Company News

Semex genomic investment pays off as sires dominate listings

Semex's multi-million dollar investment in genomic testing has once again borne fruit in the latest proof run, with the company's sires once again dominating the genomic league table.  The firm has 24 of the yop 50 sires ranked on UK TM, 10 of the top 25 sires and five of the top 10. Of  those there are 19 sires with a TM of 3.50 or over. On the PLI ranking Semex has 26 sires in the top 100 available - significantly more than any other company. Star performers include Velthuis SG Athens, who has a TM of +4.44 and who missed out on the top type spot by just 0.01 of a point. In 3rd position is Wa-Del Bryant at +4.43, with the elite-status Immunity+ sire Val-Bisson Doorman at +4.07 at sixth position. Other top ten ranked sires include the newcomers Silverridge Avalanche, at +3.98 and Croteau Lesperron Urbain at +3.94. Heading Semex's range on the PLI list is another exciting new sire - Mr Delicious Lionel. He is  a son of McCutchen out of a Robust daughter, and thus a generation ahead of many of the sons of Robusr on the PLI list. "He has probably the most modern pedigree around," says Willie Tait, Semex UK genetics manager. "He baosts very high PLI and milk, excellent daughter fertility and low SCC. All combine with great overall type to make him an excellent all-rounder." "Semex is genomically testing over 5000 sires a year, and only a small percentage of the top ones make the grade," adds Mr Tait. "The fact that sons of genomic sires are being introduced before their sire gets a proof shows the speed of genetic gain that genomics is bringing." The large number of bulls tested also allows for a wide diversity of sire to made available, including sons of Numero Uno (Bombero and Urbain), Shamrock (Loberry), De-Su Pierre (Locarno), Armitage (Zanzibar) and Mogul (Ste Odile Pure and Comestar Lineman).
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Semex adds to Immunity+ and Sexed sire range

Semex has introduced three new genomic sires to its range, including a new sexed Immunity+ sire. This take the number of sires being marketed in the UK for its exclusive immunity-boosting range of sires to 20.

The new Immunity+ sexed sire is Lexvold Teddy -  a Superstition son whose dam is by Man-O-Man with her pedigree extending back to the legendary Dellia herself. His genomic proof gives him scores of +2.81 for UK TM, +2.40 for Mammary and +2.59 for Feet & Legs. With a milk figure of +746kg, expect his daughters to be high producing, tall, strong dairy cows with exceptional feet, legs and udders. With a SCC score of -16, he will help reduce cell counts keeping milk price higher.

Also available sexed is Kellercrest Lancome, who has been extensively used as a sire of sons by Semex. He is an Epic son from Kellercrest Manoman Lacy VG-85-2yr. Significantly there is no Shottle, Planet, Goldwyn or Bolton in his dam's pedigree, with Shottle three generations back in his sire's pedigree. As a result he will feature high on the list of choices for herds which have used these sires extensively in recent years. His predicted proof puts him at +2.91 for UK TM, +2.83 for Mammary and +1.98 for Feet & Legs. His daughters will be medium-sized with shallow, strongly-attached udders and excellent feet. Functional traits are good, milk and PLI are high, and he is also -16 for SCC.

Richmond-DF El Bombero is sired by one of Semex' most popular sires in recent years - the Immunity+ sire Amighetti Numero Uno - and is out of a Superstition daughter. He is very high PLI at £256; has very high milk, low SCC and high daughter fertlity (+0.3). His daughters will be well-balanced, combining plenty of width with ideal dairyness. His attributes all add up to produce long-lasting cows, which ar shown in his very high Lifespan and Herd Life scores.

"All of the sires are extremely complementary to the others in the Semex range and will ... Read More...

MAKE THE RIGHT MOVES CONFERENCE REPORT

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SEMEX'S UNIQUE IMMUNITY+ RANGE OF SIRES CONTINUE TO GROW

A year ago this week Semex announced the first of a new and unique range of sires selected for their ability to do what no sires had ever been selected to do before - to directly improve immune status of their daughters, as well as all the conventional production, functional and type characteristics. Since then Immunity+™ range of sires has entered the common language of many dairy farmers, and the logic of using the sires to improve the health of the next generation of cows through genetics has been widely accepted. Semex in the UK initially started by launching eight sires and, in subsequent proof runs, others were also identified as meeting the stringent standard required to qualify as Immunity+, with the number before the December 2013 proof run growing to 16. Now, another two sires have been designated as Immunity+, taking the number available to UK farmers to 18. In Semex studs around the world there is now a pool of Immunity+ sires that exceeds 50, and this means the company will shortly be able to offer even more choice for the UK market. The two new graduates are the Facebook sons Coyne-Farms Jabir, and Mr Lookout P Embargo. Jabir is a high ranking TPI and PLI (£228) genomic sire and comes from a maternal line with in-built health and fertility. In addition to his immunity boosting genes he also offers high daughter fertility (UK Fert. Index +4.3). good herd life, high milk (+622kgs) and low SCC (-22). His type profile indicates strong, wide, powerful daughters with very good feet, legs and udders. Embargo is out of a Shottle from Crockett-Acres Eight's full sister and has a PLI of £225. High milk (+589kg) combined with high fat percentage (+0.11%) and low SCC (-14) means milk production of high quality and value, while good daughters fertility (+1.8) and high Lifespan (+0.4) show his daughters will breed back quickly and last well. His excellent type profile (UK TM +2.88) indicates ... Read More...

