Company News

The Three P's of Pregnancies

Mark E. Carson BSc. (Agr). MSc., Gencor Herd Reproduction Analyst
We’re often asked what top reproductive herds do to achieve reproductive success. Unfortunately, there are no magic tools that work across all herds, but here are some common management techniques which help herds find success. These are called “The Three P’s for Pregnancies.”

A plan without goals is like taking a trip without a destination; you’ll never know if you achieved the results that you set out to get! Setting up a plan with specific goals is critical to your reproductive success. Although the end goal is always to get cows pregnant, other measurements of reproductive performance are needed to ensure your cows are getting pregnant in an effective and efficient manner.

Here are the key questions that your plan needs to answer to make sure your herd ends up at the right destination:
• What pregnancy rate do I want to achieve? Average pregnancy rates in many places are at 14%. A herd goal should be well above the average at +20% .
• How many pregnancies per month do I need? It is suggested that 10% of your herd should be calving every month. To achieve 10% calving per month, at least 10% of your herd should be getting pregnant each month.
• When on average does first breeding occur? We recommend that all cows get bred within 30 days after the voluntary waiting period has expired. So, if you planned to begin breeding your cows at 60 days after calving, ideally all cows should be bred for the first time by 90 days in milk. For herds that do the majority of first breedings with a synchronization protocol, all inseminations should occur in accordance with the timed A.I. schedule.
• How long does it take to identify open cows after breeding? Many herds have effective protocols in place to make sure first insemination occurs, but struggle to get open cows re-inseminated. Make sure your cows don’t go to long without having their pregnancy status confirmed. A good goal is ... Read More...

5 Reproductive Records To Watch

By Shannon Linderoth | 3/15/2002
Reprinted from Dairy Herd Management Online

Dairy offices are awash with data. Whether you've got papers overflowing from filing cabinet drawers or details neatly digitized on computer disks, you're inundated with facts and figures. And thanks to technology, you can pull reports for virtually any of the records that you keep. Even if you are numbers-inclined, all of this information can be difficult to translate into necessary action.
However, monitoring your herd's reproductive performance from this fountain of facts doesn't have to be complicated, or time-consuming. Focus on a few key areas to determine whether your program is going according to plan.
This means dropping some measurement tools from your repertoire and adding others. By using five key areas to measure current herd performance, you can decide whether current performance meets your goals, and determine what management changes, if any, are needed to improve performance.
Avoid Averages
Traditionally, producers have used measures like average calving interval, average days open, annual heat detection rates and annual first service conception rate to judge their reproductive programs. But experts are skeptical as to the relevance of these parameters in making timely management decisions.
With average days open, for example, you immediately have an accuracy dilemma since you must decide which animals to even include in the equation. Do you include all cows in the herd for the time frame beginning with the most recent calving through the latest insemination? Do you include culled cows? Or cows you've elected not to breed? Or cows that have never been serviced?
There is no standard industry calculation, so accurate comparisons between herds, or even within herds if definitions change, become difficult.
The measurement also reflects significant lag time between current performance and past activity. And, it doesn't reflect individual cows with extremely high ... Read More...

Australia On-Farm Competition Posts Excellent Semex Results

This year 2500 dairy cows from 500 Australian farmers were entered in this uniquely Australian event that is a logistical marathon, involving thousands of kilometers and a sea of volunteers. The Semex-Holstein Australia On-Farm Competition brings the judges to the cows instead of the cows travelling to a show, being fitted and paraded in front of the public and a single judge. To cope with the distances involved in a country that spans some 7.6 million kilometres, 34 regional (including state overjudges) are chosen to officiate. “It is the second-most recognized award dairy cows can win in Australia outside a first place at International Dairy Week (Australia’s biggest dairy show),” Semex Australia’s general manager, Jim Conroy, confirmed. “But for many, it is the No.1 event.” “It is always a blend of first-time new entrants, the regulars who have occasional winners/high placers and the elite of our breeders. It’s a great day, and perhaps there is no other like it where everyone is rubbing shoulders and sharing ideas in such a relaxed way,” says Conroy of the awards presentation luncheon held recently on December 4, 2009. The 90 finalists from nine sub-branches were judged by Daniel Holmes, of Arabella Holsteins at Brookstead, in Queensland. Holstein Australia’s federal president Adrian Dee was sweeping in his praise of the contest which included 1335 animals from the Victorian region alone, representing a lion’s share of overall state numbers. Entries peaked at 253 at the sub branch level (with more than 60 entries in some classes) – put forward by 189 breeders. “We thank Semex for co-sponsoring this event, because everyone really looks forward to it,” Adrian said. “To be honest, it’s so big now it’s almost a logistical nightmare and a big commitment for the judges that give up their time. It has been a huge effort to get to today.” “I’ve done a few On-Farm Competitions now and the thing I’ve found works for me is that I keep a clear image of my ideal cow (for ... Read More...

