Archive for May 2018

Dairy Love: Long-Term Plans Or One Night Stands?

Remember when you were considered forward thinking if you could verbalize your 5-year plan in 5 minutes or less? At a milk board meeting? Well, those days are long gone. Today, dairy strategists are urging passionate dairy business owners to plan using two-time frames at once.  First.  Set up a short-term plan to deal with actionable goals to be completed in three years or less.  Second.  Keep your eye on the long-term plan by knowing how you fit into a 50-year dairy cycle.

Don’t Be Backward About Looking Forward 50 Years

A colleague recently said to me, “If you don’t have a plan for where you are going, you shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t get there!”  Without strategic planning, a modern dairy farm manager is left with two options—reaction or randomness.  Reaction is rarely a path to success and is usually expensive.  Randomness, or considering everything and moving in all directions hoping something will stick, is time-consuming and resource wasting. Of course, the best case scenario is to have access to someone with vision, experience and dairy knowledge that could look ahead and, with supported reasoning, provide us with a glimpse into the future of dairying.

Jack Britt, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean Emeritus from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA is exactly such a person.   His recent publications in the Journal of Dairy Science take the long-term view of 50 years, which from his starting point, refers to 2066 (Journal of Dairy Science Britt et al, 2018). One of the notable forecasts refers to the number of herds and their size. “My projections along with those from other dairy specialists, indicate the number of cows and herds in the U.S. will decline sharply by 2066. The U.S. Census projects a population of 410 million people by 2066.  If milk consumption is similar to today’s per capita or per person consumption, we will need around 5 million cows to produce the milk, depending on actual yield per cow.  At 3,500 cows per herd, that means that we could produce the country’s milk with 1,300 to 1,900 herds, depending on the actual production level per cow.” Nineteen hundred herds.  Thirty-five hundred cows per herd. Picture that!

Is Strategic Planning A Waste Of Time? Or A Money Maker?

Having read Dr Britt’s forecast on herd numbers and cow production numbers, you could decide to dismiss it as not relevant to your situation.  However, the clearer the picture we have of the future, the more likely it will be that we can make decisions now that will move us in that direction. To determine if this is possible means taking a second look and considering the changes in the dairy industry in the future as foreseen by the nutritionists, geneticists, veterinarians, reproduction specialists and dairy farmers who joined with Britt in considering the longer view.  

“Dairy farmers in 2066 will meet the world’s needs for essential nutrients by adopting technologies and practices that provide improved cow health and longevity, profitable dairy farms, and sustainable agriculture, “says Jack Britt.

Furthermore, Britte et al. forecasts “that larger dairy farms will continue to make greater use of automation to reduce costs. Improvements in genetic selection will lead to dairy cattle lines that are healthier, produce milk more efficiently, and are more disease and heat-resistant.”

Is Your Planning Strategic Or Standing Still?

Strategic planning, especially long-term strategic planning, is absolutely necessary in a fast-changing dairy industry. There are many records showing that the root cause of many dairy disasters can be attributed to pursuing short-term goals ahead of long-term ones. Unfortunately, too often many dairy operations, especially those with considerable investments or those with generations behind them, are tempted to consider that the process that leads to an annual budget can be a substitute for strategic planning.  The once a year dreaded exercise of preparing a detailed budget is indeed great for clarifying the reality of financial dependencies of the dairy, but it is not a strategy.  Instead, the effective dairy strategist determines what future success looks like, which problems to face head-on, which size and production milestones to target along the way, and where to allocate resources. Financial numbers are part of the process but not the only determining factor.  

Prepare A Quick Response Action Strategy

With long-term understanding and goals identified, it’s time for short-range innovation strategy to make sure that your dairy operation is profitable and sustainable. Looking back fifty years and saying, “Well. We’re still here!” is no guarantee that the same will be true in 2066. Where is your farm relative to automation? What progress has your herd made regarding feed inputs and milk production outputs?  It isn’t always the lowest cost that results in the best production.  What management strengths will keep your herd viable?

The science behind determining the future of dairying may provide good signposts for decision making, but like any forward planning, the critical part is the action plan that gets you there. 

Many of us have been motivated by five-year-plans and are fans of the 50-page strategic outline and marathon team building exercises.   But just like longer hours don’t automatically mean that you have done better work, longer business plans don’t necessarily mean better ones. We need to carry out long-term plans without being distracted by every dire prediction that comes our way.  At the same time, we need the short term consistency that builds efficiency. We need to plan ahead, start today and be flexible when things don’t work out as expected.

New Frontiers – “Dairy Cows Will Be Gene Based Rather Than Breed Based”

If we are to keep the dairy industry moving into a future defined by sustainable success, we need to have a clearer understanding of the way in which dairy breeding could be carried out in the future. Brett paints an interesting picture. “By 2066, the dairy cow will be decidedly different from today’s average bovine. Almost everyone predicts cows of the future will comprise genes from several breeds.  In addition, much of the crossbreeding between and among breeds may occur in the test tube where desirable genes from one breed will be moved into another breed via gene editing.  This reproductive and genetic philosophy essentially represents controlled crossbreeding.  It would be a much more efficient strategy to move desirable genes from one breed into another breed. It differs from conventional genetic engineering because the genes are being moved within species and maybe even within a breed. For example, a gene that codes for improved resistance to a particular disease within a breed might be moved into male embryos being used to produce bulls for A.I. or into embryos for sale.” If we resist these types of changes, are we fighting progress? What alternatives do you see happening in the next decades? Is staying the same an option?

Do You See Your Cows Clearly Or Is Blind Optimism Preventing Progress?

Expecting the banks and consumer to suddenly “see it our way” is not strategy, it is unsupported blind optimism. You may not be able to control the future, but strategic planning can create a direction for your dairy.  Without strategy, you will likely take action only to address immediate problems—a kind of crisis management approach. Strategic planning gives you the structure to make day-to-day decisions that follow a larger vision.  For instance, let’s look at the 57,000 pound figure forecast by Jack Britt. He gives us his reasoning.” This 57,000 pound figure represents a tremendous amount of milk per cow.  However, it stands below top records that individual cows have produced over the last five decades in the U.S. About four decades ago, the record Holstein produced 55,000 pounds of milk in one year, and since then, records have climbed to nearly 75,000 pounds as of December 2015.” He continues putting it in perspective. “An average cow today produces 2.65 times as much milk annually as an average cow did 50 years ago.  If we take today’s average and multiply it by 2.65, we project 59,341 pounds per cow, so our forecasters seem to be right on target and maybe a bit low…” Something to think about.  How does it apply to your dairy operation? Your cows?

New Market Demands. Real World Challenges.

There are several long-term challenges beyond the farm gate that face agriculture over the next 50 years.  One of the most threatening is the growing negative perception that consumer’s have toward modern agricultural practices. They take for granted that modern agriculture has a negative environmental impact.  These handed down stories from the mid-1900s are used as proof.  The facts that are rarely getting headlines actually are much different. “Virtually all agricultural practices have decreased their environmental footprint on a per product basis.  The US beef industry in 2007 used 70% of animals, 82% of feed, 88% of water and 67% of the land than what was used to produce the same amount of product in 1977 (Capper, J.L Journal of Animal Science, 2011). Unfortunately, these statistics are not receiving the proactive dissemination that will lead the millennial generation to believe in the benefits of progressive agriculture. How does this fit into our forward planning?

