Company News

Proofs return fertile and healthy verdict for Semex

The December proof run sees three new sires introduced to the growing Immunity+ Semex stud. The firm’s investment in immune response technology continues to deliver through the genetic pipeline to help UK dairy farmers breed inherently healthier cows and reduce antibiotic use.
Westcoast RIVER Guarantee x Montana x Supershot with £861 PLI is at the top of the genomic sire list available in the UK.  With a combination of milk (+914g), 62.4 KGS CFP %, low SCC at -37, and impressive daughter fertility (+16.4), RIVER, is an ideal bull for breeding productive, fertile, profitable cows. He will sire moderate-sized daughters, and also holds A2A2 status. He is available both conventional and sexed.
Silverridge V EINSTEIN, Topnotch x Duke x Supershot is a Faststart sire at £783 PLI.  Einstein’s Faststart status gives UK breeders the opportunity to use this bull earlier than normal. With a blend of 957 KGS milk, 71.7 KGS CFP, Positive deviations, -28 SCC and 7.2 Fertility Index, Einstein is a sire that fits well into any breeding program. Available conventional and sexed.
From the same maternal line as RIVER is Westcoast ALMAMATER offering £767 PLI. An Alcove son, ALMAMATER is also an A2A2 sire. With Milk +568kg,  52.6 KGS CFP and positive deviations,  his Fertility Index (+14.5) shows his daughters get back in-calf easily. 
Michael Dennison, National Sales Manager, Semex UK says, “Immunity+ sires are exclusive to Semex and only gain this designation after having been tested and shown to have genes which confer the highest levels of immunity. This results in daughters of Immunity+ sires having significantly lower levels of most common diseases, compared to daughters of non-Immunity+ sires. These three new Immunity+ sires provide a good selection of high PLI, components and type, together with excellent health and fertility credentials to meet the needs of UK dairymen ... Read More...

30th Anniversary of the Semex Dairy Conference Promises to “Be Extraordinary”


The UK is experiencing extraordinary times both within and outside of the dairy industry, and an extraordinary response will be required to make the most of the opportunities, and to mitigate the challenges, of the coming years in a new era for British agriculture.
On that note the 2020 Semex International conference – the 30th anniversary conference - captures the mood with the theme “Be Extraordinary” and will bring together speakers and delegates that will influence and shape the UK dairy industry for the next three decades.
Chaired by Ben Briggs, Editor of Farmers Guardian and from a Lancashire dairy farming background, the line-up of speakers include :
On trade, prices and the future of milk:
• PATRICK MüLLER, CEO , Müller Milk & Ingredients (MMI);
• STUART ROBERTS, Vice President, NFU
• JOHN ALLEN, Managing partner with Kite Consulting;
• CHRIS WALKLAND, Journalist, commentator and market analyst;
• PAUL TOMPKINS, UK dairy farmer and Vice Chair of the NFU Dairy Board;
Talking about meeting the demands of the consumer:
• DR TAMSIN COOPER, Deputy Director of the National Food Strategy at DEFRA;
• IAN WRIGHT, Chief Executive, Food & Drink Federation;
• KEVIN WHITE, Fresh Food Editor at The Grocer.
Providing technical and practical expertise:
• KING HICKMAN, Independent global dairy nutrition and management consultant;
• CLAUS LUERSSEN, Dairy Farmer from Germany milking 850 cows;
• LYNSEY AWDE, A born and bred fell farmer from Cumbria;
Looking at our industry from a different angle:
• JANE CRAIGIE, Marketing & Communications consultant in food and farming;
• PETER HYNES, Irish dairy farmer, who together with his wife Paula, have raised over €40,000 for mental health charities.
And taking a look at the role of technology in the genetics industry:
• DR STEVEN LARMER, Semex Genomics Program Manager;
• JORDAN LEAK, COO of Double A Dairy and Twin Ridge Genetics in Idaho, USA, ... Read More...

Owain Joins International Semex Team

Semex announces appointment of Owain Harries as International Sales Manager, part of the international sales and business development team of the global company. Based in the UK and working collaboratively with the global sales and marketing teams, Owain will work closely with the UK and western European markets. Drew Sloan, Senior Vice President, Sales & Business Development for Semex Alliance says, “ We are delighted to appoint Owain as International Sales Manager who will provide leadership and support of genetic sales and solutions strategies across Western Europe. He brings a wealth of experience and it is gratifying that Semex is able to provide global opportunities for talented people within the UK”. After completing his Bachelor of Science, Agriculture and Animal Science, at Harper Adams University College, Owain was a Dairy Sire Analyst for Cogent Breeding Ltd and spent a year in Canada before returning to the UK as a Regional Sales Manager. Owain started his new role with Semex on 1st October 2019. Commenting on his new role Owain says, ”I am delighted to be joining Semex at this exciting time within the dairy industry.  Semex is strongly equipped to offer on-farm solutions right across the world and with a history of supplying world leading genetics and services, the business has cemented itself as a global leader and I am excited to be joining the team.”
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Date announced for the “Be Extraordinary” 30th Anniversary Semex International Dairy Conference

