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Category Archives: Alta News

Your Perfect Dairy Business Internship

Develop your consultative sales skills and build your portfolio of large, progressive dairy accounts.

Work with our current network of sales managers to implement customized solutions focused in any or all of these key management areas.

 

Genetic Consulting

Implement customized genetic plans, optimize herd inventory management with conventional, sexed, and beef x dairy strategies, and prove genetic progress through assessment reports from DairyComp.

Reproductive Management

Develop your understanding of advanced reproduction protocols, understand and sell the benefits of the Alta COW WATCH activity monitor system for improved repro results, and consult on management strategies using DairyComp data.

Calf Management

Use research data to explore best practices for managing the health and productivity of neonatal calves, including colostrum protocols at birth and as part of post-day 1 feeding programs.

Transition & Fresh Cow Management

Help producers get their cows off to the best start after calving. Use DairyComp data to consult on fresh cow protocols utilizing Alta COW WATCH and RumiLife CAL24.

 

If you have a passion for the dairy industry and helping progressive dairy producers, we want to work with you.

We’re currently in the process of selecting our 2021 Alta interns. Please check back for future internship opportunities.

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The NEW Alta Bull Search App

Download the all-new app today!

With more traits, more breeds, more features, more options, and more sorting abilities, the all-new Alta Bull Search app is a more streamlined approach to bull searching.

What can you expect?

  • Search and sort dairy bulls industry wide from your mobile device
    • Sort by name, NAAB code, or registration number
  • Find detailed genetic evaluations for Holsteins, Jerseys, Brown Swiss and Mixed Breed sires on the USA proof base
  • Explore countless options for sorting and filtering bulls
    • By a main genetic index
    • By individual traits, including A2A2, coat color, polled, and more
    • By conventional vs sexed semen
    • By genomic vs daughter proven sire
    • By company
  • Sort bulls based on different genetic indexes:
    • Production & Health | 60-40-0
    • Balance | 40-40-20
    • Balance, without Conformation | 50-50-0
    • High Production | 70-30-0
    • TPI
    • NM$
  • Add active bulls to your favorites list(s)
  • Export a group of bulls into Excel
    • Save the export file to your device and send via email or text message
  • Get a notification when new genetic data is available for download
  • Choose from nine language options

Download HERE through the Apple App Store
Download HERE through Google Play

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Your genetic decision today IS your future herd

The future of your herd is more than just your youngstock. It’s found inside your semen tank.

Think about the semen just delivered to your dairy and added to your tank. It’s an investment. And it’s a decision that will impact your operation for years to come. Your genetic decision today becomes the calves, heifers, and milking cows of your future herd.

Timeline graphic to illustrate from semen purchase to milking female

The BIG decisions

When it comes to making big decisions – the type that affect your livelihood, your future, or your financial well-being – most people work with a trusted advisor to make the best possible choice.

When you buy a house, you work with a realtor. To deal with your retirement investments, you likely work with a trusted financial advisor. Decisions about both types of investments have a major impact on your life for years down the road.

Your dairy herd is no different. The genetics you use have a lasting impact on your livelihood, your future, and your operation’s financial well-being.

Your Alta advisor can help ensure that your investment creates genetic progress aligned with your farm’s situation and future goals. That means everything from setting the right customized genetic plan to selecting the right investment level to fit your long-term strategy. Because when it comes to genetics, you get what you select for.

Find your proof

How can we be sure that genetics make a difference? We know from countless examples of what we call ‘Proof in the Numbers’ that what you breed for today is directly correlated to the results you see in your future milking herd. Want to see real example to understand more? Check them out HERE, HERE, or HERE.

Just remember, the results these herds realize for production, fertility, and health stem from the genetic decisions they made more than 3 years ago.

With that in mind, don’t make light of the BIG decisions. Work with your trusted Alta advisor to ensure your genetic investments and strategy align with your situation and future goals. Because the genetic decision inside your semen tank is your future herd.

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What You Need to Know About April Proofs

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT APRIL PROOFS

  1. YOU HAVE EXCELLENT OPTIONS TO CREATE MORE ALTA 4-EVENT COWS.

Whether you’re looking for Holsteins, Jerseys, or mixed-breed (XD) sires, our genetic provider, PEAK genetics and production teams have delivered what our clients need. Among the new marketing lists, you’ll find an abundance of genetic options with the right profile to help your clients create more of those productive, trouble-free, Alta 4-EVENT COWS.

 

  1. FIND ELITE SIRES ATOP EACH OF OUR MARKETING LISTS

Take a look for yourself, and you’ll find sires with elite production and optimal health traits (even with the rollback from the genetic base change). You’ll also find a variety of high fertility CONCEPT PLUS sires, and you have more Alta 511 sexed sire options than ever before!

  • G-STAR

You have 41 new G-STAR sire options among the G-STAR bulls readily available this proof round. These sires include a wide array of trait outliers and high index ranks to fit your genetic plan. Some of these bulls even have proven information for sire fertility, so you can balance of high genetics and high fertility CONCEPT PLUS. Some feature sires include AltaGOPRO, AltaHOTJOB, AltaINGOLD and AltaTORRENT.

 

  • FUTURE STAR

When calving ease and high fertility are two of your main criteria, FUTURE STAR sires are some of your best bets. You’ve got 17 brand new FUTURE STAR sires this proof round, and they join a list of diverse sires to fit your genetic plan.

 

  • PROVEN STAR

When high reliability is part of your genetic plan, you have many top sires to fit that goal. The PROVEN STAR line-up is led by these top sires:

  • AltaTOPSHOT: Despite the base change, AltaTOPSHOT is still a TOP option to transmit production (+156 CFP) and health (+5.2 PL). He’s a HEALTH PLUS, A2A2 sire, and available as Alta 511 SexedUltra. His daughters are hard-working producer favorites in the herds where they live.
  • AltaMIGHTY-P: When production and type are your goal, then AltaMIGHTY-P is perfect to consider. He’s 130 CFP and +1.40 PTAT. Plus, he gives you the added bonus as a polled sire, and high fertility CONCEPT PLUS status!
  • AltaRECOIL: With the addition of his first milking daughters, AltaRECOIL is a true health trait specialist with functional type. He’s a high fertility CONCEPT PLUS sire that also transmits longevity (+4.8 PL) and high daughter fertility (+2.2 DPR). Add excellent udders (+1.57 UDC) and sound feet and legs (+1.33 FLC), and you have the ability to create more of the Alta 4-EVENT COWS!

 

  1. THE GENETIC BASE CHANGED & THE TPI FORMULA GOT AN UPDATE.

That means there’s a rollback for nearly all traits, and the reference levels you’ve become used to are now a little different. There are also four key updates to the TPI formula, which include updated weights for Fat and Protein, the addition of the CDCB health traits in the formula, a change to Foot & Leg Composite Index, and updated category weights for conformation and health.

 

If you want to more details on these changes, use these links, or find more info on the Alta website.

TPI Update Takeaways: https://australia.altagenetics.com/4-things-tpi-update/

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Alta Excells Once Again in the Australian Proof Round

Alta 4-EVENT COW logo featuring the events Bred and PregAlta Australia has again delivered world class genetics for Australian Farmers.

With 23 bulls in the Top 1% of the index, Alta has the right bull available for all Australian dairy farmers.

AltaGLOW (A2A2) is No.3 BPI at 415 and is just a sample of what the world’s leading breeding program delivers. The Peak breeding program based in North America delivers world leading advancement in dairy genetics.

AltaGLOW is an outstanding and rare example of production and health with a Combined Fat and Protein increase of 81 kg and health traits of 114 Fertility, 162 SCC and 112 Survival, plus the added peace of mind 104 calving ease, AltaGLOW is the perfect option for heifer joinings.

With a different pedigree for Australia farmers being a Fascinator X AltaTOPSHOT, he displays the continuing improvement of Alta’s breeding program, and is available both conventionally and sexed (511).