THE BULLVINE BOTTOM LINE … Big Picture Action Or Passive Dreamer?

We all love dairying, but we must commit our strategic planning away from annual one night stands to proactive long-term commitment. Like most things in life, it comes down to facing your fears.  If you can muster the courage to address the challenges head-on, you can reap the rewards. Whether you agree or disagree with the ideas discussed here, we hope that you have an idea of how you will move with or ahead of change. This applies whether we are dairying today or dairying fifty-years from today.

 

 

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SHOW AND TELL. It Takes Both at Riverdown Holsteins

Passionate dairy breeders can quickly supply the names of the top show cattle.  But, if your dairy business stops at show ring success, you are leaving dollars on the table.  The Bullvine recently had the opportunity to talk to Justin Velthuis about Riverdown Holsteins and the show ring and barn successes that they have targeted.

“The Riverdown Story is Upbeat”

“I am the third generation dairy farmer at our current location which is a half hour South of downtown Ottawa, “says Justin. Riverdown is truly a family farm operation he explains. “I farm with my parents and grandparents and have no employees outside of family labour.” The farm is comprised of 650 acres of which 550 are owned. “We milk 110 cows in a new robotic dairy barn with 2 Lely Astronaut A4 robots.” The robotic change is recent for the Velthuis family. “We moved in just over one year ago. All animals except the show heifers and calves on milk are housed in the new barn.”

The statistics on this Master Breeder Herd tell a growing story of success:

Herd:              27 Excellent.  76 Very Good.  23 Good Plus

Robotic:         Averaging 40 kg on 2.8 visits

The RIVERDOWN Show and Tell Story Has a Good Foundation

Earning a Master Breeder Shield doesn’t happen overnight. This is the part of the Riverdown story that Justin enjoys telling. “My parents and even my grandparents always had a nice herd of cows. “Riverdown won a Master Breeder shield in the late 90’s. “My dad bought half of BVK Dundee Delores Ex 91 2E 8* with his brothers at Velthuis farms in 2006. Her dam is Adeen and half our Riverdown herd traces back to this Dundee.”

The Riverdown Velthuis family has longstanding pride in their herd genetics.  This focus provided a natural and complimentary link with cattle showing where Justin says, “The 4H program has played a big part in developing my love for showing and genetics.” That said, Justin points out that nothing is overlooked at Riverdown where the Velthuis family work hard to make sure that their dairy ring stars are also dairy performers.

“Let’s Look at the 3rd Generation Beginning.”

Kingsway Tenacious Rochelle, 8th place Junior Two Year Old 2013 for Kingsway and Riverdown

Business Schools will tell you that managing generational shifts in a family business is an important and delicate process. The advice is to start planning early.  At Riverdown Holsteins the progression was one that all three generations foresaw as expected and natural. As for starting early, Jason started young following in the footsteps of those before him.

“I made two purchases at the age of 16 from Kingsway farms. The first being in March 2013. I was working their tag sale and picked out Cherrycrest That’s Neat Ex 91 (94 MS) as a three-month-old calf, not a show heifer by any means but a correct heifer from a good pedigree and was a red carrier. I called home and convinced my parents to go half with me on Neat. She has been a tremendous cow for us and put two bulls in AI: Incredibull at Semex and Unstopabull at Blondin sires. She is currently on a flush program and has made 35 embryos on her last two flushes.”

“The second animal I bought that year was Kingsway Tenacious Rochelle Ex 94. I was helping Kingsway at summer show, and this fresh junior 2-year-old really caught my eye. She stood 2nd that day, and I bought part of her. She would continue to develop in the excellent care of the McMillan family, and we sold her to Milk Source at the Royal Winter Fair as a Junior 3, where she stood 4th and was nominated All-Canadian. She has many impressive Goldwyn daughters in both herds from the one flush we did on her.

“Riverdown Jiggalea Is The Star of the Story”

RIVERDOWN ATWOOD JIGGALEA
1st place Junior Calf
2015 Royal Winter Fair

The highlight of our breeding program would be Riverdown Atwood Jiggalea. She is one of four Atwoods from Riverdown Redesign Jiggle Ex 92 that have been nominated in some form. Jiggalea is the most special though. She won the March class in 2015 at the Royal and was All-Canadian March calf open and 4H in 2015. Then as a junior yearling, she won all year including 1st and Honourable Mention for me at the Classic. She then stood third at the Royal behind the Junior Champion and Reserve Junior Champion. Picking up the Honour of All-Canadian 4H Junior Yearling and Honourable Mention Junior Yearling. Jiggalea is just fresh for the second time and scored 86 2yr.

“Other Family Success Stories Are Also Inspirational”

One of the best ways to create a sustainable multigenerational family dairy business is to anchor each succeeding generation in the story of the business.  Justin feels strongly about the impact his own and other dairy families have had on him, “I have been fortunate to have connected with some of the top people in the industry in my short time.

He looks back fondly, “I did a coop in high school at La Ferme Gillette and learned a lot and have so much respect for the Patenaude family.” Then Justin continues the list, “My first two purchases and several more have come from or been with Kingsway. Not only are they great breeders, but they’re also great people. Jiggalea would not have done what she did without the help of Rob Heffernan. Rob has housed a couple of heifers for me and sure taught me a lot about show heifers. He is flat out the best at heifers.

Despite his youth, Justin recognizes the value in understanding both old and new perspectives on cattle breeding. “More recently I have invested in genomic type and have learned a lot from Dann Brady and have partnered with Blondin on a type heifer, Kawartha Armani Memory, nominated All-Canadian Jr.2 and sold in a Blondin recent sale as well as a high genomic type heifer Creekside Callen May. Dann, Simon and the rest of the Blondin team have been very good to me. These mentors have shared their understanding of what it takes to remain competitive, and it bodes well for Justin as the third generation that he recognizes the value of the hands-on experience he gained at home. “My most important mentors have been my parents for the opportunity I have.” Justin pinpoints how the experience and talents of his parents, Karen and John Velthuis, have inspired his dairy passion. “My parents are the perfect combo. Mom has the same passion for showing as I do and dad is an excellent manager and an outstanding dollar and cents guy.” The dialogue between the two generations provides both sides with real-world prioritizing of dairy breeding goals and relevant discussions on the current marketplace that they are all interested in.

“Little Details Make a Big Difference When You’re Pursuing Dreams.”

Justin with parner and mentor Dann Brady of Blondin Sires and Ferme Blondin

Justin is inspired to be the best but recognizes that success starts in all the small details. “I have a lot of goals. Show ring success or another AI bull or a chart topper are all something I hope for, but my main goal is to keep growing the farm and improve little things all the time.” Continually improving the little things can be expected to provide a corresponding increase in the day to day dairy efficiency. Three generations of the family have paid this kind of attention knowing it would pay off in achieving their goals in milk production, dairy breeding and cattle showing.

“Know Your Strengths and Then Find Great Mentors”

When it comes to focus, it’s understood that you can’t be everything to everybody.  Dairying is such a huge investment it’s important to find out what works for your dairy strengths. Justin knows this. “The advice I would give someone looking at investing in genetics is to “decide what type of cattle (Holstein, Jersey, index, polled, show, etc.) works best for you and your operation and then learn from the best in that segment.”