The 30th Anniversary of the Semex International Dairy Conference will be held on January 12th – 14th 2020.  Titled “Be Extraordinary” the conference promises to provide 2 days of extraordinary speakers who will motivate, challenge and inspire. Michael Dennison, National Sales Manager, Semex UK says, “We are delighted to announce Ben Briggs as our conference Chair on what will be a very special occasion for Semex.  Ben has a wealth of industry knowledge and will be well able to steer proceedings as we aim to promote debate, improve technical understanding and help drive the agenda on important areas within our sector”. The conference attracts a wide audience from the UK and International dairy production sectors, including politicians, farmers, milk processors, genetic experts, vets, nutritionists, and consumer and environmental experts. During the past 30 years the Semex Conference has had many of the industry’s domestic and global leaders in their fields address delegates and impart their knowledge and view on many different subjects. Commenting on his role as Chair, Ben says, “As dairy businesses face up to an era of increasing volatility and potentially radical changes to regulatory support, the need for farmers to ‘be extraordinary’ is more pressing than ever. That is why I’m delighted to be chairing the 2020 Semex International Dairy Conference and exploring how innovative thinking and commercial creativity can shape the future of the dairy sector.” Jill Sloan, Marketing Consultant for Semex UK concludes, “We are excited to be going back to Glasgow, a vibrant city which has hosted us superbly over the years, for our momentous 30th anniversary conference.  We look forward to welcoming speakers and delegates from home and around the globe to help us celebrate what is sure to be an extraordinary occasion”.  
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Herd health and Fertility remain key for Semex UK

With ever changing rankings and indexes, Semex UK’s commitment to breeding healthier cows that get pregnant easily and stay in the herd for a long time remains constant.

“We know that today’s dairy farmer wants trouble-free cows that breed back quickly”, says Michael Dennison, National Sales Manager, Semex UK. “It’s therefore testament to our genomic sire testing program Genomax, that Semex has 13 of the top 20 bulls proven in UK conditions for Fertility Index averaging +13.9, with the leader of the pack being Immunity+ sire Coyne-Farms Jabir at +21.5.

“To see these sires perform so admirably on this key fertility trait is extremely pleasing as every dairy farmer wants to get cows pregnant without fuss and daughters of these sires have proven to get back in calf quicker than many of their herdmates”.

This latest proof run sees Semex add four new Immunity+ sires to their bull stud bringing the total currently available to UK dairy farmers up to 93 including Westcoast Swingman Red, the most sought-after red sire in the breed. “Current research shows that High Immunity daughters have 30% less disease than their herdmates,” explains Michael. ““Cows that get sick less often require fewer antibiotics and in an industry that is under constant scrutiny this can only be a positive”.

This week also sees another shift in the UK Type Merit rankings with Semex UK sires topping the lists: five out of the top 10 proven sires and six out of the top 10 genomic sires call Semex home.

On PLI, sires such as Wisselview Wavelength at Ł804 and Sandy-Valley Batman at Ł799 provide dairy farmers with fault free sires with zero compromise on any key trait.

“This has been a tremendous proof run for Semex having so many of the leading Type bulls topping the rankings. The diversity in the Semex stud at the moment is second to none, we have sires to ... Read More...

Midlands farmer wins package to Semex Conference in January

Joe Forrester of Firs Farm, Barston, Solihull, W Midlands, has won the full package of two nights and two days at the Semex International Dairy Conference in Glasgow. 

Congratulations to Joe, and better luck next time to the other entrants.

The Conference is from Sunday 13th to Tuesday 15th January 2019 and features world-class speakers including Sue McCloskey of Fairlife in the USA, Giovanni Gnemmi of the University of Valencia (veterinary consultant to very large herd managers), and Charlie Perotti (of Fonterra) who manages 32,000 cows on seven dairy units. The Conference, named Agents of Change, will look at the way ahead for the dairy industry in challenging times.

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Discover 200: a guide to Semex benefits now – and in the future

Semex announces Discover 200 –  a brand-new online magazine disclosing some of the latest research into production returns. Among other informative articles the publication explains the health and fertility gains from Immunity+TM – Semex's unique, exclusive product aimed at helping farmers to create healthier, easily-kept herds. Discover 200 is immediately available as a pdf download here.  There will be much more discussion of the best practices in modern dairy farming at the Semex International Conference themed Agents of Change. The Conference is from 13-15 January 2019 in the 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow. You can find out more, including speakers and how to book, here.  Alternatively, call Conference Coordinator Leanne Garden on 0800 86 88 90 or email her here.    
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Elevate™ wins the best new product award at UK Dairy Day 2018