New release sire AltaMEDERA,  BPI 380 on the Australian index,  provides outcross,  (Bandares X Delta) with an outstanding ASI of 201 combined with superior health 109, daughter fertility 165, SCC and 111 Survival and with improved feed efficiency, all makes AltaMEDERA a bull for Australian breeders serious about improving their profitability.

AltaMOLINA, with a BPI of 361 is Alta’s no.1 rated genomic fertility bull at 116. Another bull with a different pedigree being an AltaNIXER X Main Event, AltaMOLINA offers farmers diversification in their breeding programs. Other popular sires include AltaPIXAR 335 BPI with a nice balanced proof, AltaSTAFFORD 323 BPI and an outstanding udder profile, AltaZONE 318 BPI with his high farmer likeability and jet-black calves, AltaPINETTA 313 BPI has very high fat production and components.   

Daughter proven sire, AltaTOPSHOT has again been a standout both in Australia and overseas. Transmitting superior production High milk and combined F + P of 63 kgs and 109 for daughter fertility, with outstanding calving ease of 103.

AltaTOPSHOT is one of only two bulls to be ranked in the Top 20 both in Australia and in the US, demonstrating his ability to produce breed leading, moderate statured efficient cows all around the world, and he is an A2A2 sire.

AltaMIGHTY – P (Powerball X Supersire) has an outstanding proven BPI of 315, with high production ASI of 187 and Combined Fat and Protein advantage of 65 kgs. Outstanding daughter survival of 112 and perfect for use over heifers with a calving rating of 103 and the added bonus of polled plus being high fertility Concept Plus sire, AltaMIGHTY – P is a must use in progressive programs looking for polled genetics.

AltaHOTROD (Jerod X AltaIOTA) also added more Australian milking daughters and improved his BPI rating to 301. AltaHOTROD is an interesting sire, not only does he have outstanding protein improvement in his progeny (38kg) but this is combined with Type scores of 113 and Mammary 110. On top of this, AltaHOTROD is an improver for Daughter Fertility 104 and SCS 131. AltaHOTROD is A2A2 and a Concept plus sire.

For more information on any of our sire line up, go to australia.altagenetics.com and download the latest ABV catalogue or contact Tony Simpson on tony.simpson@altagenetics.com  and ask how we can help you incorporate the right bulls to drive profit into your genetic plan.

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What you need to know about the April 2020 US Genetic Base Change

A genetic base change is an adjustment of predicted transmitting abilities (PTAs) for all animals in a given breed. This change resets the average PTAs for each trait within a new reference population back to zero.

With the April 2020 US genetic base change in mind, here are five key points to remember.

1. THE BASE CHANGE HAPPENS EVERY 5 YEARS.

It happens this frequently to ensure that the values for traits and indexes don’t grow to unrealistically high levels. The last base change took place in December 2014, and the next one will be in 2025.

2. THIS BASE CHANGE ACCOUNTS FOR THE AMOUNT OF GENETIC PROGRESS WE’VE MADE SINCE THE LAST BASE CHANGE.

Dairy cattle genetics are continually improving, and the base change is the way to quantify the actual amount of progress that we’ve made for each trait within each breed.

For example, the base change for PTA Milk in the Holstein breed is 492. That means that the average genetic level for pounds of milk in the Holstein breed has increased by 492 pounds over the past five years. To account for this progress, the PTA Milk value for all Holsteins will automatically decrease by 492 pounds with April 2020 proofs.

3. THE NEW REFERENCE POPULATION WAS BORN IN 2015.

The base change means resetting the average PTAs for the reference population to zero. The previous reference population was made up of the sire-identified animals born in 2010. Since the new reference population is animals born in 2015, that means this current base change will now set the average PTA of cows born in 2015 back to zero.

4. DOWNWARD ADJUSTMENTS ARE ACTUALLY A GOOD THING!

In general, a downward adjustment for a trait is the amount of genetic progress we’ve made for that trait. So a larger downward adjustment is actually a good thing – it just means we’ve made that much more genetic progress for that given trait!

Because of the downward adjustments, we’ll need to get used to new, generally lower reference levels for the traits and indexes that we affect our genetic selection decisions.

5. THE BASE CHANGE DOES NOT AFFECT THE RELATIVE RANK OF ANIMALS.

Even though the base change will cause PTA values for bulls and cows to appear lower for most traits, it is the same adjustment for all animals. That means individual rankings will not be impacted.

WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL CHANGES?

Wondering what the actual changes will be? Table 1 below lays it all out.

Because a positive value is the amount of progress we’ve made, it also means the PTA for that trait will decrease by this amount. Conversely, negative values mean the PTA for that trait will actually increase by that amount.

To clearly assess the overall picture of genetic progress, trait changes shown in black show positive progress. Traits shown in red have made negative progress over the past five years.

*Please note that the CDCB will recalculate these values with April 2020 proofs using more complete and current data. So there may be slight changes between now and then.*

Table 1. PTA difference of cows born in 2015 compared to those born in 2010. PTAs will decrease by these amounts in April 2020.

TRAITUNITSHOLSTEINJERSEYBROWN SWISS
MilkPounds492524214
FatPounds24258
ProteinPounds18208
Productive life | PLMonths1.861.540.24
Daughter pregnancy rate | DPR%0.24-0.99-0.62
Somatic cell score | SCSLog base 2 units-0.0800
Heifer conception rate | HCR%0.50.44-0.24
Cow conception rate |CCR%0.38-0.9-0.74
Cow livability | LIV%0.740.08-0.28
Displaced abomasum | DA%0.21--
Ketosis | KET%0.2--
Mastitis | MAST%0.6--
Metritis | MET%0.34--
Milk fever | MFEV%-0.06--
Retained Placenta | RP%0.05--
Early first calving | EFCDays1.51.40.5
Gestation length | GLDays-0.350.3-0.03
Sire Calving Ease | SCE%-0.4--0.3
Daughter Calving Ease | DCE%-1.9--0.6
Sire Stillbirth | SSB%-0.3--
Daughter Stillbirth | DSB%-1.6--
Final Score (PTAT)Points0.760.70.4
Udder composite | UDC / JUI0.85--
Feet and leg composite | FLC0.49--
Lifetime Net Merit | NM$Dollars23119160
Lifetime Cheese Merit | CM$Dollars23919663
Lifetime Fluid Merit | FM$Dollars21917956
Lifetime Grazing Merit | GM$Dollars20714238
StaturePoints0.470.50.6
StrengthPoints0.200.2
Dairy formPoints0.380.40.3
Foot anglePoints0.50.10.1
Feet and leg score0.54
Rear legs - side viewPoints-0.0200.1
Rear legs - rear view0.49
Body depth0.14
Rump anglePoints-0.020.40
Rump widthPoints0.360.10.1
Fore udder attachmentPoints1.010.70.3
Rear udder heightPoints1.20.60.3
Rear udder widthPoints1.160.20.3
Udder depthPoints0.840.90.2
Udder cleftPoints0.540.10.1
Front teat placementPoints0.520.30.3
Rear teat placement0.49
Teat lengthPoints-0.270-0.2
Body weight composite0.15

HOW DOES THIS COMPARE?

Are you curious how the amount of progress over the past five years compares to the progress we made before that? The tables below lay it all out for the Holstein and Jersey breeds.

HOLSTEIN BASE CHANGE COMPARISONMilkFatProtPLDPRNM$
2020 CHANGES (progress made from 2015-2020)49224181.9 0.24231
2015 CHANGES (progress made from 2010-2015)38217121.00.2184
JERSEY BASE CHANGE COMPARISONMilkFatProtPLDPRSCSNM$
2020 Changes (progress made from 2015-2020)52425201.54-0.990.00191
2015 Changes (progress made from 2010-2015)38219120.80.00.04124

You’ll see that for the production traits, both Holsteins and Jerseys made significantly more progress in the past five years, than in the five years preceding. That means, as an industry, we’re making huge strides. Have confidence that the bulls you use now will deliver profitable results through their offspring.