“Consumers Come First”

Regardless of personal goals, the dairy industry must always listen to the customer.  Justin recognizes how important that can be as the dairy industry looks toward a sustainable future. “As an industry, we must deal with consumers. This includes facing criticism and demands while producing a wholesome product for them.” No matter how much we learn about cows, dairy facilities and genetics, the customer needs to be there with positive support, or we won’t be.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Justin is enthusiastic about continuing to maintain and develop a profitable and robust dairy operation.  He knows that it will be a big job. We at THE BULLVINE and our readers wish Justin all the best in using the family mix of skills, talents and genetics to carry “RIVERDOWN” successfully into the future.

 

 

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Western National Spring Red & White Show 2018

DATE: May 17-18, 2018
LOCATION: Richmond, UT
JUDGE: Yan Jacobs, QC

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MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION)
Grand Champion
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
GRAISSON SCHMIDT, PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA

GRAND CHAMPION: MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION), 1ST SR 3 YR OLD, GRAISSON SCHMIDT, PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA
RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION: MISS APPLE ARIA-RED-ET (ALCHEMY), 1ST 5 YR OLD, STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX & TYLER DICKROFF, CA
HM GRAND CHAMPION: MEL-TINA ACTION LACY-RED (ACTION), 1ST 4 YR OLD, ROBERT TEIXEIRA & MELVIN LEE MEDEIROS, CA

MISS APPLE ARIA-RED-ET
Senior Champion
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX & TYLER DICKROFF, CA

SENIOR CHAMPION: MISS APPLE ARIA-RED-ET (ALCHEMY), 1ST 5 YR OLD, STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX & TYLER DICKROFF, CA
RESERVE SENIOR CHAMPION: MEL-TINA ACTION LACY-RED (ACTION), 1ST 4 YR OLD, ROBERT TEIXEIRA & MELVIN LEE MEDEIROS, CA

MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION)
Intermediate Champion
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
GRAISSON SCHMIDT & PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA

INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION), GRAISSON SCHMIDT, PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA
RESERVE INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: MAHONEY ROSA-LYNN-ET (ARMANI), GABBIE GREGORIO & HANK & CAROLYN VAN EXEL, CA
HM INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: YARD-O-UTE MA GINGER-RED-ET (MALONE), WADE YARDLEY, UT

BBM ABS WONDER WOMAN-RED-ET (ABSOLUTE)
JUNIOR CHAMPION
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
WESTCOAST HOLSTEINS, BC

JUNIOR CHAMPION –  BBM ABS WONDER WOMAN-RED-ET (ABSOLUTE), WESTCOAST HOLSTEINS, BC
RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION – BUTTER-DELL DIAM IVY-RED-ET (DIAMONDBACK), KENT & DANIAL BUTTARS, UT
HM JUNIOR CHAMPION – MILKSOURCE TARGET-RED-ET (DEFIANT), TYLER ROSS, AZ

MILKSOURCE TARGET-RED-ET (DEFIANT)
JUNIOR CHAMPION – JUNIOR SHOW
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
TYLER ROSS, AZ

JUNIOR CHAMPION – JUNIOR SHOW: MILKSOURCE TARGET-RED-ET (DEFIANT), TYLER ROSS, AZ
RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION: MIEKELENA HEZTRY ZURI-RED (HEZTRY), HELENA VAN ESS, WA

 

WINTER CALF (1)

MIEKELENA HEZTRY ZURI-RED
1st place Winter Calf
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
HELENA VAN ESS, WA

1. MIEKELENA HEZTRY ZURI-RED (HEZTRY), HELENA VAN ESS, WA

 

FALL CALF (2)

BBM ABS WONDER WOMAN-RED-ET (ABSOLUTE)
1st place Fall Calf
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA

1. BBM ABS WONDER WOMAN-RED-ET (ABSOLUTE), STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA
2. BALLAND GO SUREFLY-RED-TW (VIBRATION), MEREDITH BALL, ID

 

SUMMER YEARLING (2)

MILKSOURCE TARGET-RED-ET (DEFIANT)
1st place Summer Yearling
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
TYLER ROSS, AZ

1. (1ST JR) MILKSOURCE TARGET-RED-ET (DEFIANT), TYLER ROSS, AZ
2. (B&O) SKYHART ADDICTION ALICE-RED (ADDICTION), RICHARD & EILEEN HARTZELL, WA

 

SPRING YEARLING (2)

BUTTER-DELL DIAM IVY-RED-ET (DIAMONDBACK)
1st place Spring Yearling
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
KENT & DANIAL BUTTARS, UT

1. (B&O) BUTTER-DELL DIAM IVY-RED-ET (DIAMONDBACK), KENT & DANIAL BUTTARS, UT
2. DOUBLETREE DIAMOND LEEANN (DIAMONDBACK), BILL WRIGHT, UT

 

WINTER YEARLING (1)

RUANN AVALA BONNIE-65924-ET (AVALANCHE),
1st place Winter Yearling
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA

1. RUANN AVALA BONNIE-65924-ET (AVALANCHE), STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA

SENIOR 2 YEAR OLD (2)

YARD-O-UTE MA GINGER-RED-ET (MALONE)
1st place Senior Two-Year-Old
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
WADE YARDLEY, UT

1. (B&O) YARD-O-UTE MA GINGER-RED-ET (MALONE), WADE YARDLEY, UT
2. CACHE-VALLEY RAMBO REPUNZEL-RED (RAMBO), HARRISDAIRY LAND, UT

JUNIOR 3 YEAR OLD (2)

MAHONEY ROSA-LYNN-ET (ARMANI)
1st place Junior Three Year Old
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
GABBIE GREGORIO & HANK & CAROLYN VAN EXEL, CA

1. MAHONEY ROSA-LYNN-ET (ARMANI), GABBIE GREGORIO & HANK & CAROLYN VAN EXEL, CA
2. (B&O) MS ESKDALE LADD LASS-RED-ET (LADD P), JOHN CONRAD, UT

SENIOR 3 YEAR OLD (1)

MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION)
1st place Senior Three Year Old
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
GRAISSON SCHMIDT & PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA

1. MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION), GRAISSON SCHMIDT, CA

4 YEAR OLD (1)

MEL-TINA ACTION LACY-RED
1st place Four Year old
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
ROBERT TEIXEIRA & MELVIN LEE MEDEIROS, CA

1. MEL-TINA ACTION LACY-RED (ACTION), ROBERT TEIXEIRA & MELVIN LEE MEDEIROS, CA

5 YEAR OLD (1)

MISS APPLE ARIA-RED-ET
1st Place Five Year Old
Western Spring National Red & White Show 2018
STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX & TYLER DICKROFF, CA

1. MISS APPLE ARIA-RED-ET (ALCHEMY), STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA

Western National Spring Holstein Show 2018

DATE:May 17-18, 2018
LOCATION:Richmond, UT
JUDGE: Yan Jacobs, QC

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Utag Windbrook Eclipse
Grand Champion
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Utah State University

GRAND CHAMPION: UTAG WINDBROOK ECLIPSE (WINDBROOK), 1ST AGED COW, UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, UT
RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION: RUANN DOORMAN JEAN-55162-ET (DOORMAN), 1ST JUNIOR 3YR OLD, STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA
HM GRAND CHAMPION: MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION), 1ST SENIOR 3YR OLD, GRAISSON SCHMIDT, PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA

