were coded as ‘do not breeds’ (DNB). The high PL cows also had fewer cases of mastitis, metritis, and other illness – all of the costly issues that cause headaches for dairy owners and managers. Because the high PL cows had fewer health problems, that also meant fewer of those cows were culled involuntarily.

Compare those results to cow 5677. We know that, because she’s an Alta 4-EVENT COW, she had none of those events. Her sire, AltaMEGLO is at +5.6 for sire PL – even higher than the average of the high PL group. It’s evident that aspect of her genetic makeup contributes to her status as an Alta 4-event cow with no health issues.

Customize your genetic plan & strategy to create more Alta 4-event cows

Consider how much smoother your days would go if you didn’t have any mastitis or metritis to deal with, and no IVs to give. A herd full of Alta 4-event cows like 5677 don’t require costly treatments, and they don’t drop in milk production due to those health concerns.

Any cow that has only the following four events in a lactation, is saving you time, money and headaches.

  1. FRESH – with a healthy calf and no metabolic issues
  2. BRED – serviced just one time, which means one unit of semen
  3. PREG – confirmed pregnant from a single service, and with no subsequent abortions
  4. DRY – dried off while healthy, and with no residual issues from throughout her lactation

 

Work with your trusted Alta advisor and select for Productive Life within your customized genetic plan. That way, you’ll be sure to create more 4-EVENT COWS like 5677 as future replacements for your herd.

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