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Our commitment to you amid COVID-19

Create Value.  Build Trust.  Deliver Results.  It is times like the current COVID-19 situation where we are recommitting ourselves to our purpose so we can continue to meet your genetic, reproductive, and animal performance product needs.

Customer and Employee Safety

We intend to continue farm visits to deliver semen and products and breed cows, while taking precautions to keep you, your family, and your farm team members safe. To do that, we’ll be proactive about proper hygiene practices. This means eliminating high-touch interactions like handshakes and maintaining safe distances during conversation.

We have mandated that if an Alta employee becomes ill, they will self-isolate until fully recovered. We will do our best to limit any service interruption to your farm in such circumstances.

Semen Ordering & Shipping

We are committed to maintaining our production and distribution schedules to the fullest extent possible. We are readying our domestic teams to maintain semen distribution, even in the event of any restrictions imposed by freight service providers. You can help by planning and communicating early about any service or supply needs that you anticipate for your farm.

Drop-off Delivery Instructions

Please communicate with your Alta representative any special delivery instructions that you would like to implement as part of your receiving protocol on farm. We understand the need to limit close contact during this time, and we’re willing to take practical steps to make that happen.

Staying Connected

We remain dedicated to getting cows pregnant on your farm, and we have many convenient options to connect live remotely with your managers, so we can continue to monitor performance and share advice. Contact your Alta representative to make this option work.

Let’s Talk

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your Alta representative or your local Alta offices. In North America, please contact us at clientservices@altagenetics.com.

We are passionately committed to the health and safety of our team, our animals, our clients, and our industry. We are working on all fronts to support, and we will do our part to help contain the spread of the virus, including organizing our procedures in such a way to limit contact and maintain operations.

Create Value. Build Trust. Deliver Results.

 

Sincerely,

Kevin Muxlow
CEO, Alta Genetics

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Help your calves become future Alta 4-EVENT COWS

The journey to 4-EVENT COW status starts long before an animal enters the fresh pen. In fact, that journey starts in the hours immediately after she is born.

The most important meal a calf will consume is her first one – colostrum. That’s partly because a calf is most vulnerable in those moments right after birth. A newborn calf needs the immunity and energy that only high-quality colostrum can give her.

To make sure the first meal for each of your calves is as effective as possible, keep these 3 Qs of colostrum in mind.

THE 3 Q’S OF COLOSTRUM

1. QUICKLY

A calf’s ability to absorb the immunity from colostrum declines at a rapid rate after birth. You can see from the graph, that the ideal time to feed colostrum to a newborn calf is within the first 1-2 hours after birth. After six hours, the percent IgGs she can absorb and utilize is already significantly lower.

Recommendations say you should also offer a second feeding of colostrum within the next eight hours to ensure that each calf receives the energy she needs to get the best start in life.

2. QUALITY

In an ideal world, every dam will produce the amount and quality of colostrum that her calf needs. Unfortunately, ideal isn’t the norm. When colostrum quality is too low, a calf will not receive enough IgGs. That means she’s likely to experience Failure of Passive Transfer (FPT). FPT has a life-long impact on the growth and future production of affected calves.

Since we know that maternal colostrum can vary greatly from one cow to the next, that’s why it’s important to test maternal colostrum from every fresh cow. Use an optical or digital % brix refractometer to estimate the colostrum quality.

To interpret the % brix results and know what to do with the colostrum that mother nature has provided, follow these colostrum feeding recommendations:

% Brix readingQuality levelAction
> 25%EXCELLENTNo need to supplement maternal colostrum
22%-25%GOODSupplement maternal colostrum if excellent results are desired
18%-22%ADEQUATESupplement maternal colostrum with Calf’s Choice Total colostrum
<18%POORReplace maternal colostrum with Calf’s Choice Total colostrum

3. QUANTITY

In order for a calf to receive the total immunity and energy she needs, it’s critical to feed her enough colostrum. That generally means feeding 10% of the calf’s body weight in the first feeding. When you know the quality is good, you can also follow these guidelines:

  • OPTIMAL: 3L – 4L colostrum, which equals 150-200 grams IgG
  • SUFFICIENT: 2L – 3L colostrum, which equals 100-150 grams IgG

A healthy, newborn calf is the future of your herd. Help her become a healthy, profitable Alta 4-EVENT COW by following the 3 Q’s of colostrum management. When maternal colostrum does not pass the test for quality or quantity, be sure to have Calf’s Choice Total colostrum ready to fill the void.

 

Adapted, in part, from the May 2015 Colostrum Counsel Newsletter from SCCL, titled “Contribution of good colostrum feeding practices to the welfare of the newborn calf.”

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December 2019 Sire Lists

We’ve got the genetics to meet your needs and create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS in your herd.

Here’s your one-stop-shop for the specialty sire lists you need – in printer-friendly formats. Find Holstein and Jersey versions of A2A2, polled, robot-suited and kappa casein sires, as well as a printable proof sheet.

There is also a listing of our Holstein milking speed ratings, the 100% RHA registry status sires, and a listing of all Zoetis wellness traits on all Alta Holstein sires.

We want to help you create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS in your herd. So whether these criteria or other traits match your current situation and future goals, work with your trusted Alta advisor to customize your genetic plan. You can do that by using our Advanced Bull Search or Alta GPS.

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The timeline of an Alta sire

You might be wondering what the different sire designations mean, and how they fit into the life cycle of an Alta bull. So let’s break them down…

Alta ADVANTAGE

Most sires begin their journey at Alta among this group of bulls, which is available only to our loyal Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds. Alta ADVANTAGE sires offer diverse trait specialties and elite rankings on many different customized genetic plans.

When a bull is first old enough to be collected, he simply won’t produce enough semen to be readily available to all farms around the globe. So while we work to build semen inventory, we give our committed Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds priority access to these elite, new sires that best fit their customized genetic plans.

G-STARS

Once a bull starts producing enough semen, he is added to the G-STAR sire list. Many new G-STAR bulls are readily available this proof round. Among these sires are a wide array of trait outliers, and high-ranking options to fit your genetic plan. Some of these bulls have even been released long enough to have proven information for sire fertility, so you can choose a balance of both high genetics and high fertility CONCEPT PLUS.

FUTURE STARS

About a year after a bull is first released, we have actual, proven results for both sire fertility and calving ease. We gather this data, analyze the results, and award the FUTURE STAR designation to only the bulls with offspring already born, with results for proof of easy calvings, pregnancy check results that confirm they are above average for sire fertility. They also have calves born already, and their calving ease data shows them to be less than 8% for sire calving ease.

FUTURE STARS are the way to go if you want the benefits of elite genomics but prefer the added peace of mind of proven sire fertility and calving ease. You may give up some production and health as compared to the available G-STAR or ADVANTAGE only sires. But you can rest assured, knowing that you’re upping your chances for a both a pregnancy and a live calf from an easier calving. Because of the known calving ability, FUTURE STARS are often a good option to use on heifers.

PROVEN STARS

About three years after a bull is first released, his earliest daughters will enter the milking string. Once there has been adequate time to collect milk test information from those daughters and/or analyze their actual conformation, the data is compiled by the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) and Holstein Association USA. That information is then calculated into a sire’s first daughter proof.

From there, as more daughters begin their first lactation, their sire’s reliability continues to increase. PROVEN STAR sires are for those people who only prefer the highest reliability genetic options.

Compare the averages to see the progress

Now that you know the difference between each sire designation, and understand the progression a bull could make as he matures, compare the average genetic level of each group in the table below. You’ll see that the newest, Alta ADVANTAGE bulls have the highest genetic averages – especially for the money-making production and health traits. They’re followed by the G-STAR sires, and then by the more highly reliable FUTURE STARS. You’ll also see the comparison to daughter-proven sire averages, just for reference.