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Utag Windbrook Eclipse
Senior Champion
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Utah State University

SENIOR CHAMPION: UTAG WINDBROOK ECLIPSE (WINDBROOK), 1ST AGED COW, UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, UT
RESERVE SENIOR CHAMPION: GAMLAKE DESTRY SALLIE (DESTRY), 2ND AGED COW, SAMANTHA GAMBONINI, CA
HM SENIOR CHAMPION: MISS APPLE ARIA RED-ET (ALCHEMY), 1ST 5 YR OLD, STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX & TYLER DICKEROFF, CA

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PAPPYS DOORMAN ROSE-ET
Grand Champion of the Junior Show
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT

GRAND CHAMPION – JUNIOR SHOW: PAPPYS DOORMAN ROSE-ET (DOORMAN), 4TH SR 2 YR OLD, ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT
RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION: FERN-OAK MERIDIAN 24606-TW (MERIDIAN), 3RD 4YR OLD, MADDOX & FERNANDEZ, CA
HM GRAND CHAMPION: LIDDLEHOLME DBACK THUNDER (DIAMONDBACK), 1ST SUMMER YEARLING, ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT

Fern-Oak Meridian 24606-Tw
Senior Champion of the Junior Show
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Greyden Maddox

SENIOR CHAMPION – JUNIOR SHOW: FERN-OAK MERIDIAN 24606-TW (MERIDIAN), 3RD 4YR OLD, MADDOX & FERNANDEZ, CA
RESERVE SENIOR CHAMPION: PAPPYS GOLDWYN NATASHA-ET (GOLDWYN), 1ST 150,000 LB COW, ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT

Ruann Doorman Jean-55162-ET
Intermediate Champion
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Stephen and Patrick Maddox

INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: RUANN DOORMAN JEAN-55162-ET (DOORMAN), 1ST JUNIOR 3YR OLD, STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA
RESERVE INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION), 1ST SENIOR 3YR OLD, GRAISSON SCHMIDT, PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA
HM INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: LINDALE DOORMAN FELINA (DOORMAN), 2ND JUNIOR 3YR OLD, PAT CONROY, IN

Pappys Doorman Rose-ET
Intermediate Champion of the Jr Show
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Alexis Papageorge, UT

INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION -JUNIOR SHOW: PAPPYS DOORMAN ROSE-ET (DOORMAN), 4TH SR 2YR OLD, ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT
RESERVE INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: TRENT VALLEY SID ALY (SID), 1ST JR 3YR OLD, CASEY, CHOLE, CHACE, VANDEREYK, CA
HM INTERMEDIATE CHAMPION: RUANN D-MAN JEAN-60274-ET (DOORMAN), 2ND JR 2YR OLD, SUMMER PARREIRA, CA

Pappys Goldwyn Risky-et
1st place Fall Heifer Calf
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Pappys Farms LLC

JUNIOR CHAMPION: PAPPYS GOLDWYN RISKY-ET (GOLDWYN), PAPPYS FARMS, UT
RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION: LIDDLEHOLME DBACK THUNDER (DIAMONDBACK), ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT
HM JUNIOR CHAMPION: MISS PETITCLERC SERENA (SOLOMON), GRAISSON SCHMIDT, CA

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Liddleholme Dback Thunder
Junior Champion of the Junior Show
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Alexis Christina Papageorge

JUNIOR CHAMPION – JUNIOR SHOW: LIDDLEHOLME DBACK THUNDER (DIAMONDBACK), ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT
RESERVE JUNIOR CHAMPION: WHEY-MAT GOLD CHIP JESSIEJO (GOLD CHIP), CAL LEAK, UT
HM JUNIOR CHAMPION: GABZ DEFIANT REAGAN (DEFIANT), GABBIE GREGORIO, CA

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Hammertime Brady Raelyn-et
1st place Winter Heifer Calf
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Ryan Matheron

1. HAMMERTIME BRADY RAELYN-ET (BRADY), CRANEHILL GENETICS & MATT & LAUREN EVANGELO, CA
2. VELA-NOVAGEN D EMBER SPIRIT (DOORMAN), L&L PIRES DAIRY, CA
3. PAPPYS CINDERDOOR VIOLET (CINDERDOOR), PAPPYS FARMS, UT
4. BUTTER-DELL CINDERDOOR JANE (CINDERDOOR), KENT & DANIEL BUTTARS, UT
5. CACHE-VALLEY DEFIANT MAGIC (DEFIANT), HARRISDAIRY LAND, UT

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Pappys Goldwyn Risky-et
1st place Fall Heifer Calf
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Pappys Farms LLC

1. (B&O) PAPPYS GOLDWYN RISKY-ET (GOLDWYN), PAPPYS FARMS, UT
2. (1ST JR) WHEY-MAT GOLD CHIP JESSIEJO (GOLD CHIP), MATT & LENA LEAK, UT
3. (2ND JR) GABZ DEFIANT REAGAN (DEFIANT), GABBIE GREGORIO, CA
4. COBEQUID DOORMAN SOLO (DOORMAN), MITCHEL COLEMAN, CA
5. BBM ABS WONDER WOMAN-RED-ET (ABSOLUTE), STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA

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Liddleholme Dback Thunder
1st place Summer Yearling
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Alexis Papageorge

1. (1ST JR) LIDDLEHOLME DBACK THUNDER (DIAMONDBACK), ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT
2. MISS PETITCLERC SERENA (SOLOMON), GRAISSON SCHMIDT, CA
3. (B&O) RUANN G W AT MERLA-73642-ET (ATWOOD), STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA
4. MILKSOURCE TARGET-RED (DEFIANT), TYLER ROSS, AZ
5. BUTTER-DELL CAPITAL G SYBIL (CAPITAL GAIN), KENT & DANIEL BUTTARS, UT

h

Miss Brook Hollow Suzee Q
1st place Spring Yearling
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Joshua Wright & Jordan Leak

1. MISS BROOK HOLLOW SUZEE Q (GOLD CHIP), JOSHUA WRIGHT & JORDAN LEAK, ID
2. (1ST JR, B&O) CACHE-VALLEY SHOT DIMPLE (LASER), XANDER HARRIS, UT
3. CRANEHILL DBACK CHLOE-ET (DIAMONDBACK), CRANEHILL GENETICS, CA
4. BUTTER-DELL DIAM IVY-RED-ET (DIAMONDBACK), KENT & DANIEL BUTTARS, UT
5. PAPPYS DIAMONDBACK RUSTIC (DIAMONDBACK), PAPPYS FARMS, UT

h

Lorita Kingboy Holly
1st place Winter Yearling
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Mitchell Coleman

1. (1ST JR) LORITA KINGBOY HOLLY (KINGBOY), MITCHELL COLEMAN, CA
2. UTAG GOLDWYN ZEE-ET (GOLDWYN), T&L CATTLE & MIKE BERRY, OR
3. (B&O) PAPPYS DOORMAN TEXAS (DOORMAN), LACEY PAPAGEORGE, UT
4. GILTEX DBACK BIANCA-ET (DIAMONDBACK), GILBERT TEIXEIRA, CA
5. WESTCOAST SOLOMON RAQUELLE (SOLOMON), JOSHUA WRIGHT & JASON BAILEY, ID

f

Pyramid Doorman Lyric-et
1st place Fall Yearling
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Wade Yardley

