Company News

Calving Ease & First Service Conception Rates

Mark E. Carson BSc. (Agr). MSc., Gencor Herd Reproduction Analyst
A difficult calving can effect a cow’s performance throughout the entire lactation. An examination of calving ease performance of first lactation cows from five dairy herds shows the impact it can have on first service conception. Dairy Comp 305 calving ease data provided by DHI was compared with first service conception on first lactation cows.

Calving Difficulty
1st Service Conception Rates
# of First Lactation Cows

Unattended or Easy


First lactation cows that had an Unattended or Easy Calving (U or E) were found to have a first service conception of 38%, while cows with a Hard Calving (H) had a conception rate of 22%. From these herds, having a trouble-free calving made the cows twice as likely to get pregnant on the first breeding!
To reduce calving troubles, work to manage body condition scores, age at first calving and appropriate sire selection. Also, make sure you are providing proper assistance to cows that need help at the time of calving. Managing all of these things will help to ensure your cows have a better start and make the most out of their lactations.
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Semex Alliance Announces Italian Distributorship Changes

Guelph, Ontario – The Semex Alliance, a leading global genetics company, is announcing that effective January 1, 2010, Semex Alliance will take full responsibility of the Italian market through a new company, Semex Italia, as part of its strategy which concentrates on the main markets in Europe.

Semex has enjoyed a long, successful history with the Italian dairy producers. For decades Italian dairymen have supported and endorsed Semex’s Balanced Breeding philosophy and have enjoyed many successes resulting from its use. Bulls such as Rudolph, James, Lee, Leader, Rubens *RC, September Storm *RC and Buckeye have had a major, positive influence on the Italian dairy population. This newly formed company will allow Semex to continue providing Italian dairymen access to top quality genetics and industry leading services and programs.

For the past five years Canadian Semex, (a subsidiary of Ente Lombardo Potenziamento Zootecnico S.p.A.), and its employees have worked hard in the Italian market. Their dedication and efforts have resulted in strong and mutually beneficial relationships. Semex is extremely thankful for their dedication and efforts, as they have provided outstanding service and high quality products to Semex’s customers.

Semex Italia will continue these positive efforts, further developing business partnerships with Italian dairy producers during a very challenging time in the industry.

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Semex Hungary Celebrates 20 Years of Success

Submitted by: Orsolya Schummer, Operations Manager, Semex Hungary

Génbank-Semex Hungary Ltd. celebrated their 20th anniversary recently on October 8.
Beautiful weather welcomed over 300 guests to the facility. Aamong them were Paul Larmer, Semex Alliance CEO, Sam Mitra, Semex Director International Sales & Business Development (Asia, Middle East & Eastern Europe), Dr. Gordon A. Atkins from the Veterinary University of Calgary, Alberta as well as representatives from the Hungarian breeder associations and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture.
The day featured a Walk of Fame daughter display with daughters of well-known Semex sires Braedale Goldwyn, R-E-W Buckeye, Gillette FBI, Covista Ty, Magor Bolivia Allen and others on display. These daughters depicted Semex's Balanced Breeding philosophy, and underlined the fact that Semex really does work everywhere!
Guests were also treated to a look into the future with genomics and Semex's Genomax™ lineup, highlighting Genomax™ sires and Semex's genomics program.

Following the sire presentation were numerous other presentations regarding the industry's role in the currect global economic situation. Zoltán Veres, CEO of Semex Hungary greeted the audience and briefly summarized the history and the philosophy of the company, described its present position in the market and future plans, underlining that, "Companies don’t make profit. People do."
Balázs Fekete, President of the Hungarian Animal Breeders Association, described the critical situation of the Hungarian dairy industry and drew the attention to the importance of effective cooperation not only of dairy farmers, but also with dairy processors. Paul Larmer gave a presentation on Semex’s position in the global genetic marketplace and summarized the latest results in the field of research and development. Additionally he noted that, "Semex is positioned to be the global choice for the dairyman, ... Read More...