Premier Daughters Functional Kind That Last

David and Mina Covert of Prattsburg, New York began dairy farming in the spring of 1977 with just 30 cows. Over the years they’ve grown their operation to 1,036 milking cows and 2500 acres of crops.
Today, Damin Farms LLC includes David and Mina, as well as their three children, spouses and grandchildren. Daughter Keri and her husband Marc Clemons are in charge of the cows and heifers, making all management, genetic and nutritional decisions.
Marc began working on the farm when he was just 13, and with 24 years of experience he’s become a driving force on the dairy. The 1000+ cows are now milked 3x/day and are boasting an impressive herd average of 24,470 3.5% 865 3.0 723 lbs and a 30% conception rate.
A partner in Semex’s young sire program, Premier™, since April 2004 Marc is proud of the results in his herd.
“I think Semex does an excellent job selecting the bulls that they sample,” Marc says. “I am impressed with the number of bulls I have used that Semex has returned to their active line-up.”
Bulls used at Damin through the Semex’s young sire programs include 0200HO01818 Blue- Haven-Ltd Brick, 0200HO05217 Vieuxsaule Malicieux and 0200HO03315 Braedale Pagewire. Marc’s Malicieux daughters have been widely publicized with Damin-Acres Malicieux 1214 VG-86-(EX-MS)-3YR-USA and Keri-Co Malicieux 1212 GP-84-3YR-USA being featured in Malicieux advertising around the world.
Important to Marc is his herd’s longevity and the durability built in by using Semex Premier™ Young Sires.
“We’re happy with the sound, functional daughters we’ve bred with Semex,” comments Marc. “Most of these daughters have outstanding longevity, lasting for several lactations. This is important because we know that Semex is helping us grow the herd internally. We don’t have to go looking for replacements”
“For cows to last for us they have to have good udders, and exceptional feet & legs to take them back and forth to the parlor.”
“We have more Semex sired daughters than any other in ... Read More...

Daughters of popular Semex sires Minister, Sultan and Comerica Provide Strong Competition at the 2009 Royal

Submitted by Harley Nicholson, Semex Jersey Program Manager The Canadian National Jersey Show held in conjunction with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario on November 13 & 14 featured 244 head exhibited by breeders from several Canadian provinces and a handful of US states. Semex top proven sire for conformation 0200JE00427 Select Scott Minister (+11Conf 8/09) showed why he has continued to be a popular sire among show enthusiasts since his sampling period in 2005. A total of eight of his daughters placed among the top 10 of their classes in Toronto, including PM Minister Lea, 2nd Junior Heifer Calf, Cadrijo Minister Raquel, 2nd Summer Yearling, Charlyn Minister Blossom, 2nd Intermediate Yearling, and Peninsula Minister Carisma, 2nd Sr. 2 Year Old. Perennial favourite 0200JE00303 SHF Centurion Sultan had many offspring exhibited in both the junior and milking classes. A total of seven of his daughters ranked among the top 10 of their classes, including the 2nd Jr. 2 Year Old, Swissbell Sultan Freska. Now with many second crop daughters calving across Canada and the USA, 0200JE00131 Bridon Remake Comerica proved why he continues to be in heavy demand as a sire of high type and test. A total of six Comerica daughters placed in the top of their classes, including Lookout Comerica Nestea, 3rd Summer Yearling. The following present and former Semex sires also had daughters which placed among the top 10 in their classes: Bridon Excitation, Pine Haven Senior, RJF Big Show, Unique VS Habit, Bridon Jamaica, Molly Brook Fusion and Glenholme Counciller.
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Long-Lasting Semex Sires Dominate Mature Cow Class At Royal

Developing cows that are built to last is key to reducing expenses and increasing profitability on dairies worldwide. These long-lasting, trouble-free cows are the real cows on real dairies that deliver real profitability day after day. They are the favourites on any operation and at the Royal Winter Fair on November 13, they were among the favourites at the entire show.
The Holstein Mature Cow Class was an impressive display of dairy strength and longevity for the thousands of visitors who watched as the 100% Semex-sired class proudly entered the ring. These veterans were sired by seven different Semex sires, known to deliver profitable daughters including: Shoremar James, TCET Lyster, Silky Cousteau, Comestar Lheros, Innwood Terrason, Markim Thunder and Comestar Stormatic.
Led by the 2009 Grand Champion cow, EX-97-2E Thrulane James Rose, who has nearly 64,000 kgs of 4.6F and 3.8P lifetime, each of these cows showed the qualities that spell durability and endurance. They each possess tremendous dairy strength, strong mammary systems and great feet & legs, and an average final score of 94 points, showing that they exemplify long-lasting, functional conformation.
Production drives profitability and these impressive individuals average 43,477 kgs of 4.1F and 3.4P lifetime to date, showing that Semex sires not only deliver long-lasting cows, but also deliver the real cows that deliver real results and real profitability.
Providing the genetics to breed those real cows on real dairies that are profitable and long-lasting is Semex's #1 goal. With the past being the best predictor of the future, dairymen worldwide can trust that Semex has the breeding knowledge, history and understanding to continue to deliver the most valuable daughters on any operation worldwide.
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Semex Celebrates 25th Anniversary In Japan With Nosawa

At the 2009 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Semex was pleased to award Nosawa & Co LTD with a 25 year service award as Semex's distributor in Japan.
"It is people and relationships which truly define Semex," says Sam Mitra, Semex Alliance Director, Sales & Business Development. "We celebrate longevity not only in the cows we breed but also the longevity of our relationships around the world."