1. PYRAMID DOORMAN LYRIC-ET (DOORMAN), WADE YARDLEY, UT
2.LUDWIGS-DG GOLD AMBITION-ET (GOLDWYN), MIKE BERRY & T&L CATTLE, OR
3. (1ST JR) PAPPYS HEZTRY FROSTING (HEZTRY), TREY LEAK, UT
4. (B&O) PAPPYS CHELIOS RAPUNZEL-ET (CHELIOS), PAPPYS FARMS, UT
5. CL&BSG DOLCE & GABBANA (DIAMONDBACK), ZACHARY & DANIELLE DAMROW, ID

f

DRY COW (1)

1. BALLAND CPR FIREFLY (COPPER), MEREDITH BALL, ID

g

DOUBLETREE BEEMER LORI
1st place Junior Two Year Old
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Bill Wright

1. (B&O) DOUBLETREE BEEMER LORI (BEEMER), BILL WRIGHT, UT
2. (1ST JR) RUANN D-MAN JEAN-60274-ET (DOORMAN), SUMMER PARREIRA, CA
3. LEAK ARCHRIVAL RIPPLE-ET (ARCHRIVAL), JORDAN LEAK, ID
4. WHEY-MAT SID TESLA-ET (SID), MADDIE LEAK, UT
5. UTAG SID CHERRY (SID), UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, UT

f

Ruann Doorman Jean-55162-ET
1st place Senior Two-Year-Old
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Stephen and Patrick Maddox

1. (B&O) RUANN DOORMAN JEAN-55162-ET (DOORMAN), STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA
2. LINDALE DOORMAN FELINA (DOORMAN), PAT CONROY, IN
3. UTAG KADE HOPE (KADE), UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, UT
4. (1ST JR) PAPPYS DOORMAN ROSE-ET (DOORMAN), ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT
5. STRANSHOME GOLD OLLIE-ET (GOLDWYN), RICHARD & EILEEN HARTZELL, WA

d

Canyon-Breeze More Arlexsia
1st place Futurity
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Cory Gillins

1. CANYON-BREEZE MORE ARLEXSIA (MORE GOLD), CORY GILLINS, UT
2. LEAKBROS CHELS DAISY-ET (CHELIOS), MATT & LENA LEAK, UT
3. BUTTER-DELL ATWOOD BRITT-ET (ATWOOD), KENT & DANIEL BUTTARS, UT
4. PAPPYS ATWOOD BETSY-ET (ATWOOD), PAPPYS FARMS, UT
5. ESKDALE HEZTRY RICHTER (HEZTRY), JOHN CONRAD, UT

f

Trent Valley Sid Aly
1st place Junior Three Year Old
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Casey, Chole, Chace, VanderEyk

1. (1ST JR) TRENT VALLEY SID ALY (SID), CASEY, CHOLE, CHACE, VANDEREYK, CA
2. MAHONEY ROSA-LYNN-RED-ET (ARMANI), GABBIE GREGORIO & HANK & CAROLYN VAN EXEL, CA
3. (B&O) LEAKBROS RALF DEPOSIT (RALF), MATT & JORDAN LEAK, UT
4. PAPPYS ATWOOD BELLA -ET (ATWOOD), PAPPYS FARMS, UT
5. BRIDGERLAND GOLD CHIP ADDIE (GOLD CHIP), KYLE ANDERSON, UT

c

Ms Barb Act Beauty-Red-et
1st place Senior Three Year Old
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Graisson Schmidt

1. MS BARB ACT BEAUTY-RED-ET (ACTION), GRAISSON SCHMIDT, PAT CONROY & MIKE BERRY, CA
2. (B&O) CANYON-BREEZE MORE ARLEXSIA (MORE GOLD), CORY GILLINS, UT
3. LEAKBROS CHELS DAISY-ET (CHELIOS), MATT & JORDAN LEAK, UT
4. MISS A2 AQUA-ET (DESTRY), NDIRA, CA
5. CRESTOMERE UNIX LINDOR (UNIX), FRANK & CAROL & FRANK & DIANE BORBA, CA

g

Apgambo Atwood Keenan
1st place Four Year Old
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
S Maddox, S Schmidt P M A Gambonini

1. (B&O) AP GAMBO ATWOOD KEENAN (ATWOOD), S & P MADDOX, G & M SCHMIDT & A GAMBONINI, CA
2. MEL-TINA ACTION LACY-RED (ACTION), ROBERT TEIXEIRA, CA
3. (1ST JR) FERN-OAK MERIDIAN 24606-TW (MERIDIAN), GREYDEN MADDOX, CA
4. SEAGULL-BAY STRN OAKLEY-ET (ALTAOAK), SEAGULL-BAY DAIRY, ID
5. CACHE-VALLEY FREEZE 2889 (FREEZE), HARRISDAIRY LAND, UT

f

MISS APPLE ARIA-RED-ET
1st place Five Year Old
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Stephen and Patrick Maddox

1. MISS APPLE ARIA RED-ET (ALCHEMY), STEPHEN & PATRICK MADDOX, CA
2. ALDORA ATTRA DEMPSEY (DEMPSEY), FRANK & CAROL & FRANK & DIANE BORBA, CA
3. MISS ESKDALE ACME ALEX-ET (ACME), ALLEXIS SYNDICATE, UT
4. (B&O) PAPPYS ATWOOD FELMA (ATWOOD), PAPPYS FARMS, UT
5. CACHE-VALLEY ATWOOD TINA-ET (ATWOOD), HARRISDAIRY LAND, UT

f

Utag Windbrook Eclipse
1st place Aged Cow
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Utah State University

1. (B&O) UTAG WINDBROOK ECLIPSE (WINDBROOK), UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, UT
2. GAMLAKE DESTRY SALLIE (DESTRY), SAMANTHA GAMBONINI, CA
3. CACHE-VALLEY GC JAZZY GIRL (GOLD CHIP), HARRISDAIRY LAND, UT
4. COSTA-VIEW BRADNICK 48763 (BRADNICK), GILBERT TEIXEIRA, CA
5. UTAG EFFORT CHINTZ (EFFORT), UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY, UT

g

Pappys Goldwyn Natasha-et
1st place Production Cow
Western Spring National Holstein Show 2018
Alexis Papageorge

1. (B&O, 1ST JR) PAPPYS GOLDWYN NATASHA-ET (GOLDWYN), ALEXIS PAPAGEORGE, UT
2. CANYON-BREEZE AF ARLETT-ET (AFTERSHOCK), CORY GILLINS, UT
3. CACHE-VALLEY SHOT 2376-ET (SHOTTLE), HARRISDAIRY LAND, UT

g

NAFTA TRADE TALKS: Whose is Glass Half Full? Whose is Half Empty?

Successful trade talks and glasses of milk.  Can they be compared? Is it all merely political rhetoric?  Perhaps both will end up going down the drain. Does it matter?

While logic says there is more at stake than a glass of milk, NAFTA trade talks certainly stir up endless arguments regarding the state of dairying in the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Is It Clear What We Are Arguing About?

