Company News

SEMEXX: It's Worth It!


Aaron Henderson, US Jersey Specialist



In the USA and around the world low milk prices, plummeting equity and lingering high feed costs have left many dairy operators taking a hard look at all costs associated with their businesses, knowing that to be profitable today you have to be more than just efficient.



Cows once worth $2500 US or more are now being sold across the country for $1000 US or less, and springers are now valued at half of what they were once selling for… many times bringing less than $1200 US.



Tough conversations are happening in offices and around dinner tables every day in an effort to increase profitability, whether they’re milking 50 or 5,000 cows.



One of those conversations is whether or not it is worthwhile to pay a premium price for sorted semen, and the added value of producing your own replacements.



Each dairy’s situation is a slightlydifferent, but for Aardema Dairies in southern Idaho, the extra dollars spent is one cost they’re not willing to sacrifice.



The Aardema family along with their General Manager Jeff Wendler, and herd managers John Andersen and Jordan Leak continue to sort through

pedigrees and proofs to find bulls to meet their criteria to use in their herds to make top genetic heifer replacements.



This sifting and winnowing process includes using Semex’s SEMEXX™, gender selected semen.



Click here for the entire story.

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Buckeye: Definite 2nd Crop Success!


Mike West, Semex Alliance Product Support Specialist & Sire Analyst



Approximately seven years ago the AI industry as a whole purchased many sons sired by the popular Marathon BW Marshall. In October of 2005, Semex graduated several BW Marshall sons, but just one rose to the top of the TPI listing. 0200HO04779 R-E-W Buckeye has maintained his top TPI rankings, making him one of Semex’s most successful sires and another example of Semex’s strong USA proving program.



Today he’s reached another milestone being named a Second Crop success. Buckeye himself was one of the earlier BW Marshall sons to be proven at Semex, and quickly drew international attention as not only a mating sire, but sire of sons. Out of a VG-86-2YRUSA

GMD DOM 2* Rudolph dam, and then a 67,000 kg EX-94-2E-USA Luke, his family’s production capacity has transmitted through the generations. His emergence as a superstar on the international scene was due to his success on the TPI rankings and pedigree appeal with six more generations of VG or EX after the Luke, but also because of the tremendous promise dairymen saw in their Buckeye daughters.



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Semex Promotes From Within: Higgins & Sheahan Take On New Responsibilities


Semex is pleased to announce the promotion of two Semex employees to key management positions. 

Chris Sheahan has been promoted to the position of ai24™ Program Manager.  Chris joined Semex five years ago as a District Sales Representative in east central Wisconsin.  In this role Chris has grown his two sales territories by effectively adding value to each client visit and promoting Semex’s product, programs and services.

As the ai24™ Program Manager, Chris will work closely with Semex customers interested in improving their reproductive performance, Semex sales staff and Regional Sales Managers promoting the ai24™ program. Chris’ technical knowledge, approach to account management and understanding of the reproductive challenges facing today’s dairymen make him an ideal match for this newly created position.  To reach Chris and find out more about Semex’s ai24™ program call 1-877-545-ai24 or email csheahan@semex.com

Jeremy Higgins has been promoted to the role of Regional Sales Manager, Central Region.  In this position Jeremy will oversee the development and management of the Central United States in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.  As a District Sales Representative in Michigan since 2004, Jeremy has continuously grown market share and utilized key account management while providing solutions to his dairymen. 

Working as the Regional Sales Manager for the Central Region, Jeremy will work closely with the District Sales Representatives in these states to strategically grow Semex’s business by capitalizing on the unique suite of products, programs and services Semex offers that are profitable solutions for today’s dairyman.  To contact Jeremy please call 616-292-3064 or email jhiggins@semex.com




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In Summer’s Heat Keep Breeding Window Open A Little Longer


Brenda Lee-Turner, Semex Alliance Marketing Communications Specialist



With temperatures topping +90˚F in many parts of the North America, dairymen are struggling to get their cows bred back on time.  Heat and its partner in crime, humidity, wreak havoc on dairies, pushing milk production and pregnancy rates down and herd health problems up.  Incidences of stress on cows can occur at temperatures as low as 72˚F when combined with higher humidity, dramatically reducing profitability on the dairy.   



Looking for solutions to keep the window of breeding opportunity open a little longer and combat these issues, Semex has designed its Repromix™ product to help get those problem, repeat breeders back into calf, reducing days open and into their next lactation and the milking line.



The theory behind Semex’s Repromix product is related to a phenomenon called capacitation.  Capacitation is a series of changes all sperm from mammals must undergo while in the female reproductive tract in order to fertilize an egg.  This process includes the modification of proteins on the outside of the sperm cell by the cow’s reproductive tract.  Without this process, sperm cannot fertilize an egg.  As timing with all reproduction is key, the time needed for the capacitation process to occur varies from species to species and in our case, bull to bull. 