60-40-0TPINM$MilkProtFatCFPPrelPTATUDCFLCPLDPRSCS
Alta ADVANTAGE952277695217746994163761.821.980.717.20.72.70
G-STAR870268587316266486149781.681.840.776.50.82.76
FUTURE STAR822265082915386183144801.901.841.035.80.52.78
PROVEN STAR748255372916816174134951.841.690.934.70.42.81

Despite the big difference in genetic averages between the genomic lists and daughter-proven averages, it’s important to note that every single bull atop our current PROVEN STAR list was once a part of the G-STAR and/or FUTURE STAR lists. This just shows how much, and how fast, we’re making genetic progress!

The track record is significant for our current genomic favorites. Each proof round, we see these genomic bulls deliver on their initial predictions, and eventually graduate to daughter-proven success.

A side-by-side comparison

We can take this comparison of genetic averages one step further. For the sake of simplicity, let’s use the 60-40-0 index to do a side-by-side comparison of our top daughter-proven sires and our top genomic-proven bulls.

Both lists have tremendous options to use. The top daughter-proven bulls are elite among their peers. In fact, AltaTOPSHOT would even rank #2 among our genomic-proven list. The rest widely recognized as popular options around the world. Yet, if we’re talking about using groups of bulls, instead of individual bulls, the genomic-proven average simply outpaces our daughter-proven options by a significant amount.

Top 10 daughter-proven bulls
December 2019

Sire CodeSire Name60-40-0 Index Value
11HO11779AltaTOPSHOT1091
11HO11781AltaUPSHOT980
11HO11487AltaBARK888
11HO11778AltaROBSON859
11HO11718AltaTURNKEY842
11HO11767AltaCONCORD818
11HO11737AltaHIDALGO810
11HO11740AltaFACET803
11HO11750AltaFLACCO802
11HO11669AltaJONAH801
Average870

Top 10 genomic-proven bulls
December 2019

Sire CodeSire Name60-40-0 Index Value
11HO12345AltaSOHOT1108
11HO12346AltaTORRENT1033
11HO12293AltaBUNDLE1027
11HO12194AltaCABOT1013
11HO12219AltaZAREK1009
11HO12168AltaGILMORE1009
11HO12124AltaGOPRO1000
11HO15023AltaGLOW981
11HO14200AltaFAVIAN978
11HO15012AltaROYALTON976
Average 1013

Have confidence in the right genetics for your dairy

With that in mind, have confidence that using a team of sires from the Alta ADVANTAGE, G-STAR or FUTURE STAR lists will help you meet your goals. And if you prefer the peace of mind from higher-reliability proven sires, you’ll certainly find the right bulls to fit your needs among that list.

The most important thing is to select a group of bulls that meet your customized goals for production, health and conformation – the type of bulls that will help you create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS. That is the key for you to drive progress to match your current situation and future goals.

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Maintaining Top Standards from Proof to Proof

August 2019 ABV release once again confirms Alta’s ability to provide high profitable animals for any management type.

AltaRABO | 011HO11379 | Mogul x Observer

In this latest release, AltaRABO confirms his place as an elite transmitter under Australian conditions. Now with more than 400 milk daughters for Production, AltaRABO places 4th for Australian proven bulls. AltaRABO ranks as the highest survival bull in the GBG Australian proven list. Excelling for Production, Type, Health and workability traits, AltaRABO is an easy to use bull. In fact when you look at the Australian proven list, AltaRABO is the #2 TWI bull and #3 HWI bull – clearly proving his “all rounder” status. Jet black daughters with reliable calving ease and A2A2 all add to his appeal.

AltaROBLE | 011HO11380 | Mogul x Observer x Shottle

AltaROBLE continues to add daughters and maintain his impressive Australian rating. Now boasting 150 milking daughters and 62 Type daughters, AltaROBLE falls short by 2 herds for workability to be included in the Australian proven list. With a BPI of 295, AltaROBLE would have been a clear #4 on BPI and the highest Mammary bull in the list at 113. Excelling for production, SCS, workability and of course Daughter Fertility; it is no wonder AltaROBLE is the #1 Survival bull in the breed and one of our most popular sires. We expect more daughters to be added through the Spring to provide the required herd numbers to be fully reliable on ABV in December. Watch this space.

Head down Crackhom AltaRabo from Crackholm holsteins
Dasha AltaRABO daughter
Crackholm AltaROBLE Buckle from Crackholm Holsteins; Richmond, QC
Crackholm AltaROBLE Buckle | Crackholm Holsteins; Richmond, QC

“Alta sires continue to deliver” 

Glen D Haven AltaHOTROD-ET| 011HO11493 |Jerod X AltaIOTA X Goldwyn

AltaHOTROD also added more daughters and now has 78 Australian milking daughters. AltaHOTROD is an interesting sire, not only does he have a high BPI of 284 (equal to AltaRABO), AltaHOTROD is the #1 Milk and Type bull in the top 100. On top of this, AltaHOTROD is also an improver for Daughter Fertility 104 and SCS 125. AltaHOTROD does add frame and is ideal for those farmers wanting to add Production, Type and Strength into their herd. AltaHOTROD is A2A2.

Bomaz AltaTOPSHOT-ET | 011HO11779 | Supershot x AltaEMBASSY x Robust

Newly proven international sires have also performed well with an Alta favourite AltaTOPSHOT rocketing up the BPI(i) list. Reflecting his great improvements in the US (now ranking at #4 TPI dtr proven), AltaTOPSHOT made gains of 40 BPI points to 331 in Australia. Providing high yields, great fertility and health traits with moderate size – AltaTOPSHOT is the ideal modern-day sire.

Ansal AltaHOTROD daughter
Ansal AltaHOTROD daughter
AltaTOPSHOT Daughter photo
Bomaz Topshot 277 Bomaz Farms; Hammond, WI

AltaROBSON | 011HO11778| Rubicon x Bob x Shamrock

Another Alta favourite, AltaROBSON also made significant gains in the US with his first daughters – now sitting in their top 10; we expect that trend to continue in Australia when we add Australian daughters. AltaROBSON and AltaTOPSHOT are both A2A2, BB kappa-casein bulls and have many sons available through Alta.

Alta Genomic Sires

On the genomic front Alta continue to deliver. Bulls that continue to maintain their great BPI status are AltaTBAY 348 (Charley x Silver) A2A2, AltaMOLINA 345 (AltaNIXER x Main Event) , AltaAROLDIS 342 (AltaROBSON x Yoder) A2A2 , AltaNIXIE 338 (AltaROBSON x Yoder) A2A2 AltaLEAP 331 (Quantum x AltaSPRING) A2A2 and AltaZONE 322 (Superhero x Silver) A2A2.

A new release for the Australian Advantage program AltaGLOW comes in at 388 BPI. This Fascinator x AltaTOPSHOT son will be made available exclusively to Advantage customers as semen becomes available.

robson Daughter Photo
Bomaz Robson 7804 Bomaz Farms; Hammond, WI
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Top 3 August proof takeaways…

…to help you create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS

1. There’s a variety of new Alta bulls that will sire Alta 4-EVENT COWS

No matter your comfort level on sire reliability, we have some impressive new sires atop our marketing lists.

  • Alta ADVANTAGE
    21 new sires are available exclusively for our Alta ADVANTAGE partner herds.
    These sires average an impressive 928 for the 6040 index, 158 CFP & 7.1 PL.

 

  • Alta G-STARS
    You currently have access to nearly 100 G-STAR sires! Among that list are sires that will fit whichever genetic plan is the right one for your operation.

 

  • Alta FUTURE STARS
    6 of the top 8 FUTURE STARS are new to the list. They join this the FUTURE STAR ranks after gaining calving ease observations to pair with their high fertility CONCEPT PLUS ratings. The familiar names in this elite group include AltaRONDON, AltaBUGGY, AltaALTUVE, AltaNITRO, AltaWILLIE, AltaGILMORE.