Semex's new genomic testing program Elevate™ has won the best new product award at UK Dairy Day in Telford. Elevate offers female genomic rankings for all commercial traits, plus one that is unique to Semex –immune status. Females are classified as High, Average or Low Immune genomic status, with those animals classified as High receiving IMMUNITY♀ designation. Farmers can then improve the health status of their herd by keeping the top animals and gradually culling out the lowest ones. On a practical front using Elevate is quick, easy, and seamless, explains Fearghal Gallagher who presented Elevate to the judging panel at the event ( 12 September 2018). “All a farmer using Elevate needs to do is take an ear tissue sample from each animal and post it to the lab. A specific Semex App collects and identifies the genomic samples and minimises labour and time spent on the test. No paperwork is involved, and there are no hairs to pull. The transfer of information is all automated between the App, the Elevate test, and the firm’s genetic sire selection and mating programs SemexWorks™ and OptiMate™, making the whole process seamless, accurate and very quick.” Elevate moves away from the need for reams of spreadsheets of data that farmers initially look at but then generally file away. The objective of the testing and integrated IT solutions suite is to ensure the farmers make best use of the data to move the genetics of their business forward. Elevate and the Semex programs do this by taking the data and by facilitating corrective matings for each female with the appropriate sire to ensure genetic gains are made, and that the farmers receive a return in investment. “Just recommending that the top females be mated to the highest index sires ignores reams of data on the linear side,” adds Mr Gallagher. “There’s more to a genomic test than indexes and Elevate ensures that the linears are correctively mated whilst giving farmers the power to predict and protect ... Read More...

Semex Conference 2019 - an agent of industry change

With 2019 predicted to be a pivotal year of change for the UK, the 29th Semex conference “Agents of Change” will focus on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the UK dairy industry. To be held between the 13th and 15th January 2019 at the Radisson Blu hotel in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre the conference will be addressed by leading figures from across the UK and the global dairy industry. Heading up the speaker line-up with an international perspective will be Sue McCloskey, one of the owners of Fair Oaks Farms, described as the US’s largest agritourism attraction, and founder of the Fairlife milk brand whose distribution partner is Coca-Cola. On the political front, Minette Batters, President of the NFU, will give a UK political perspective of the industry. Ash Amirahmadi, in his new role as Managing Director of Arla Foods in the UK, will give an update on what the future looks like for one of the UK’s and Europe’s biggest milk buyers. Discussing the implications of the impact on Brexit on the normal pattern of dairy trade will be Jukka Likitalo, Secretary General of Eucolait, the European Association of Dairy Trade, which represents the interests of European exporters, importers and wholesalers of dairy products. Michael Dennison, Sales Manager for Semex UK says, “We have a top line up of speakers who are all instrumental in managing change within the agricultural industry”. Other speakers include: Dr. Giovanni Gnemmi, owner of Bovinevet, who is a veterinary surgeon and consultant to very large herds in Europe, Russia, USA, Japan, Latin America, China, and the Middle East; Will Evans, farmer turned social media guru and agricultural communicator who is changing the way the UK look at farming through the Rock&Roll Farming podcast; Charlie Perotti, genetic and management consultant currently managing over 30,000 cows in China. Chris Walkland, journalist, commentator and market analyst who will give either the good or the bad news on ... Read More...

Semex and Buitelaar team-up to reward calf health via Immunity+® premium.

Two industry leaders, genetic solutions company Semex and beef supply chain specialists The Buitelaar Group, announce a joint initiative to promote the merits of breeding healthier calves and keeping them as healthy as possible once born.

As part of this Buitelaar will pay farmers a Ł10 premium over the market rate for Black and White bull calves from Semex’s unique and award-winning* Immunity+ sire range. This is because Immunity+ sires have been ranked and selected on their health genes, which they pass down to their offspring. Because Immunity+ has a heritability of 30% the calves also have better health genes than non-Immunity+ calves, and thus a stronger immune response to disease challenge. The end results are lower disease levels and higher animal welfare; an associated reduction in drug use - including antibiotics; better growth and feed conversion rates.

Trials on cows have shown that disease in Immunity+ sired cows is reduced by as much as 20%, depending on which disease is assessed. It is hoped that the initiative with Buitelaar will help assess the effect Immunity+ has on calf health, growth rates, and feed conversion compared to non Immunity+ sired calves.

“At Buitelaar we focus on improving animal welfare at all stages of our supply chain, for the good of the animal, the farmer, and the consumer by striving to reduce antibiotic use. We used to think that started as soon as the calf was born, but now, with Immunity+ genetics, we realise it could actually start with the choice of semen before a cow is even inseminated,” says Adam Buitelaar, Managing Director. “It is only right that we incentivise the use of Immunity+ genetics, because every part of the supply chain, and the consumer, should be able to benefit.”

Semex will also help Buitelaar locate suitable dairy bull calves and will help communicate best practice calf rearing techniques, back to farmers so that they make the best of their genetic investment. They will also help Buitelaar ... Read More...