“Based on our theory, bulls can have different capacitation profiles,” says Tom Kroetsch, Semex Alliance Director Production & Quality Control.  “But (all sires) will still have very good fertility when used in normal fertility cows in most herds with good reproductive management.” 



In general the timeline for capacitation in bull semen is generally 4 to 12 hours, but ... Read More...

Semex Jerseys In The Driver's Seat!

Aaron Henderson, Semex US Jersey Specialist/Corporate Accounts Manager The Jersey breed is the fastest-growing dairy breed on the planet and as we accelerate into the next decade, Semex’s Jersey program is truly in the driver’s seat!  While many of our competitors have focused on individual traits such as inbreeding, JPI, JUI and show type, Semex’s Balanced Breeding philosophy and global sampling program have worked to provide a diversified lineup that meets the needs of dairymen everywhere.  The Semex Jersey lineup is well suited to meet the needs of dairymen everywhere, whether they milk 50, 500 or 5,000 cows.  Our genetics are poised to reach individual requirements and to help dairymen reach their profitability needs, efficiency goals and durability requirements.  Reducing Inbreeding: Outcross ability is measured by EFI (Expected Inbreeding Coefficient) and bulls that have a 6.0 and lower EFI are widely considered to be genetically diversified.  Semex has four bulls in its active line up under 6.0 EFI: 0200JE0103 Valleystream Julian; 0200JE0420 Pine Haven Senior; 0200JE0129 Bridon Jamaica; and 0200JE01310 Bridon Remake Comerica.  These sires are all outcross sires to imported Danish and New Zealand bloodlines.  JPI (Jersey Performance Index):  Many dairymen select on JPI and try to focus on the breed’s top 25 sires.  A list dominated by Jace sons, Semex has three bulls ranked in the top 25, none of which are Jace sons: 0200JE00990 Sunset Canyon RP Militia (Perimiter x Haug); 0200JE00944 Maackdairy Region (Legion x Lemvig); and 0200JE00992 Jenks Paramount Summit (Paramount x Bold). JUI (Jersey Udder Index): Semex is home to four of the top 20 ranked JUI sires, as much as anyone in the industry, with three ranking in the top six.  Following the April 2009 proofs the breed average for JUI was 3.33, 18 Semex sires are above 3.33 JUI with our active lineup averaging 5.00 JUI.   Show Type: In 2008 Semex was honored to be the home of the World ... Read More...

Semex Premier Program Impresses California Dairyman


Michelle Nelson, Semex USA West Coast Premier Consultant



Hilltop Holsteins in Oakdale, California is owned and operated by partners Michael and Carrie Dotinga and John and Susan Vander Schaaf. Michael takes care of the daily operations of the dairy and some of the farming.



Michael grew up and worked on his family dairy. In 1998, Hilltop Holsteins began. The Dotinga’s and Vander Scaaf’s purchased the current facility along with the dairy’s 800 cows. In addition, Hilltop Holsteins also purchased 600 bred heifers to help grow the herd to the current size of milking 1,350 Holsteins with a rolling herd average of 22,983 milk 3.7% 847 fat 3.3% 719 protein.



In 2003, the facility was completely remodeled; new freestall barns were built along with a brand new double 20 parallel milk barn. To help relieve heat stress in the summertime, fans are provided for the fresh cow pen, close-up dry cow pen, and far-off dry cow pen. Fans, misters, and soakers also were installed in the milk barn.



Hilltop Holsteins farms 220 acres of corn and oats. In addition, 220 acres are currently used for pasture. There are 8 employees working on the dairy: 5 milkers, 1 feeder, and 2 herdsmen who work closely with Michael. All heifer calves are sent to a nearby calf ranch at 1 day old; the calves return to the dairy at 5 months old. At a year old heifers are sent to another nearby heifer raising facility to be bred; heifers return to the dairy when they are approximately 5 months pregnant.



Hilltop Holsteins has been using Semex sires and participated in the Premier Young Sire Program since 1998. Recently, they have partnered with the Semex Premier™ Club Young Sire Program. Currently, the herd is using 70% Semex sires and is very pleased with their results.



“I am using ... Read More...

Semex Sires Popular Worldwide

In a recent survey conducted by Holstein International, Semex sires were proven to be extremely popular worldwide.



Dairymen everywhere list Semex sires as tops in their choices as most used in the last 6 months, which sires they would like to use more heavily in retrospect and which sires make their best 2 Yr Olds. 