SEMEX'S GROWING GLOBAL SELECTION PROGRAMME DRIVES EXPANSION OF HUNGARIAN FACILITY

Semex firmly believes that the best genetics are where you find them. With this in mind, Semex geneticists have been actively sourcing genetics well beyond North America's borders for years. This sourcing has netted impressive results and the Semex facility located in Mezohegyes, Hungary has been expanded to meet increasing housing, collection, processing and distribution needs. "A prime example of finding exceptional genetics outside of North America is certainly the world's genomic superstar, Amighetti Numero Uno," says Pierre Laliberte, Semex Senior Vice President, Genetics & Research. "Born in Italy, Numero Uno ranked as the world's No.1 genomic sire longer than any other to date. His sixth dam was the result of an embryo imported from the USA and through the continuous use of top sires, the world's first genomic giant was born." The new facility increases housing and collection capacity from 140 to 200 bulls, while also ensuring all European bulls are cared for in facilities that are governed by Semex's stringent 'Gold Standard' requirements for housing, production and distribution. "The expanded Hungary facility solidifies Semex's position in the European market," says Robert McRae, Semex Vice President, Global Operations. "Having these bulls housed in the European Union (EU), and following the EU market health regulations, provides us with a product eligible for global distribution and offer us an enviable biosecurity advantage." "We're genotyping more than 1500 European Holstein young sires a year," says Laliberte. "This new facility will allow us to house nearly 200 bulls in state-of-the-art facilities and meet the growing demand for our 'Genomax' product line."
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SEMEX 2014 DAIRY CONFERENCE - GEAR-UP TO MAKE ALL THE RIGHT BUSINESS MOVES

Businesses that stand still go backwards, goes the adage. Those that make  the right moves and adapt stay ahead of the game. And that's the theme of the renowned 2014 Semex Dairy Conference - Make the Right Moves. The conference will be held between Sunday 12 and Tuesday 14 January in the heart of Glasgow city centre at the 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel. Speakers include the Secretary of State for Agriculture Owen Paterson; NFU President Peter Kendall; controversial industry commentator Ian Potter; agricultural legal expert William Neville from Burges Salmon; Dr Judith Bryans, who is the new chief executive of Dairy UK; Mike Sheldon, group procuremnt director of Dairy Crest and Hamish Renton, dairy marketing specialist. Technical experts include vet Rob Smith, from Liverpool University; nutritionist Greg Bethard from the US, Philip Stansfield of the Cornish Cheese Company, Rob Hitch of Dodd & Co and dairy farmers Colin Laird and Philip Cooke. Dairy farmer and entrepreneur Michael King, who own the Kingspool herd of pedigree Holsteins on the outskirts of Bristol, and who operates a milk brokerage business too, will chair the conference. As usual there will be an unrivalled mix of business and pleasure at the conference, with an informal Sunday evening gala buffet reception, plus the famous Semex Burns supper on the Monday evening. This will  be hosted by the award winning "Wag of the Year" entertainer Sandy Strang. "As ever there is a lot happening in this very dynamic industry of ours, and there will be lots to talk about and discuss on political, economic and technical levels," says Peter Arthur, marketing manager for Semex. "The conference is the ideal time and place to hear about all of these issues and to chew the proverbial cud with speakers and fellow delegates - either formally in the conference or through informal networking. We look forward to welcoming conference regulars and ... Read More...

DEDUCTIVE IS NEW IMMUNITY-BOOSTING SIRE FROM SEMEX

Semex has launched its latest genomic Immunity+ sire - Claynook Deductive - bringing the number of sire in this new and unique group of immunity-boosting sires to 15 in the UK. Immunity+ sires are those that new technology has identified as having the best genes to transfer stronger disease immunity to the next generation.

Deductive is already being used as a global sire of sons. He is a son of the Genomax super star Amighetti Numero Uno, also Immunity+, and who topped the international ranking charts and whose calves are in huge demand globally. Deductive offers high LPI, and produces daughters with excellent udders and exceptional functional traits. UK figures show high production, very low Somatic Cell Counts, positive figures for daughter fertility and great type.

His Immunity+ status is also a major attraction, as consistently using these types of bulls from one generation to another will improve overall herd health and longevity because the daughters will  have less disease. They also have greater response to vaccines and their colostrum is also of a higher quality. Immune respone traits have a heritability of around 25%. This means 25% of the differences between animals for immune response can be explained by the animals' genetics. As a result significant gains in immunity can be achieved over successive generations.

"We are seeing a superb response from dairymen to our Immunity+ line-up, and Deductive will be another sought after, top-seller." says Michael Dennison, Semex UK sales manager. "Producers using this range of bulls have already started to make a positive start on building-up their herd's immunity, and some have milking daughters of Imunnity+ sires already" he says.