 

  • Daughter-proven new releases
    11HO11779 AltaTOPSHOT tops the line-up of bulls with milking daughters. With 164 milking daughters, he increased 125 points on the 6040 index and 111 for both TPI and NM$. What makes this even more exciting is that we have numerous AltaTOPSHOT sons at Alta, who gained traction on various rankings to fit your strategic genetic objectives.Other new release sires include popular sire of sons 11HO11778 AltaROBSON, as well as AltaTURNKEY, AltaBAYOU, and AltaAMULET. Learn more about the results from the newest additions to the daughter-proven lineup HERE.
4 event cow

2. Stability will improve for fertility traits

You can have confidence in the future stability of a bull’s DPR, CCR and HCR values. A new calculation update from CDCB means that previous fluctuations for these female fertility traits should now be a thing of the past. So, with August proofs, keep in mind that industry averages for DPR did change as follows:

  • HO genomic young bulls: ↓0.6
  • HO dtr-proven bulls: ↓0.3
  • JE genomic young bulls: ↓0.3
  • JE dtr-prven bulls: no average change

Looking for more info? Read more about these changes HERE.

3. Focus on sire fertility to create more 4-EVENT COWS

We share your goal – to create more pregnancies on your dairy. Getting cows pregnant on the first service is a key piece to the puzzle of creating more Alta 4-EVENT COWS.

Regardless if you use conventional semen or sexed semen in your strategic breeding plan, we’ve got you covered. You have access to a LOT of sires that have proven themselves with higher conception rates than the norm – on large progressive dairies, just like yours.

Concept Plus Logo

CONCEPT PLUS high fertility sires will help you create more pregnancies with conventional semen.

511 CONCEPT PLUS high fertility sexed sires will help you create more sexed pregnancies.

So if creating more pregnancies is a main goal of yours, be sure to focus on fertility as part of your customized genetic plan.

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New bulls top the Alta daughter-proven ranks

Familiar Alta sire names, now on top of the daughter-proven sire lists, were all previous staples on the G-STAR, FUTURE STAR, and/or Alta ADVANTAGE lists.

As the daughters of these bulls join the milking herd, you gain confirmation that they’re the type of bulls to help you create more productive, healthy, trouble-free cows. With real daughter information on health traits, production values, and sire fertility, our leading sires provide your dairy with traits that create more Alta 4-EVENT COWS.

Bomaz Topshot
Bomaz Topshot 277 from Bomaz Dairy, Hammond, WI

Bomaz AltaTOPSHOT
Supershot x AltaEMBASSY
GA6040: 1043 | 2754 TPI | Alta511

  • Impressive 178 pounds combined fat and protein
  • Long-lasting, healthy, trouble-free cows at 7.4 PL
  • Helps you create Alta 4-EVENT COWS with +1043 value on the 6040 index and +2128 PTA Milk
Bomaz-Robson
Bomaz Robson 7804 at Bomaz Dairy, Hammond, WI

Bomaz AltaROBSON
Rubicon x Bob
GA6040: 891 | 2713 TPI | Alta511

  • Feed efficient cattle with superior component percentages
  • Very fertile, trouble-free daughters at 2.2 DPR and 7.0 PL
  • Sire of sons, his progeny are favorites on the current Alta G-STAR list
3 Daughters of AltaTURNKEY
3 Daughters of AltaTURNKEY at Boadwine Dairy, Baltic, SD

PEAK AltaTURNKEY
Wickham x Ransom
GA6040: 832 | 2609 TPI | CP, 511CP & Alta511

  • Outstanding sire fertility, with both CONCEPT PLUS and 511 CONCEPT PLUS designations
  • Easy calvings at a 4.8 CE
  • Newly added type daughters prove that he sires deep and open dairy cows with high, wide rear udders
Pine Breeze Craig 9764 from Pine Breeze Dairy in Pine River, WI

No-Fla AltaCRAIG
Stoic x Supersire
GA6040: 786 | 2602 TPI

  • Definite udder improver with high, wide rear udders with strong attachments
  • Deep, strong cows to thrive in progressive environments
  • High quality milk producers with a low SCS of 2.51
Pine Breeze Amulet 9639 from Pine Breeze Dairy in Pine River, WI

PEAK AltaAMULET
Josuper x Mogul
2549 TPI | CP, 511CP & Alta511

  • Elite sire fertility, as a CONCEPT PLUS AND 511 CONCEPT PLUS sire
  • A type and udder specialist at +2.06 PTAT and +2.54 UDC
  • More than 100 production daughters prove his strong focus on production with +2069 PTAM
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20 times in the making

The 2019 Alta ADVANTAGE Showcase Tour marked a milestone as the 20th edition of the most progressive dairy management tour in the industry.

More than 250 guests from 21 different countries gathered together in Sioux Falls, South Dakota June 25-28, 2019. This was the first time ever that the Showcase Tour took place in the US Central Plains region, as guests toured Alta partner dairies in southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, and eastern South Dakota.

Thank you to our host farms

We thank the following farms that opened their operations to share their progressive approaches to herd management throughout the three-day tour:

  • Ocheda Dairy | Worthington, MN
  • Boadwine Dairy | Baltic, SD
  • Van Ess Dairy and VanEss Heifer Farm | Sanborn, IA
  • City View Farms | Sutherland, IA
  • Drumgoon Dairy | Lake Norden, SD
  • Sunrise Dairy | Castlewood, SD

So much to learn!

From the owners and managers of these forward-thinking dairies, guests had the chance to discuss everything from converting to robotic milking systems and eliminating antibiotics, to manure management, nutrition, and parlors, to heifer management, breeding strategies, and Alta’s alignment with progressive dairies. Evenings included great conversation and friendly competitions for guests to meet and mingle with fellow dairy producers from around the world.

20 times in the making…

With the 20th tour now complete, here’s a peek back at a few impressive stats from those tours:

  • 20 Alta ADVANTAGE Showcase Tours
  • 13 years
  • More than 5000 total guests
  • 150 farms visited
  • ~400,000 cows represented at these host farms
  • 765 total Showcase Tour stations discussing a diverse array of management topics

Thank you for being a part of the 20th Showcase Tour experience!

Check out tour photos and videos below.

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What’s in a healthy cow?

Think about the healthiest cows in your herd. What defines them as your healthiest?

Is it their older age? Is it the fact they’ve never had mastitis? Or are they the ones that leave the fresh pen quickly after calving because they don’t have the lingering effects that come with milk fever, metritis, a retained placenta, ketosis or a DA?

We’re willing to bet that your healthiest cows are the ones you don’t even notice. They’re not on your radar because they simply go about their business, producing high-quality milk with no troubles to you or your team of employees.

We call those unnoticed cows, the four-event cows. If you look at a cow card on your herd management software program, you’ll recognize a four-event cow by the lack of items on her list. Throughout her lactation, she experiences only four events: 1-fresh; 2-bred; 3-confirmed pregnant; and 4-dry.

When those are the only four events in a cow’s lactation, chances are she’s profitable and healthy.

A healthy cow is the resulting sum of many parts: a solid nutrition program, exceptional transition and fresh cow care, proper milking procedures, comfortable housing – and the right genetics!

While genetics makes up only a small part of the full equation, it’s a real and measurable aspect of what’s in a healthy cow.

Healthy genetics?

In April of 2018, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) released a new set of health traits. These traits are based on the database of recorded cases of common, costly health problems in dairy cattle. These six new traits measure the resistance that animals will have to each respective health and metabolic issue and are in place to help dairy producers breed a next generation of healthier cows.

They include mastitis, labeled as MAST, ketosis (KETO), retained placenta (RETP), metritis (METR), displaced abomasum (DA), and milk fever (MFEV).

Taking advantage of the new health traits in your genetic plan offers a great opportunity to create healthier cows. Most of these new traits are also correlated with Productive Life, so if you want the simplest approach to healthier genetics, Productive Life has you covered.