The optimist says the glass is half full and there is hope for expanded dairy market opportunities. The pessimist says the glass is half empty and regulations must prevent countries, such as Canada, from reducing what is available for others. The pessimist says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be and that dairy markets need to cut production. The realist says the glass contains half the required amount of liquid for it to overflow and says until supply and demand in the entire dairy market is analyzed, the resulting decisions will fail to achieve profitable results.

What Does Class 7 Pricing Mean at the Farm Gate?

Canada’s Class 7 pricing program has hit the headlines and, of course, depending which side of the argument you fall on it seems to inspire this half-full, half-empty debate. As of May 9th, the NAFTA discussions have not mentioned dairy issues. However, USA industry leaders are confident Class 7 will be addressed before the deal is done. Michael Dykes, CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association feels that dairy will probably be one of the last things discussed. He says, “I remain optimistic we’ll get something done on Class 7.” This stems from his feeling that the Trump Administration understands both the short and long-term impacts that Class 7 has on American dairy farms. The example is given of the way Trump defended Wisconsin dairy farmers early in his administration (Trump Fabricates False Dairy war with Canada). Once again, the side you choose depends on where your farm-gate profits are made.  Your perspective changes as your real profits change. 

If Markets Improve for One Side, Is it Always Bad News for Everyone Else?

From the Canadian side of the market, there are signs that things are looking brighter for Canadian farmers.  Of course, you must remember the relative size of the two marketplaces.  The entire Canadian dairy is only one-tenth of the size of the US market.  I recently heard the comparison that, “All of the Canadian dairy is the same as the state of Wisconsin and the Chicago market.” However, it is perceived as threatening, when simple percentages are quoted which note that Canadian milk production is expected to increase this year by 4% to 21.6 billion pounds.  When that statistic follows three consecutive years of growth in Canadian milk production this summation of Canada having its cake and eating it too, is supported with more statistics: “Since 2014 Canada’s milk production has grown by more than 16%”. This is undoubtedly a glass-half-full analysis that might inspire a cynical look at Canadian competition. Is there any value in wanting all layers of the market to operate at a profit? 

Red Flags.  Milk Powder. Lost markets.

It would be so simple if the dairy market dealt with fluid milk only.  But it doesn’t.  The vast majority of milk is consumed in solid form. Furthermore, the principal point of comparison is now becoming concerns over the exporting of skim milk powder. Globally dairy farmers may be partly to blame for the oversupply of solid milk products.  Now that butterfat has a renewed life with support for the idea that fat does not cause heart disease and fat gives dairy product their taste. The US is almost balanced on fat produced and consumed.  However, the fact remains that there is too much powder.  IfIf the components of the milk produced were 4.5% Fat and 3.0% Protein, instead of the current 3.8% Fat and 3.0% Protein, there would be proportionately less powder.  Of course, that assumes that less milk would be shipped.  An added benefit of more concentrated milk would be less transport costs per unit of solid.  Demanding less milk volume but the current level of solid would be a three-way winner: less stress on the cow; less fossil fuel used and less environmental impact.

It’s Not Fair! What is the Measure of Fairness?

Both the amount of the Canadian exports and the cost-of-production concern Mr Dykes who notes that Canada has “gone from [exporting] about 20,000 MT to last year they did 70,000 MT of skim milk powder.” From his perspective “It defies logic when the highest cost milk producer in the world can land skim milk powder in Mexico three cents cheaper than we can in the U.S. Skim milk powder is a thinly traded product, even a one cent difference can mean the loss of a sale.” When it comes to competition for non-fluid milk products, lawmakers urge Lighthizer to press for elimination of Canada’s Class 7 pricing program. 

What’s the Point of It All?

There are points to be made on the plus and minus sides for all parties involved in the dairy negotiations.  It is probably redundant to consider that the point of trade agreements is to reach an agreement…. Something that works for all the parties involved.  There is an assumption that there will be give and take.  However, especially in the news headlines, dairy producers want to see themselves aligned with the government that provides them with more “take” than “give”. 

To Deal? Or Not to Deal?  That is the Question

Canada gave up 3% of its production in the CETA (Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement) negotiations between Canada and the EU.  In the twelve countries TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), the Trump administration pulled out of TPP in January 2017.  The US would have had the opportunity to compete in the Canadian market if it had stayed in TPP. The remaining eleven countries have signed the TPP, now known as CPTTP.  So the 3% share of the Canadian market is open to countries like New Zealand and Australia.  Obviously, with multiple trade deals being considered simultaneously, the issues are not simple to resolve.

Not all Production is as Simple as Produce a Product and Then Sell it. 

There are many layers in between the farm field and the grocery store shelves.  Processors play a crucial role in dairying.  Their profits change the playing field every day. “Processors never ship at a loss.” This is a key factor that, long before trade negotiations, has a significant impact on US producers’ bottom lines.  Canada’s supply management is intended to avoid the problems of over-supply — but it’s not seen as the answer to problems facing small to medium sized US milk producers. Additionally, NFU (National Farmers Union) in the US recently reported that dairy farmers receive 20% less of the retail food dollar compared to 2014. The dairy industry needs to find out and take action in dealing with the root cause of this decline.

The NAFTA agreement has much to work out.

There are thirty-two identified chapters to be negotiated in the NAFTA agreement.  At the end of April 2018, only six were concluded.  If trading parties can’t effectively negotiate to open markets between themselves, they will be forced to look at the even bigger world market, which also has its own what’s-in-it-for-me perspective on dairy trading. All countries get wrapped up in the blame game, but when you’re dairying 24-7, the real discussion always comes down too how to effectively sustain a profitable dairy industry. The glass half full or half empty is only relevant as long as the milk producers remain relevant.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Let’s hope that throughout the bombardment of upcoming headlines, the milk consumer opportunist says, “Thanks, folks! While you are debating whether the glass is half full or half empty, I drank it!”

 

 

 

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The Genetics of Feed Efficiency in Dairy – Where are we at?

Feeding dairy animals has gone from least cost to balanced rations to now where Income Over Feed Costs is king on a herd basis. Producers are now wanting to know which animals are the more efficient at converting feed to growth or milk. Since feed intake in dairy cattle has been considered to be too costly to measure, progeny testing programs have not provided sire daughter feed efficiency indexes.

Breeders want more for less. More growth and more milk from less feed. In this article, The Bullvine do an overview on where the genetics of feed efficiency is at.

Why is Feed Efficiency Important?

With feed costs being 50-60% of the total cost for the milking herd and an even higher percentage for calves, heifers and dry cows, it means that the managers of tomorrow need answers on the genetic side of feed efficiency to help attain future success. The margins in dairy farming are narrow and are likely to remain so into the future. Genetics, along with other disciplines, need to advance efficiencies.  Of course, this not just a “cow” issue, it is also a crop production, harvest, storage and processing issue.

 In other livestock industries, poultry, swine and beef, the genetics of feed efficiency has become a must-have. Dairy is behind in using genetics to advance feed conversion efficiency.

In dollars, saving $0.25 in feed costs per animal per day without reducing income, amounts to $83,500 per year for a 600-cow herd, that milks 500, has up to 100 dry cows and raises their own heifers as herd replacements. That’s not pocket change and if by genetic selection that $83,500 can be achieved – that’s significant.