Pregnancy "Hard Count" Thumb Rule

Mark E. Carson BSc. (Agr). MSc., Gencor Herd Reproduction Analyst Here is some really simple math that can be useful in the barn for assessing herd performance. A good thumb rule is 10% of your herd should be calving out each month. That means (at minimum) 10% of your herd needs to be getting pregnant each month. A “hard count” is simply setting a targeted number of pregnancies. The math is really quick and easy to do. If you are milking 30 cows you should be targeting a minimum of 3 to 4 pregnancies per month. If you are milking 300 cows, the goal should be 30 to 40 pregnancies per month. If you are a herd growing in size, you will need to set a slightly higher goal. Keeping this flow of pregnancies rolling through your herd will help keep your milk production more consistent by ensuring a steady continuation of fresh cows entering your herd. During veterinary herd-health visits, check to see if your herd is reaching its goal of at least 10% of cows getting pregnant per month. If less then 10% of your cows are getting pregnant per month, it would be worth investigating your herd’s reproductive performance. As always, work with your veterinarian, nutritionist, Semex representative and other trusted advisors to make sure your herd is reaching its reproductive potential.
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Success For Semex Denmark

Submitted by: Harry Schuiling, General Manager Semex Holland, Belgium and Denmark Semex scored a huge success at the Danish National Holstein Association (SDM) annual meeting, held on Friday, September 25, 2009. During the morning meeting Chairman Peter Laudsen and General Manager Keld Christensen presented the association members with the annual figures and statistics, followed by an open discussion about the Danish Holstein breed.
Beginning at noon, four farms in the Ribe area opened their doors for every Holstein member and interested person to visit. One of those farms was the 250 head Stortoft Holsteins, owned by Torben Kragh and his family. Together with the Semex Team in Denmark, the Stortoft family presented their entire herd which averages 12,000 kg, their elite individuals and their interesting automatic feeding system.
The Stortoft dairy operation is in an old traditional Danish barn that was retrofitted into a nice, new tie-stall facility, that professionally shows off their cows. The Stortoft herd has been sourcing high quality Canadian genetics for many years, and at the SDM they showcased offspring of Comestar Laurie Sheik as well as other elite Canadian individuals. In all, over 50 animals were prepared for the open house by the Stortoft and Semex Teams, leaving visitors speechless as this sort of presentation was a first in Denmark. Never before had so many people visited a Danish farm with this kind of presentation at the Holstein meetings, and retired Danish AI manager Torben Muller commented that this presentation was “second to none.”
Special thanks to all of those that made this tremendous display possible, including the Semex Embryo Department for their tremendous efforts to so clearly connect the value of Semex and Canadian genetics to the increased quality in a herd. Additionally, we would like to express our great respect and thanks to Torben Kragh and his family, as well as the ... Read More...

Semex Had All The Bases Covered At World Dairy Expo!

Semex sires dominated the Holstein Show and also captured Grand Champion honours in the Grand International Red & White show. Thousands of visitors saw six 0200HO04779 R-E-W Buckeye daughters, as well as a 0200HO03280 Gillette Final Cut, 0200HO07030 Ladino Park Talent *RC and 0200HO07317 Magor Bolivia Allen daughter at its famous Walk of Fame Tent. Buckeye Leads Walk of Fame Display Time and again, visitors to the Semex Walk of Fame tent commented on the wonderful group of 0200HO04779 R-E-W Buckeye daughters on display. Placing orders and discussing breeding patterns, dairymen from coast to coast gathered in what has become "the place to meet" at World Dairy Expo, the Semex tent, to see for themselves how Semex can work on their dairy. "The display gathers momentum each year," says Nick Sarbacker, Semex Midwest Premier Coordinator. "By showcasing Buckeye daughters this year we're accomplishing several things including showing off Premier, our young sire program. These daughters come from all different environments, with five coming from 400+ head freestall herds, and yet you can see the pattern stamped on each of them. Functional frames, legs, great udders and silky, black hides. It's what makes dairymen love them and why he is so popular." Legendary Holstein Show For Semex The 2009 World Dairy Expo theme was ‘Legendary’ and focused on recreating images of Major League Baseball’s World Series. On Friday and Saturday of World Dairy Expo, the International Holstein Show saw over 400 individuals walk across the green colored shavings with 30 Semex legendary sires, siring an astounding 45% of the entire Holstein show! Past, present and future legends were strong and in control of the Holstein show, siring 52% of the top 10 placings. On day one of the show 211 heifers were shown, with Semex sires siring four out of seven class winners. Semex’s Balanced Breeding philosophy proved legendary, siring high quality heifers that will not only do well in the ring, but will ... Read More...