 Healthier genetics, plain and simple

For more than two decades, PL has told us how many more, or fewer, months a cow is expected to produce within any given herd. While cows are most often culled because of low production or poor fertility, those reasons typically trace back to more specific health issues in the cow’s life.

Selecting for PL or the new health traits within your genetic plan will help you address any specific health issues in your herd.

We know this from the DairyComp analyses we’ve done on many large, progressive herds. In the following example, we analyzed the a well-managed, 2400-cow dairy that does a great job at accurately recording health events. We compared the animals whose sires had the highest average PL against the animals whose sires had the lowest PL values.

No animals are given preferential treatment – they are all cared for with the same, high level management practices. With no other differences separating these animals except their sires’ PL values, we compared how many health events each group had. We looked specifically at cases of mastitis, ketosis, retained placentas, metritis, displaced abomasum, and milk fever.

As expected, Table 1 shows that the cows in the High PL group had far fewer cases for each health event.

Table 1# of cowsAvg. Sire PLMastitisKetosisRetained PlacentaMetritisDisplaced Abomasum
Low PL cows6071.325822323329
High PL cows6006.279316167
Difference4.917919161722

The economics of healthy genetics

We know these health events have a cost attached to each case, and CDCB has calculated those figures. The dollar value put on each case is modest – not accounting for lost production or decreased fertility. Their calculated values only measure the direct costs associated with each trait.

Let’s take those costs and apply them to our example herd. To do this, we multiplied the dollar value per health event by the difference in number of events between the low PL group and the high PL group. Table 2 shows the economic impact of Productive Life within a 2100-cow dairy.

Table 2MastitisKetosisRetained PlacentaMetritisDisplaced AbomasumMilk Fever
CDCB-calculated cost per health event$75 $28 $68 $112 $197 $34
Difference in health events based on sire PL1791916172212
Total cost in this herd$13,425 $532 $1,088 $1,904 $4,334 $408
=$21,691

This farm saves a total of $21,691 just because of the genetics in its healthy cows!

Want healthier cows? Genetics will help.

If you include Productive Life, or any of the six new health traits, within your customized genetic plan, you will create a next generation of unnoticed cows – the type that produce well and go about their business with few health troubles.

Environment, cow comfort and management practices all play a leading role in the health of your herd. Now you also see how genetics can positively impact both cow health and the economic health of your dairy.

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Jersey generation counts and breed purity

Breed purity is a hot topic for Jerseys.

Many elite Jersey sires have Holstein heritage somewhere in their pedigree. The Jersey Genetic Recovery and Jersey Expansion programs have allowed those bulls to upgrade to registered status.

These programs allow breeders to enroll animals that appear as Jerseys, or are sired by a Jersey bull, into the herd registry. While the programs are beneficial in growing the registered Jersey population, many producers are now confused as to just what qualifies an AI bull as a Jersey.

The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) board of directors developed some visual cues within an animal’s registered name to eliminate confusion on Jersey breed purity.

Generation Count and a JX prefix have been added to full names to signify a hole in the pedigree or unknown dairy ancestry. Breed Base Representation (BBR) is now displayed on all animals recorded with the ACJA to represent the amount of Jersey blood within the pedigree.

Generation Count (GC)

Generation Count shows breed purity by telling how many generations an animal is removed from other breed ancestry. An animal’s name will include a suffix enclosed in brackets {  }. The number within the brackets tells us the number of AJCA-recoded ancestry, from 1-6.

A GC of 1 means the animal is one generation removed from an unknown or non-Jersey in the pedigree. A GC of 6 means the animal is six generations removed from an unknown or non-Jersey animal. The brackets telling the generation count are dropped when seven or more generations of ancestors are recorded by the AJCA.

Offspring of a mating will be one generation count higher than the lowest parent.

JX Prefix

In addition to the number within the brackets, a JX prefix is also found on the majority of the pedigrees that contain a generation count. The JX prefix indicates that there is unknown dairy (most commonly Holstein) parentage in the pedigree. The GC then tells us how far back in the pedigree the unknown dairy breed can be found.

If you see a bull with a GC but no JX prefix, that means that the missing part in the pedigree is an unidentified Jersey.

Breed Base Representation (BBR)

BBR is a genomic trait that compares the DNA of a genotyped animal to a Jersey reference group and all other breeds. The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) policy is to report BBR values of 94 or greater as 100 due to standard deviations. Bulls below BBR 94 will be noted on their pedigree. The AJCA will publish a BBR value for all recorded animals.

Males will be published on one of two reports.

Males on the main list include those who:

  • are Herd Registered
    • more than 6 generations of identified Jersey parentage
  • have a Generation Count of 4-6 and a BBR of 100

Males on the secondary list include those with a:

  • Generation Count of 3 (regardless of BBR)
  • Generation Count of 4-6, if their BBR is less than 94

The examples below show the bull pages for three bulls with different breed purity. It explains where to find generation count, the JX prefix and breed base representation.

AltaBAYNES {3}

A. The 3 in brackets shows that AltaBAYNES is 3 generations removed from non-Jersey ancestry.
B. The JX prefix in his full, registered name, means that the missing link in his pedigree, 3 generations back, is not a Jersey.
C. Shows AltaBAYNES’ BBR to be 98, meaning he has 98% of his genes in common with the reference Jersey population.

Offspring of AltaBAYNES will be Generation Count 4 and Non-HR.

AltaMONTRA {6}

A. The 6 in brackets shows that AltaMONTRA is 6 generations removed from non-Jersey ancestry.
B. The JX prefix in his full, registered name, means that the missing link in his pedigree, 6 generations back, is not a Jersey.
C. Shows AltaMONTRA’s BBR to be 100, meaning his genes are all in common with the reference Jersey population.

Offspring will be Generation Count 6 if he is mated to a GC 5 female. Offspring will be HR (herd registered) if he is mated to a GC 6 or HR female

AltaCHIVE

A. Because there is not a bracketed number with AltaCHIVE’s name, that means he is herd registered, with either with no ancestry that is non-Jersey, or any non-Jersey ancestry is further back than 6 generations.
B. Because there is no non-Jersey ancestry within the first 6 generations of AltaCHIVE’s pedigree, he also does not have a JX prefix in his full, registered name.
C. Shows AltaCHIVE’s BBR to be 100. As expected, that means his genes are all in common with the reference Jersey population.

Offspring will be HR with no generation count if he is mated to a GC 6 or HR female.

At Alta, we are committed to providing you with the most reliable genetics available. In order to fulfill this promise, we offer a diversified Jersey product lineup focusing on the traits that are most profitable to your bottom line.

We have the highest level of confidence in the genetic and genomic predictions of BBR 100 bulls. We recognize that clients have choices, so we will always market with full transparency.

To learn more about the Rules for the Registration and Transfer of Jersey Cattle, click HERE.

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Ranking high on ABV’s

December 2018 global proof run continues to confirm Alta’s leadership in both hemispheres.

ABV’s for Daughter proven favourites AltaROBLE, AltaRABO and AltaHOTROD continue their stellar climb to the top of the ABV list. In fact, now at 317. AltaROBLE is clearly the #1 choice for Yield, Health and Type in the top lists. Not only does he offer high production, and an amazing equal #1 Mammary and 113 Daughter Fertility, he also is breed leader for workability data. Hot on his heals are AltaRABO and AltaHOTROD, both at 294 BPI.

AltaRABO | 011HO11379 | Mogul x Observer

AltaRABO is a genuine production yield improver with outstanding workability (including #1 Likability), breed leading Mammary 112 and great health including the #1 MSpeed rating for the top 20 SCS bulls. In addition, AltaRABO is rated at 108 for Daughter Fertility, 111 Survival and 109 Type and is an A2A2 sire. AltaRABO, like AltaROBLE has had a steady climb up the BPI ladder rating more than 100 points less a year ago with a handful of daughters. Now with close to 300 Australian milking daughters, AltaRABO is an easy “go to” choice for improved profit.