"One of the foremost examples of a long-lived, mutually beneficial relationship is Semex's relationship with Nosawa. This year we celebrated Nosawa's 140th year in business, and also their 25th year with us. Semex looks forward to the next 25 years knowing that we have only just begun exploring what business we can do together."

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Semex Walk of Fame Shows Semex Works Everywhere

The 2009 Semex Walk of Fame as always was the place to be at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Hundreds of international guests visited the display, as well as Canadian country music stars Michelle Wright and Doc Walker, who both took their turns milking a cow. Additionally, Prince Charles, who made a brief stop on his busy tour through the fair to see Semex’s Walk of Fame cows, paid a Royal visit. Most importantly, dairymen from around the world visited Semex's display and reviewed the outstanding display of Semex sired daughters. Selected for their ability to sire healthy, long-lasting daughters, this year’s display featured 10 different Semex Holstein sires with daughters from very different environments. These 10 sires represent the best from Semex and their daughters showcased Semex sires’ ability to work everywhere: Anchoring the row was a daughter of 0200HO04608 Regancrest-MR Samuelo, Extondale Samuelo Fiona VG-88-2YR-CAN. Fiona was 2nd Milking Yearling at the 2009 World Dairy Expo and was able to display Samuelo’s proven ability to sire balance while maintaining excellent mammary systems and foot structure. As a Repromax™, Master Series™ and Health$mart™ sire, Samuelo demonstrated why he is the complete package, ready to work everywhere. 0200HO09804 Crockett-Acres Eight had an exceptional uddered daughter in the display in Buttermoor Apricot Eight VG-86-3YR-CAN. Apricot easily showed how this Oman son is able to sire fantastic udders with great shape and strength. One of the easiest cows in the display to work with, this Eight daughter had an aggressive appetite and showed how much production potential this bull has and why he can easily be considered a Health$mart™ sire. Dessaults Tatou Bonair VG-85-4YR-CAN, represented the very popular sire 0200HO05139 Karona Bonair. From a 1000 cow freestall barn, Tatou demonstrated her sire’s ability to breed for excellent production, backed by great strength and development. Her well-attached udder easily held large ... Read More...

Semex Holstein Sires Dominate Royal Winter Fair

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair traditionally marks the end of the North American show season and is the culmination of 364 days of hard work by both breeders and exhibitors. The 2009 Canadian National Holstein Show was no exception as Judge Barclay Phoenix assisted by Judge Roger Turner placed 321 of North America’s finest Holsteins.
Semex sires out shown all others with extremely impressive results. Virtually dominating the show, 95 of the 157 individuals in the top 10 in their respective classes were Semex sired. These 95 individuals included 13 class winners and seven of the nine champions, representing 25 different Semex sires, showing not only our strength but also Semex’s influence and the respect our bulls have earned throughout North America.
In the heifer classes, Semex sires were predominant, with six of the seven classes going to Semex sires. Braedale Goldwyn quickly showed why he is still the world’s most highly demanded sire and the most hotly anticipated sire of sons as he began his early path to the Premier Sire Award.
His daughter T-Triple-T Gold Prize once again won the Intermediate Yearling Class and defended her Junior Champion title earned last month at World Dairy Expo. Honourable Mention Jr Champion was awarded to Philmardo Watch Out Im Here, the 1st place Jr Yearling sired by Semex’s Gillette Watch Out.
The milking classes were heavily influenced by Semex sires, with Goldwyn leading the way in the young cow classes, siring all the winners in the Intermediate Champion lineup.
Fine details separated many placings, with the judges choosing the winning Jr 3 Yr Old, Salem Goldwyn Theresa, as the Intermediate Champion, the winning Sr 2 Yr Old, Sherona-Hill-JH Rachel, as Res. Intermediate Champion and the second place Jr 3 Yr Old, ABF September Cheese, as the Hon. Mention Intermediate Champion.
“These cows send chills up my spine,” said Judge Barclay Phoenix. “They are the epitome of what dairy cows are supposed to be. They’ve got ... Read More...

Semex Sired Daughter Sets Record In Sale Ring

Amid a week of champions at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, one Semex sired daughter stood above others attracting international, mainstream media attention.
Like other famous celebrities featured on CNN and CTV, this famous Braedale Goldwyn daughter now just goes by just one name… “Missy”.
Selling for $1.2 million dollars at the “Morsan Road to the Royal Sale” on Wednesday, November 11, attracted international attention as Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy VG-89-2YR-CAN went down in the record books as the most expensive cow ever sold. But for Holstein enthusiasts worldwide, Missy was already a household name.
“We’ve been working with Missy and the folks at Morsan in Alberta for over a year,” says Semex Sire Analyst Mike West .
“She’s a tremendous individual who really is the complete package for us. She has what all breeders are looking for… She’s from an outstanding cow family, has top-notch genetics and show-winning appeal. We’re looking forward to working with her new owners and further developing her through her sons at Semex.”
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