Semex Announces 2009 Photo Contest Winners

The Semex Alliance is pleased to announce the winners of its fourth annual photo contest. Almost 250 entries from 18 different countries yielded excellent quality photos in this competitive contest. Photos were received from New Zealand, Australia, UK, France, Spain, Hungary, Brazil, Denmark, the Netherlands, Colombia, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, the USA and Canada, visually proving how Semex Works Everywhere! Winners in each category were awarded $500, with second prize winning $250 and third prize in each category taking home $100. Winners in the People’s Choice category received a Semex hat and water bottle. The winners in the threeo categories are: People and Their Semex Cows First: “What a Blessing!” by Vanessa Demeester, West Vlaanderen, Belgium Second: “Pina Colada” by Akos Szabo, Bekes, Hungary Third: “Just Relaxing” by Deanna Laity, Maple Ridge, BC, Canada Landscapes with Semex Cows First: “Stormatic Daughters” by Gerardo Sarabia, Cantabria, Spain Second: “Cooling Off, Mitta River” by Howard Hodgetts, New South Wales, Australia Third: “Traffic Jam” by Akos Szabo, Bekes, Hungary People’s Choice First: “Sunset” by Akos Szabo, Bekes, Hungary Second: “Peek-a-Moo” by Becky Van Dyk, Everson, WI, USA Third: “A Productive Friendship” by Brooke Summerville, Victoria, Australia Runner-up: “Peek a Boo” by Wendy Molenaar, Cumberland, ON, Canada Runner-up: “Determined” by Lisa Russell, Russell Springs, KY, USA Runner-up: “All Over” by Richard Hodgson, Cumbria, UK Runner-up: “Grand Champion” by Harry van Leeuwen, Holland The Semex Alliance would like to thank everyone who entered a photo in this contest. Please see the winning photos below.
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Semex Sires Valuable Worldwide In Sales Arena

The value of a cow, heifer or calf can be measured in multiple ways. Many breeders utilize tools designed to measure genetic value and profit potential including TPI, LPI, Net Merit or even the individual traits they’re focusing their breeding program on to determine value. Others simply look at what it would cost to replace a cow that has left the herd. In 2007, University of Wisconsin Extension (UWEX) Agents collected data from 49 dairy farms, custom calf and heifer growers from across Wisconsin. This study estimates, under given assumptions including calf value and labor costs, that the average total cost of raising a heifer from birth to freshening ranged from $1595 to $2935, or an average of $2149 (including a given value of $500 for the calf she is carrying). Therefore, a replacement will cost approximately $2100. Many dairymen rely on additional income from selling their excess heifers and cows, allowing the free market to determine the value of their stock, while some seek elite genetics to develop marketable seed stock sold at a premium. 2008 was undoubtedly a phenomenal sale year, supported by high milk prices and an enthusiastic following who marveled each time another record was shattered. Semex sired daughters led the pack, reaching new heights and topping sales in multiple countries including Canada, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA. Semex daughters are always the favorites at these sales, with code 200HO having topped many high profile and local sales from coast to coast and around the world. “Semex daughters always stand out in the sale ring,” says Julien Chabot, Semex Sire Analyst. “In the sale ring the solid, square animals always sell the best. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for replacement cattle or for more elite and show cattle. Dairies want to milk cows that look correct and sound. Semex sires are known for these kind of daughters.” Each year Holstein World, Holstein International and the Holstein Journal analyze the ... Read More...

Semex Sire Analyst Lowell Lindsay Interviewed

Dairy Agenda Today's Niles Wendorf is conducting a series of video interviews with Semex's own Lowell Lindsay.

Lowell is an icon in the Holstein fraternity having spent over 50 years in the AI business. Beginning as an AI technician as a teenager, Lowell truly worked his way up through the business and has been a Regional Sire Analyst for the Semex Alliance for 38 years, working with the breed's greatest cow families and buying some of the world's most famous sires of all time.

These interviews showcase Lowell's talent for identifying and working with good cattle and are true evidence of his wonderful story telling ability.

Parts I and II are available by clicking here. Or go to and click on "Videos".
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Semex's Repromax® Featured In Holstein International

In the August 2009 Holstein International Semex's Repromax™ product was featured as a reproductive solution for dairymen around the world. Magazine editor Stephan Schneider writes, "The fact that the basic concept behind the product Repromax™, developed by Semex, differs from those of many other suppliers results from its international alignment and the mix of information sources." "In total, fertility information on over 3,000 bulls (including Jersey bulls) is hidden behind the Repromax values calculated by Semex scientists. Repromax is a fertility index combining the non-return rates (NRR) from Canada, Agri-Tech analyses (ATA) from 12 western US states, and the SCR proofs (sire conception rate) calculated by the US data center within one value from August 2008 on." Click here to download the entire article. At Semex, Repromax™ if offered to our clients as a reproductive solution, reducing days open and increasing profitability. Semex scientists have gathered SCR, ATA and Non-Return data to develop the world's first international fertility evaluation. Known as Repromax sires,these sires are Semex's highest-ranked fertility sires. Listed below, Repromax sires are highly reliable bulls proven to be high fertility sires, with no genetic sacrifices. These bulls improve the fertility performance of cows and increase your profitability, representing the best of the best, with no genetic sacrifices. To learn more about Repromax™ click here.
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