Tracking Feed Efficiency

Many ways of tracking feed intake have been tried by researchers and companies to monitor animals. They include dry matter intake (DMI), residual feed intake (RFI), feed saved, time at the feed bunk, head movements during feeding, rumination activity and the use of novel electronic devices. But none, as yet, have been found to be the answer to the question – “Which sires produce the daughters that take less feed to produce the same milk revenue?”

Current State of Public Research Results

Dr. Kent Weigel (University of Wisconsin-Madison) on March 24, 2018 presented a very comprehensive report to the Northeast (Cornell) Dairy Production Medicine Symposium on a three-country dairy feed efficiency project (eleven research institutions with nine from the United States, one from Canada and one from The Netherlands) that analyzed numerous research projects and in each project the cows’ intake and performance.  A synopsis of the facts that he reported include:

  • The RFI data available, on approximately 8,000 cows, is not enough to provide accurate sire proofs. Heritability was found to be 19%, but the reliability of sire indexes is only 20-25%. Many, many more cow feed intake records are needed to go along with production and other data.
  • DMI information is closely associated with level of production and cow size but it is not a good indicator of the genetic ability of a sire’s daughters for saving feed costs without altering yield.
  • The ‘feed saved’ research results from Australia provide an interesting concept but, there again, much more data is needed, in order to provide sire genetic indexes.
  • To get to the point of sire genomic indexes for feed efficiency will take time. First of all, a broad-based reference population is needed. Breeders are accustomed to genomic indexes being 65%-75% REL, so the current 20-25% REL for feed efficiency is not high enough.
  • Currently high and low feed efficient cow families have been identified with some level of confidence. So there is progress being made in arriving at useful information.
  • The three country international project, studying dairy cow feed efficiency, will continue including trying out new measurements and devices but breeders cannot expect answers any time soon.

General Recommendation by A. I. for Selecting Sires for Feed Efficiency

The general recommendation from A.I. for breeders who want to move their herds forward, genetically, for feed efficiency has been that they place emphasis on sires with higher fat and protein yield indexes but that also only have average to below average size/frames proofs. National total merit indexes and A.I. stud composite indexes (TPI, NM$, JPI, LPI, Pro$, ICC$, …) usually only place about 50% of their emphasis on those three traits, so changing a herd genetically for feed efficiency will not occur quickly. And it will only occur if the top-ranked sires for those three traits are used extensively to sire the next generation.

Four Organization are Stepping Out and Publishing Feed Efficiency Sire Ratings

There are four organizations that are publishing sire ratings for feed efficiency. A closer look at their information, currently available to breeders, follows:

Holstein US Predicts Feed Efficiency by Using Other Genetic Indexes

All sires on Holstein US various sire listings contain a ‘FE’ (feed efficiency) column. It is an estimate of the net profit a milk producer can expect to receive. Factors included in ’FE’ are: dollar value of extra milk produced, feed costs of the extra milk and extra maintenance costs for large cows. This is the formula that Holstein US uses:

FE = (-0.0187 x Milk) + (1.28 x Fat) + (1.95 x Protein) – (12.4 x Body Weight Composite)

Table 1 – Top FE Proven Holstein Sires

Bull NAAB Code           FE*          Milk            Fat     Protein Body WC          SCS             PL             FI          PTAT           TPI          NM$
1. Josuper 29HO16553 260 3442 114 98 1 2.83 6.1 -0.1 1.42 2806 998
2. Princeton 1HO11881 252 2669 107 84 -0.16 2.77 3.9 -4.6 1.7 2562 842
3. Denver 151HO0690 240 2365 108 76 0.15 2.99 2.5 -0.3 2.14 2695 787
4. Peterpan 7HO12255 235 2226 108 75 0.62 2.96 2.2 -1.5 1.02 2459 708
5. Cabriolet 1HO10396 234 1064 101 53 -1.73 2.89 6.2 1 -0.03 2562 895
6. Maguire 7HO12256 230 1580 116 61 0.62 2.76 3.9 -1.9 1.39 2553 805
AVG Top 15 FE Sires 228 1972         101** 69 -0.09 2.87 4.6          -0.5** 1.54 2625 826
AVG Top 15 TPI Sires 206 1961          86** 68 -0.01 2.86 4.9          0.9** 1.82 2655 807

* Data Source – Holstein US Official Top 100 TPI List of Proven Sires (April ’18)
** Top 15 sires for FE and TPI differ significantly in averages for fat yield (Fat) and fertility (FI). FE sire are superior for fat yeild but inferior for fertilty. As well TPI sires have somewhat higher type (PTAT).

In Table 1 the only points of difference between the Top 15 FE and TPI sires are in the traits FE, Fat Yield, and FI (fertility index). The FE sires are inferior to the TPI sires for fertility (FI), but superior for FE and Fat Yield.

It is worth noting that a feed efficiency index in this context has no direct measurement of feed intake.

Select Sires Uses Indexes and Designates Sires as FeedPRO®

Select Sires identifies the top 20% of their sire lineups as FeedPRO® Sires. The purpose of this selection tool is to highlight sires for producers who are concerned about feed costs and want to improve overall profitability. FeedPRO® is based on US and UK research that found that production, body traits, body condition score and daughter fertility accounted for 90% of the difference in feed intake between animals. Sires that qualify are designated as FeedPRO® Sires but are not assigned an independent index.

Third party researcher reviews were sought by Select Sires in FeedPRO®’s development. Dr Chad Dechow (Penn State) in his analysis found the “FeedPRO® Sires have an advantage, on average, of $0.13 to $0.18 (USA$) per day in income over feed cost when compared to the average active A.I. sire”.

Table 2 – Top SSI FeedPRO® Holstein & Jersey Sires ranked by NM$

Bull NAAB Code          NM$         Milk          Fat     Protein           PL          DPR        PTAT         TPI Codes
(Holstein Proven Sires Designated FeedPRO® )*
Modesty 7HO12600 927 1012 90 56 6.7 1.3 1.93 2748  
Yoder 7HO12266 863 1243 107 53 5.1 -0.3 1.9 2690    A2A2
Jedi 7HO13250 825 2480 70 82 6.5 1.6 2.02 2716  
Tetris 7HO11985 793 2074 90 64 5.6 -0.7 0.69 2526  
Trenton 7HO13094 782 495 79 48 6.7 0 1.56 2562    A2A2
Montross 7HO12165 781 2910 80 85 4.1 -0.5 1.94 2641    A2A2
All 16 Designated Sires* 740 1542 73 56 5.3 0.7 1.41 2546  
(Jersey Proven Sires Designated FeedPRO® )*           JPI  
Chrome 7JE5004 539 1143 71 43 4 -0.9 2.3 180  
Jammer 7JE1254 493 1232 71 34 3.9 -0.7 0.7 139  
All 4 Designated Sires* 481 956 68 39 3.2 -0.7 1.43 150  

* Only the top 20% of SSI sires according to more income from less feed, high production, moderate size, long-term fitness and productivity are designated FeedPRO® 
** Note: These FeedPRO® sires always high high production and longevity but are variable for fertility and type.

The sires listed in Table 2 are among the current top sires that Select Sires has available based on the TPI and NM$ ranking systems.

Table 3 – Correlation of FeedPRO® and Other Indexes.