The advantage of Immunity+ is it it's here right now and UK farmers can take advantage of using these sires to pass on their natural defence to their daughters and future ... Read More...

Semex Immunity+ line-up now includes Numero Uno and Impression

Semex has expanded its range of Immunity+ sires with two genomic (Genomax) sires and a proven sire now joining the ranks of those identified as being able to pass on significantly better disease resistance to their daughters.

All of the sires in the Semex stud are assessed for their immune response status through a  technique unique to the company, developed by immunogeneticists at the University of Guelph, in Canada. Those that are shown to transmit a naturally high immune response are selected as Immunity+ sires. A key point of the research is the high heritability (25%) of the immune response trait; much greater than conventional measures of health traits. Consistently using these bulls from one generation to another will improve overall herd health and longevity because the daughters will be healthier, with less disease and a greater response to vaccines. An additional benefit is that daughters of Immunity+ sires produce higher quality colostrum, according to the researchers.

The genomic star Amighetti Numero Uno - the No.1 TPI genomic young bull in the world when he first came to market in 2011 - is also classed as Immunity+. Available in the UK since early 2012, his calves are impressing breeders everywhere they are born and have been dominating international genomically-tested heifer lists; and now Numero Uno sons are available to UK breeders, says Willie Tait, Semex's genetic manager.

Joining Uno in the ranks of Genomax Immunity+ sires is Gehrke Johan Deray, a son of Sherac out of a Planet tracing back to the renowned Snow-N Denises Dellia. His numbers promise daughters that combie milk, high fat and protein %, low SCC and also get back in calf easily. The type figures show a real "no-holes" profile that will suit most herds and good scores for locomotion, temperament and milking speed indicate they will be easy to manage.

Monument Impression, already in huge demand as an outcross sire, with ... Read More...

New technology from Semex gives calving alerts via text messages

When it comes to calving do you play the "will she, won't she" game, with your cows keeping you guessing as to when they'll actually deliver? Wouldn't it be far better, instead, if you knew for certain which cows were going to calve, and when?   Well now you can - thanks to the introduction of new calving detection technology from Semex.   Called Calving24, and part of the company's ai24 range of products and services, the system monitors the temperature of the mothers-to-be, and uses the changes to predict the approach of calving. As calving becomes imminent the device sends an immediate alert - all this is done via text messages relayed to the farmer via a radio base unit.   The device consists of a temperature sensor, which is placed in the vagina of the cow about a week before the expected date of calving. This communicates the cow's temperature to the radio base unit which can be up to 200 metres away. From here on it will send temperature reports twice a day to three different mobile phone numbers. Some 48 hours before calving the animal's temperature will peak and then start to fall again and this change is relayed to those same numbers. At the start of calving, when the water bag expels the sensor, the temperature drops suddenly and the farmer is alerted immediately.   "The device is, like the heat detection technology ai24 Heatime, another innovative genetic management tool to help busy farmers take the uncertainty out of a key event in their animals' life says Willie Tait, Semex UK genetics manager.   "It has proven to be an extremely useful management tool by acting as an early warning system for imminent calvings and means there's less need to get up in the middle of the night to check cows that might be calving, which is a real bonus for the farmer or herdsmen. And, of course, the technology is also good for both mother and calf because it alerts the farmer to ... Read More...

Walk of Fame Competition Winners Announced

The winners of Semex UK's legendary annual 'Walk of Fame' competition are Rachel Richardson from Doncaster and Stuart Mycock from Buxton, Derbyshire. The pair will help look after some of the best of the best Holtsein cows at the renown Canadian Royal Winter Fair in November, and will take part in the famous Semex Walk of Fame progeny showcase. They will join other young winners from Germany, Japan and Australia in one of the most challenging, demanding but ultimately rewarding educational experiences for dairy motivated young people.

This unique 14-day experience, funded by Semex Alliance and Semex UK will take place between 5 and 15 November.

Stuart Mycock, 21, is currently at Harper Adams University College studying Agriculture and Animal Science, and in his spare time works for W J Nadin and Y Bradbury of the Sterndale and Peak herds, where he has helped prepare their cattle for shows like The National Holstein Show, The All Britain Calf Show and other local shows. "I'm delighted to be chosen to take part in this fantastic event, and to be given this opportunity," he said. "For anyone interested in showing cattle it has to be the ultimate competition to win."

Rachel Richardson, 22, has been involved in showing cattle for 14 years at all major UK shows, handling competitions and stock judging events and at some European venues through her membership of Holstein Young Breeders. This makes Rachel ideal to represent the UK. "I'm looking forward to this exciting opportunity and experiencing working with the top quality cattle at this massive event," she said. "My passion for cows makes me ideal for this role," she added - describing winning the competition as 'a dream'.

Peter Arthur, Semex Marketing Manager, said "Semex is keen to do all it can to encourage young people into the dairy industry, and The Walk of Fame competition is part of our commitment. It can be a life ... Read More...