Semex sires showed their strength and popularity with dairymen when asked which proven bulls have Holstein International readers used in the past 6 months…  Dairymen answered that they’ve preferred a Semex sire 29% of the time.  Semex sires identified as those preferred by dairymen worldwide were Goldwyn (#3), Dolman (#8), Bolivia (#15), Talent *RC (#17), Ashlar (#18), Samuelo (#20), Jasper (#28) and #Spirte (#30).  Most interestingly it is only Semex that can claim to be truly international superstars with its 29% containing sires that are proven on three separate continents!  … Semex Works Everywhere in its truest sense!







Not surprisingly, breeders also chose Semex sires more than any other when answering which bulls they would have liked to have used more heavily in retrospect.  Four of the eight sires listed as most common responses are Semex sires.  Semex’s superstar Goldwyn ranked #2, with Semex greats Outside, Allen and Rudolph also listed.   This shows dairymen’s desire for reliable, well-proven sires.  These sires were all popular for multiple reasons, but certainly none more important than their high reliability.  Each of these bulls remain superstars of our industry, siring high producers, beautiful cows, sires of sons and most importantly the kind of real cows dairymen want more of in their herds.



Looking towards the future of the breed, dairymen also commented on which sires were making ... Read More...

April New Release Sires Ready To Add Value

The April 2009 proof release placed the stamp of approval on reliable second crop Semex sires, while ushering in new release sires that expand Semex’s line-up. This expanded product offering meets the needs of dairymen everywhere, with sires designed to positively impact the bottom line.



Semex has added sires that are well-positioned to make a positive impact to the dairy’s bottom line and add value to your herd, including a 5% CE, 2.55 SCS Oman son, high milk sons and sons by Semex greats Talent and Titanic. For more information on all new April releases click here or view each bull below.


Holstein:

0200HO01937 West Port Bookman Red GP-CAN ST (Talent x Rubens)
0200HO05239 La Presentation Denzel VG-CAN Extra (Champion x Emerson)
0200HO09804 Crockett-Acres Eight EX-91-CAN SP (Oman x Mtoto)
0200HO00379 Morsan Frontrunner *RC GP-CAN ST (Talent x James)
0200HO09711 Regancrest Kingsley GP-CAN ST (Ramses x Convincer)
0200HO05340 Sicy Knowledge VG-CAN (Freelance x James)
0200HO05300 Comestar Lauvy VG-CAN (Titanic x Igniter)
0200HO05322 Gen-I-Beq Sahara *RC GP-CAN SP (Champion x Durham)
0200HO03404 Willsona Silas VG-CAN SP (Titanic x Convincer)


Jersey:



0200JE00944 Maackdairy Region (Legion x Lemvig)
0200JE00943 Wilsonview Shurbondy (Jace x Bold)
0200JE00015 Unique Belle’s Red Baron (Jace x Paramount)





Contact your Semex representative to put Semex to work in your herd today!
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No Clear Winner In Fertility Race


In August 2008 the United States Department of Agriculture released Sire Conception Rates (SCR) for the first time ever, replacing Estimated Relative Conception Rates (ERCR). The SCR evaluation has proven to be better than ERCR as it is a more accurate measure of a bull’s ability to actually get a cow in calf, as opposed to just measuring non-return rates. Repromax™, Semex’s lineup of high fertility sires, benefits from this new system, as the SCR evaluation is included, forming the world’s only international fertility information.



Semex sires rank well above average for SCR, adding to the confidence breeders can have in using our Repromax™ lineup. The Sire Conception Rate (SCR) rating is an important fertility figure, but should just be part of the decision making process when choosing a mating sire. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind just what the SCR figure represents. With SCR, the average conception rate for the Holstein and Jersey breeds has been set at 0, therefore a bull that scores 1.0 SCR can be expected to have a 1% higher conception rate than the average bull. And, the opposite is true for a bull with a -1.0 SCR score.



Looking at the industry snapshot of numbers like 1.9… 2.0… 2.1… and 2.3… one wonders how much difference is there between these bulls?



There is a difference of less than half a percet separating the top four competitors in the Holstein breed, and an even smaller difference among the top four competitors in the Jersey breed. These small margins do not lend themselves for any one company to claim complete dominance in SCR rankings.



When is a Bull “Good” or “Bad”?

If only small differences separates so many bulls, technically it is difficult to label one bull better or worse than another for ... Read More...

Bolen Selected as 2009 Semex Marketing Intern

Semex is pleased to announce that Kendra Bolen has been selected as Semex’s 2009 Summer Marketing Intern beginning May 18.  Kendra is a junior at Iowa State University majoring in dairy science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.  Kendra joins Semex with an extensive background in the dairy industry, being raised on her family’s Holstein dairy in northwest Illinois.  She has also been an active participant in her local 4-H and FFA clubs, as well as the Illinois Junior Holstein Association, Iowa State Dairy Judging Team and the Iowa State Dairy Science Club. While at Semex, Kendra will gain hands-on marketing experience and will assist with market research and database management, marketing collateral, supporting the execution of marketing campaigns and special projects.
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