In the simplest terms, genetic progress is making better cows, faster. You can create a future herd of better cows, faster, by following these three simple steps:
Step 1. Set the right genetic plan
When making genetic progress, it’s critical to drive that progress in the right direction. To do that, you’ll first need to decide what ‘better cows’ means for your herd. Does it mean a herd with higher production? Does it mean healthier, more efficient cows? Does it mean more fertile cows and heifers? Or maybe it’s a combination of all of these traits to create more productive, healthy, fertile, trouble-free cows.
The genetic decisions you make today become your future herd. So, if your primary focus for better cows is higher production, then put more emphasis on pounds of milk, fat, or protein. If your primary goal is healthier, more efficient cows, the select for traits like Productive Life or Daughter Pregnancy Rate.
A combination of health and production traits is generally your best bet. The same index is not the right fit for every dairy. So, if you prefer to use an industry index like NM$, TPI, or DWP$, work with your Alta advisor to understand what those indexes offer and what type of future herd they will help you create.
Step 2. Choose the best bulls for your genetic plan
Once you’ve set the right genetic plan, use the best bulls to fit that plan. Genetic progress does not happen by accident. When you use bulls that rank highest on your farm’s index, you create females that will deliver results in terms of production, health, and overall profitability.
Just remember that there’s not one single genetic plan that is right for every single dairy. Ensure that you choose the best bulls that fit your own genetic plan so that they match your farm’s future goals.
Whether your genetic strategy includes sexed semen or conventional, genomic or daughter-proven sires, ensure that the group of bulls you use fits the genetic plan you’ve set for your herd.
Alta BLUE LINK is the tool you need to connect the power from your decisions in Steps 1 and 2 to the actual implementation. This technology empowers you to be more strategic about the genetic decisions you make and streamlines your data, providing valuable insights to direct the course for your best future herd.
Because Alta BLUE LINK uses your real-time data directly from DairyComp, it allows you to accurately adapt which type of semen you use on which animals so you right-size your future heifer inventory and drive maximum profitability.