Company News

Where Are Your Pregnancies Coming From?

Mark E. Carson BSc. (Agr). MSc., Gencor Herd Reproduction Analyst
When analyzing a herd’s reproductive performance, it’s important to know what heat detection tools are being used to select cows for breeding and then also the subsequent performance of these tools.

Take an example of a herd using a combination of observed heats, electronic activity monitoring and Ovsynch to breed their cows. For this particular herd, the breedings must be categorized as one of the following:

Observed heats
Activity monitored
First service synch

My preference is to categorize first service synch from re-synch cows (timed A.I. used on second breeding or above). This allows me to gain additional insight into the performance of timed A.I. protocol.

Categorizing breedings provides you with two key pieces of information about your herd:

The number of cows being submitted by each tool
What the conception rate is for each method

Having this information helps you make better reproductive decisions by knowing both what tools are working and also what tools need improvement.
For Dairy Comp 305 and Scout users, activating the Breeding Code feature will help categorize and track breeding the performance of each breeding tool. If you’re not tracking how your cows are being submitted for breeding, work with your herd veterinarian or Semex representative to help set up a system to collect this valuable information.
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Semex Customer Joe Stewart Featured In Hoard's Dairyman West

Semex's ai24™ and Heatime™ customer Joe Stewart was recently featured in the October 25 issue of Hoard's Dairyman West. In this article Joe describes his experiences with the Heatime™ system on his 900 cow dairy in Nampa, Idaho.
Eager to try out new technology Joe has always been a strong believer in reducing costs and focusing on valuable pregnancies.
"The activity system always found the cows that we found, but it also found cows that, when we went out and looked at them, we would never have caught on our own," says Joe. "The system found enough of those extra animals that I got one extra pregnancy per week."
To read the complete article as a PDF click here.
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World Dairy Expo $5000 Semen Draw Winner Announced

Semex is pleased to announce the winner of the $5000 semen draw at World Dairy Expo was Barb Nedro of Clifton Springs, New York.

Barb and her husband Kevin are partners with John and George Muller in Willow Bend Farm and Spring Hope Farm. The two farms together milk 2,200 Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey cows with a 27,900 3.6% 1,016 3.0% 848 herd average.

Semex sires are popular on their farms, using highly reliable proven sires as well as Semex's Premier Young Sire program and Semex's Genomax genomic tested young sires.

"We're excited to have Barb, her family and the Mullers win," says Semex Representative Dean Sharp. "They're great Semex clients and are extremely excited to win."

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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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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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Semex Had All The Bases Covered At World Dairy Expo!

Semex sires dominated the Holstein Show and also captured Grand Champion honors 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, and dairymen were impressed with Semex's ai24™ program, displayed in the Exhibition Hall, which showcased its ability to reduce costs and deliver more pregnancies to dairies of all sizes. 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." Dairymen Looking to Reduce Costs Turn to Semex's ai24™ As undeniable economic pressures continue, dairymen everywhere are looking to control costs and increase efficiencies. At World Dairy Expo, this was no exception. Aimed at providing a solution for dairymen, Semex showcased its ai24™ program which is designed provide heat detection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the Exhibition Hall. "This program can be the eyes and the ears for dairymen," says Chris Sheahan, ai24™ Program Manager. "We hear every day that dairymen need to ... Read More...

Visit Semex While At World Dairy Expo

Semex's Walk of Fame at World Dairy Expo will once again be "The place to be" at World Dairy Expo as thousands of visitors will be on hand to see real live examples of Semex's daughters that work on real dairies.

Visitors will see daughters multiple daughters of 0200HO04779 R-E-W Buckeye, 0200HO03280 Gillette Final Cut, 0200HO07317 Magor Allen Bolivia and 0200HO07030 Ladino Park Talent *RC.

If your travel plans are bringing you to the World Dairy Expo, make sure that the Semex tent and booths EH 2705-2709 are on your list of things to do while at the show!

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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 ... Read More...

Semex Appoints Michael Hurst As Northeast Region Manager

Semex is pleased to announce Michael Hurst has been appointed the Northeast Region Manager effective October 12, 2009. In this role Hurst will be responsible for sales management in the northeastern USA. Hurst has over 15 years of business-to-business experience in the agricultural industry. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a master of science degree in animal breeding and management, Hurst worked for the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) as an Assistant Manager of Jersey Marketing Service and Director of Appraisal. In this role Hurst managed seven area representatives, two office staff and five appraisers who evaluated 50,000 Jersey cows annually. During his tenure at AJCA, Hurst grew total sales, helped launch an internet auction service, streamlined data and workflows, and grew Jersey member program participation. Additionally, he coordinated and enhanced the All-American Jersey Show, assisting with the implementation of the Premier Performance Class, as well as the new show ring Exhibition Code, and was a field representative to the Mid-Atlantic states. Most recently Hurst was a Financial Service Officer for Farmer Credit Services of Mid-American in Springfield, Ohio. While at Farm Credit Services, Hurst’s full time producer portfolio consisted of operating, IT and mortgage loans. Hurst’s accomplishments include being named Rookie of the Year in 2006, as well as ranking in the top 10 year to date sales for the entire Farm Credit Services organization for 2009, and top 10 sales in 2008 after closing $31 million in new business. “Michael brings crucial industry and Jersey breed knowledge, as well financial expertise to Semex and the Northeast Region,” says Paul Krueger, Sales & Business Development Manager, USA. “His experience working with dairymen at all levels of their business operations will be valuable as Semex continues to work with dairymen to reduce costs and increase profitability.” Working as the Northeast Region ... 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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