AltaHOTROD | 011HO11493 | Jerod x AltaIOTA

AltaHOTROD now climbs to the number 1 position for Protein KG at 41Kg (80Kgs CFP!). He also ranks in the top 10 for ASI and in the top 5 GBG for Milk. His first 38 Australian daughters are creating a storm with great frames, strength and production. PI averages for daughters are easily some of the highest we have seen for some time. Over 1400ltrs Milk, 110 Udder Depth and 109 Daughter Fertility, AltaHOTROD is an exciting new graduate.

Head down Crackhom AltaRabo from Crackholm holsteins
Dasha AltaRABO daughter
Ansal AltaHOTROD daughter
Ansal AltaHOTROD daughter

On the genomic front Alta continues to dominate the top ranks. With the #6, #7, #9 and #10 bulls or 40% of the top 10, Alta is clearly setting the benchmark for profitability.

AltaAROLDIS | 011HO12161 | AltaROBSON x Yoder

AltaAROLDIS #6 at 369 is still undervalued on ABV(g). With female conception rates at around 5 standard deviations above the mean in the US, I still expect his Daughter Fertility ABV to end up closer to 120 than 110, leaving a lot of room for improvement on BPI. As well as being a top 10 BPI sire, he is the #1 ASI bull in the top 10 and the #1 Type sire in the top 10 genomic sires on ABV(g). He is an A2A2 sire and offers high component production yields and great health. AltaAROLDIS is “definitely a star on the rise” and is a must for any breeding program in 2019..

AltaANCHOR | 011HO12163 | Chinchi x Yoder

AltaANCHOR is the #7 bull with a BPI of 361 and is the #1 Survival bull top 10 ABV(g). He is also the #2 Mammary bull in the top 10. AltaANCHOR offers a different pedigree, Chinchi x Yoder and has a high quality transmitting ability including high component production (0.33%F and 0.19%P with 388lts Milk), great Health (112 Survival, 104 Residual Survival and 113 Daughter Fertility) and an exceptional Mammary rating for a genomic sire. AltaANCHOR’s BPI of 361 places him at #7 for all genomic bulls.

AltaAROLDIS – (AltaROBSON x Yoder)
011HO12161 PEAK AltaAROLDIS
AltaANCHOR (Chinchi x Yoder)
011HO12163 PEAK AltaANCHOR

AltaSTAFFORD | 011HO12258 | Charley x AltaSPRING

AltaSTAFFORD is an interesting bull. Climbing up the ranks, this bull has increased by 28 BPI points since August to 359. A Charley son, AltaSTAFFORD has the transmitting pattern of the modern commercial cow. High milk flow with extreme component production and improved percentage deviations, AltaSTAFFORD also excels for Health and improves fertility. Being A2A2 and BB KC, AltaSTAFFORD is a great choice for cheese producers too.

AltaZONE | 011HO12130 | Superhero x Silver

AltaZONE was one of most popular genomic sires for 2018. His profile of high component production, great health and fertility plus a great Type linear breakdown makes AltaZONE a bull that “has it all”. His Type rating offers plenty of Dairy Strength, sloped pins and strongly attached fore udders with great height and width at the rear. Noticeable AltaZONE adds some set to the rear leg whilst maintaining great foot angle and rear leg tracking. AltaZONE is also an A2A2 sire and is a bull that can be used with confidence across your herd.

011HO12258 PEAK AltaSTAFFORD
011HO12130 PEAK AltaZONE
011HO12130 PEAK AltaZONE
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What’s a fertility leader?

Have you ever really thought about what’s involved to get highly fertile semen from the bull to your tank, and then into your cows or heifers? Fertility leadership is backed by the Alta people, processes and programs involved in every step.

PEOPLE

Fertility excellence is what drives our team! We hire and extensively train only those who share a commitment and passion to your herd’s reproductive success. From semen collection and evaluation to distribution and delivery, our barn and lab staff, veterinarians, distribution crew, technicians, and sales force are all committed to help you get cows pregnant.

PROCESSES

We deliver the highest quality semen through continual innovation. Our scientists on staff are always looking for the best ways to enhance semen quality through extender research, potency trials, and more. We implement the same, strict semen handling processes and quality control checks at each of our AI centers located in six different countries around the world.

PROGRAMS

We choose the industry’s leading sire fertility evaluation, CONCEPT PLUS, as the only way to measure Alta sire fertility. CONCEPT PLUS is based on pregnancy check results from DairyComp data in our large, progressive partner dairies. We update results every other month for the most reliable sire fertility information – and we’re transparent about which bulls offer superior or inferior fertility.

You can trust CONCEPT PLUS.

Twenty years ago, we challenged traditional fertility evaluations to align with the real needs of progressive herds: creating efficient pregnancies. CONCEPT PLUS goes above and beyond today’s industry evaluations to bring you the most trusted, accurate, and proven designation in sire fertility.

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Haplotype & genomic reliability updates

Based on new findings from the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB), one new haplotype will be added, and two others removed, starting with December 2018 proofs. Alta Bull Search and Alta GPS will be programmed according to this new information.

A new Holstein haplotype, HH6, was recently identified in France, and is currently found in about 0.5% of animals in the US Holstein population. Mating two HH6 carriers is expected to yield a 7%-11% drop in conception rate.

Further research into the JH2 haplotype in Jerseys and the BH1 haplotype in Brown Swiss showed no significant fertility losses on matings between carriers. This, paired with the fact that researchers could find no causative mutation on these two haplotypes, means they will no longer be reported.

Gene test advancements

In addition to new and discontinued haplotypes, the reported haplotypes are also gaining accuracy. PEAK Geneticist, Doug Bjelland, compares the improved accuracy of haplotypes to locating a house on a map. The previous way of recognizing haplotypes essentially showed us which street a house is located on. Now, because of gene test advancements for causative mutations to determine haplotypes, we know exactly where on that street a house is located.

Upgraded genomic reliability

Improved genomic accuracy also extends beyond the gene test. Researchers are now using an 80k SNP chip. This means they are using nearly 80,000 markers on the genome, up from the previous 60,000 used since 2014.

The additional markers, combined with a new reference genome, give genomic predictions about a 1% – 2% improvement in reliability.

What does this mean for you?

We want to keep you up-to-date on the newest genetic findings. Updates on haplotypes and genomic accuracy are one part of that. Because the haplotype updates will be accounted for within the AltaGPS program, you can have confidence that potential carriers of two bulls will not be mated together. That means your clients are protected from any potential fertility losses that could result in mating two carriers of any given haplotype.

Improved genomic accuracy should give you, and your clients, even more confidence that genomics and genetics continue to advance at more rapid rate. It’s as important now as it ever has been, to ensure your clients select genetics according to their customized genetic plan so the progress they make aligns with their current situation and future goals.

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A2: genetic fad or future?

Since its 2015 US debut, A2 milk has been a hot topic among dairy producers. Now, the latest A2 buzz comes from consumers. This follows the launch of the A2 Milk Company’s national television advertising campaign, and increased local availability of A2 milk in many grocery stores.

While the curiosity around A2 milk grows, it’s important to evaluate whether this is just another fad in genetic selection, or a real future of the industry.

What is A2 milk?

A2 milk comes from cows with two copies of the A2 gene for beta casein.

Cows’ milk is about 87 percent water and 13 percent solids. Those solids include lactose, fat, protein, and minerals.

To find the A2 gene, we look to the protein in milk. Casein is what makes up the majority of milk protein, and about 30% of that casein is called beta casein. The two most common variants of the beta casein gene are A1 and A2, so any given bovine will be either A1A1, A1A2 or A2A2 for beta casein.

Milk from US cows has traditionally contained a combination of both A1 and A2 beta casein.

Isn’t A2 milk for people with lactose intolerance?