    Milk     Fat    Protein       NM$      TPI
0.54 0.7 0.7 0.91 0.9

* Data Source – Select Sires Inc Program Description for FeedPRO®

These correlations are moderately high. They show that FeedPRO® is aggressively selecting for increased production, but still, it identifies a noticeably different group of sires at the very top of the lists.

CRV Uses Genetic Indexes and Feed Intakes to Predict Lifetime Efficiency, and Feed Saved

CRV partnered with Wageningen Livestock Research to develop a large dataset of genotyped cows with individual feed intake measurements and then conducted the genetic analysis. From the results of this work CRV has developed two indexes relating to efficiency:

  1. a) ‘Better Life Efficiency’ – Its main components included the breeding values for fat yield, protein yield, longevity and feed intake. CRV has determined that, across a genotyped cow population of >60,000 cows, the top 25% of cows for life efficiency produced over 13,000 kgs. more milk per lifetime than the poorest 25% of cows. Ratings are published for every bull of every breed.  and
  2. b) ‘Saved Feed for Maintenance’ – Cows with a positive breeding value for Saved Feed for Maintenance need less than an average amount of feed for their body maintenance and therefore convert feed into milk more efficiently. This breeding value indicates how much feed (in kg dry matter per day) is saved because the cow is more efficient than average. It has been added to the Dutch/Flemish total merit index, NVI.

Table 4 – Top BLE (and SFM) Sires

US Sires
Sire Name and Code/ID BLE**    SFM***  F + P (lbs)         NM$           PL         DPR
1. Nash 97HO41910 19 0.64 130 877 7.4 0.8
2. Ligero 97HO61744 19 1.22 145 811 5.3 0.6
3. Dirk 97HO41786 17 0.76 117 763 5.7 2.1
4. Shero 97HO41974 16 -0.33 129 841 7.6 2.4
5. Audible 97HO41830 15 0.48 170 846 4.4 -0.4
6. Exclusive 97HO41855 14 0.89 117 820 6.7 3.1
Netherland Sires
Sire Name    BLE**    SFM***  F+P (kgs) Longevity   Fertiltiy  
1. Monaco NL937658659 25 1.77 167 847 97  
2. Empire NL729539557 18 0.85 123 1195 104  
3. Jethro NL872395552 18 1.07 141 855 101  
4. Locker NL872395552 18 1.05 138 832 102  
5. Treasure NL946221484 17 0.52 103 1248 108  
6. Smiley RC DE0539391976 14 0.82 114 932 102  

* Feed Efficiency has two indexes composing it – Beter Life  Efficiency and Saved Feed for Maintenance
** Better Life Efficiency uses the genetic indexes for fat yield, protein yield, longevity andfeed intake.
*** Saved Feed for Mantenance is the feed saved expressed in kg dry matter pe day
Longevity is expressed in days of productive life
Fertility has average value of 100 and STD Dev of 5.

The CRV sires in Table 4 give breeders a variety of pedigrees to choose from and are high production rated.

STgenetics Conducts Progeny Tests for Feed Intake and Performance to Predict Feed Efficiency

STgenetics has been capturing individual animal feed intake information for the extensive group of heifers and cows they own or control. From that feed intake data, along with all genetic indexes and DNA profiles, they have developed a program called ‘EcoFeed™’.

EcoFeed™ is more than simple feed efficiency for milking cows. It is a continuously growing database that monitors the animal’s growth and productivity throughout its entire lifetime from calves, to heifers, to milking cows. Feed efficient animals are expected to use fewer feed resources and convert feed more efficiently while creating less waste, manure, methane and CO2 per unit of production. All of these outcomes should greatly assist in making future dairying more viable, more sustainable and an environmentally friendly industry.

Some of the key components of EcoFeed™ sire indexing include: 1) it is a multi-factor efficiency index that encompasses the entire lifespan of a cow; 2) it is based on modern technology that measures daily individual animal consumption; 3) it includes a progeny testing program, the gold standard of dairy cattle genetic indexing; and 4) once proven, STgenetics sires reach high levels of reliability for EcoFeed™.

STgenetics reports that “To qualify as an EcoFeed™ sire, a bull’s progeny must be genomically tested and complete feed efficiency testing.  Ecofeed™ rankings are based on a 100 base system where every five points, over 100, equals one pound less feed that a sire’s progeny can be expected to consume each day while producing the same amount of milk as their peers.”

Table 5 –  Top Six ST genetics EcoFeed™ Progeny Tested Holstein Sires

Sire NAAB Code EcoFeed EcoFeed REL Milk Fat Protein BWC SCS PL FI PTAT FE TPI NM$ Codes
1. Charismatic 513HO03092 118 69% 850 81 27 -0.44 2.8 6 0.5 1.6 146 2468 709  
2. Comanche 147HO00500 115 53% 704 85 26 -0.67 2.94 5.7 1.1 0.88 155 2390 689  
3. Author 151HO00628 107 42% 543 35 32 1.25 2.92 1.3 1.3 1.69 82 2180 375  
4. Detour 513HO03091 106 64% 1342 73 51 -0.81 2.77 5.6 1.4 1.61 178 2596 795   A2A2
5. Missouri 147HO02462 106 44% 1888 52 54 -1.15 2.68 5.6 0.3 1.74 151 2487 707  
6. Mador 151HO00664 106 43% 1968 36 40 0 2.91 2.3 -1.1 1.91 87 2177 402  
15 Sires with REL >40% 106 53% 1187 62 40 0.02 2.81 4.9 1.1 1.52 134 2415 630  3 are A2A2

Note:
1. EcoFeed™ reliabilities are only moderate compared to other traits but they are double the reliabilities for other FE rating systems. As more research is conducted and more animal data is captured, the reliabilitites will increase.
2. Production and longevity focused dairy breeders want productive, fertile, longer lived and moderate sized cows.  The averages for fat, protein, BWC, SCS , PL and FI of the EcoFeed™ sires all should assist in achieving breeders needs.

In Table 5 full brothers, Charismatic and Comanche, stand out ahead of other STgenetics sires for EcoFeed™. Both have good reliabilities with considerable daughter information included, and neither is yet four years old. It appears that the story has just begun for EcoFeed™ sire indexing given that, every week,  STgenetics captures more feed intake and performance data on milking first lactation cows.

Table 6 ST’s correlations table

         TPI         NM$         CM$        Milk          Fat     Protein          PL         DPR         FE
0.02 -0.01 -0.01 0.06 -0.01 0.06 -0.05 -0.08 0.01

* Data Source – ST Genetics information materials

Table 6 reports no correlations between EcoFeed™ and other traits. We would not have expected that as Table 3 shows moderate to high correlations for FeedPRO® with other traits. But when we consider that EcoFeed™is more than just feed efficiency, it may not be as surprising as it first appears. Definitely, breeders will be following the research that STgenetics is doing on lifetime efficiency. It should be noted that the concept of lifetime efficiency is also what CRV bases its ‘Better Life Efficiency’ index on.

 The Bullvine Bottom Line

It is very encouraging to see that organizations have recognized the need to put weight on feed efficiency in their genetic programs.  The potential for increased profit is thereby using genetic indexes to save on feed costs.

 Now is the time for all dairy breeders to study the matter of feed efficiency sire indexing and decide how they will incorporate it into their breeding program. Dairy cattle breeders must use feed efficiency sire ratings now (2018-2019) for milk producers to be able to benefit tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

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