Not necessarily. A2 milk contains the same amount of lactose as non-A2 milk. So a person who has been clinically diagnosed with lactose intolerance will see no benefits from drinking A2 milk.

Some studies have shown the A2 beta casein in milk to be more easily digestible than the A1 beta casein. This means that the discomfort some people experience after drinking milk could actually be linked to an A1 aversion rather than to lactose intolerance.

Since the majority of lactose intolerance cases are self-diagnosed, for those people, A2 milk could be the answer.

How do you get cows that produce A2 milk?

The only way to have a herd that produces A2 milk is through genetic selection.

For a cow to produce true A2 milk, she must have two copies of the A2 gene in her DNA. Each animal receives one copy of the beta casein gene from its sire and one copy from its dam. So for a 100% chance at an A2A2 animal, you must breed an A2A2 bull to an A2A2 cow.

How do you know if your animals are A2?

The only way to know for sure, is a genomic test. Some companies offer A2 genetic testing as an add-on to a full genomic test. Others offer testing for A2 on its own, for as little as $15.

How long will it take to convert your herd to only A2?

This entirely depends on how aggressive your approach is. If your goal is to immediately become 100% A2A2, you can make that happen. To do that, you’d need to genomic test each of your animals, keep only those verified as A2A2, and sell the rest.

A less extreme option for large, multi-site dairies is to genomic test all females, and sort any animals verified as A2A2 all to one site.

But since those aren’t realistic options for most farms, another approach is to limit your sire selection to only bulls confirmed as A2A2. Most AI companies publish this information on their proof sheets and/or websites.

A rough approximation of active AI sires shows about 13% are A1A1, 46% are A1A2 and 41% are A2A2. If you figure that same proportion within your own herd, it would take seven generations of breeding your untested females strictly to A2A2 bulls before you’d reach 99% of A2A2 females.

What do you have to lose by selecting A2A2 sires?

With 40%, or more, of active AI sires verified as A2A2, you have a good number of sire options to use in your breeding program. This also means that less than half of the bulls out there are A2A2, so you will miss out on some sire choices by implementing this as part of your breeding program.

Every time you add a filter to your genetic selection criteria, you limit the amount of genetic progress you can make in your herd.

Should you select for A2 in your breeding program?

If you are offered milk premiums for producing A2 milk, or see that option in your future, then selection for A2A2 sires is a wise decision. However, chasing that bonus, if it isn’t guaranteed will mean you limit your genetic options.

No one can predict the future. So it’s hard to tell yet, whether A2 is just a fad, or the future of the industry.

Regardless of your selection decision around A2 sires, make sure it aligns with your dairy’s customized genetic plan. Emphasize the production, health and conformation traits that match your farm’s current situation and future goals. This will help maximize future profitability and genetic progress in the direction of your goals.

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Introducing the All-New Alta 511 CONCEPT PLUS

If you’ve used sexed semen on your dairy, you already know that sexed semen fertility is not the same as conventional semen fertility. It’s no secret that individual bulls may perform differently as conventional semen than they do as sexed semen.

Millions of pregnancy check records in the CONCEPT PLUS database confirm these differences in sire fertility between conventional and sexed semen.

Based on research from our product development team, you now have access to the all-new 511 CONCEPT PLUS ratings! This designation tells you which sires give you the best chance at creating pregnancies with Alta511 SexedULTRA sires.

On an individual bull page, look for the purple 511 CONCEPT PLUS logo to know which bulls offer the best chance at creating a female pregnancy.

CONCEPT PLUS sires still tell us which bulls provide the highest conception rates using conventional semen. The new development around sexed semen fertility just gives you a more precise way to know which bulls best fit your genetic plan and strategy.

We trust the data behind CONCEPT PLUS more than any other sire fertility evaluation because:

  • IT’S COMPLETE
    • CONCEPT PLUS accounts for the effect a technician or breeding code can play on a sire’s fertility within a given herd.
    • Data is collected from US and Canadian herds, and not limited to US herds on official test.
  • IT’S CURRENT
    • We collect current pregnancy check results through DairyComp from our partner herds and include only information from the past two years to designate CONCEPT PLUS sires.
  • IT’S CONSISTENT
    • Data is only gathered from progressive, large-herd environments, where management is consistent, contemporary group sizes are large, and repro programs are aggressive.

 

For more details on the all-new 511 CONCEPT PLUS sexed sire fertility evaluation, work with your trusted Alta advisor today.

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Koepon and CRI combine to form URUS

Madison, Wisconsin — Two strong organizations – one cooperative and one privately-owned company – have combined to form a new global leader in cattle artificial insemination genetics and farm management information.

Koepon Holding BV and Cooperative Resources International (CRI) announced their intent to merge last December. Now, following due diligence and votes by each organization’s board of directors as well as the member delegates of CRI, the business combination is complete. The newly formed organization is known as URUS.

“While URUS is a new name in the global agriculture industry, its roots run deep,” states Cees Hartmans, CEO. “The companies within the URUS family – AgSource, Alta Genetics, GENEX, Jetstream Genetics, PEAK/GENESIS, SCCL and VAS – have a history of serving dairy and beef producers across the world. Now, as part of this new organization, these companies are even better positioned to meet the future needs of members and clients.”

The formation of URUS, with its size and scale, makes possible a significant increase in investment towards products and services that will benefit producers across the globe.

“The companies of URUS will be leaders in new developments for the cattle industry,” states Hartmans. “Dairy and beef cattle producers are the heart of this organization, and so we want to ensure our members and clients have access to the best products and services at a competitive price. We want to be your partner of choice for cattle genetics, reproduction and farm management information for years to come.”

Hartmans adds, “Together, we can focus on producing high-quality and healthy food while contributing to a sustainable, productive and profitable global dairy and beef industry.”

 

About URUS
Formed in 2018, URUS (www.urus.org) is a holding company with cooperative and private ownership. URUS has strong roots in the global agriculture industry. This deep history is anchored by the companies that compose Urus: AgSource, Alta Genetics, GENEX, Jetstream Genetics, PEAK/GENESIS, SCCL and VAS. It’s also fueled by a worldwide team of professionals dedicated to providing dairy and beef producers with genetic and farm management information solutions that improve herd quality and productivity.

For more information contact Cees Hartmans, CEO at cees.hartmans@urus.org or Keith Heikes, COO at keith.heikes@urus.org

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Can you really trust dairy genomics?

You’ve had the option to include dairy genomics in your genetic toolbelt for nearly ten years now. By now, fear of the unknown mystery surrounding genomics has faded. The progressive dairy industry accepts this as a new era in rapid genetic progress.

Yet, we don’t blame you if you wonder whether genomic-proven bulls are your best option, when many daughter-proven sires still offer a great genetic package. With that in mind, we look for answers in the real proof data on bulls across the entire AI industry.

What did we learn about genomics?

In graphs 1 and 2, our geneticist, Ashley Mikshowsky, analyzed proof figures on nearly 6,000 industry Holstein bulls released between January 2010 and April 2015, that currently have a daughter proof.

Graph 1 shows TPI trends. The blue line on top charts the average GTPI by initial genomic release date. The orange line shows the average August 2018 daughter proven TPI for those same bulls. The space between the two lines represents the average TPI change from initial genomic release to daughter proof.

A graph to show the average trend comparing the genomic proof versus daughter proof of industry Holstein bulls

As you can see on the left side of the graph, the bulls first released in January 2010 changed 177 TPI points from their genomic debut to their August 2018 daughter proof.

When you compare that to the newest daughter-proven bulls, including those released as genomic sires in April 2015, you see only a 105-point TPI difference from their initial genomic proof to their August 2018 daughter proof.

This means the stability in GTPI from genomic release until daughter proofs has improved by more than 70 TPI points! As a bonus, it’s clear to see that the genetic levels of bulls continue to rise!

The same goes for Net Merit $. Check out those results in Graph 2.

Industry bulls first released as genomic-proven sires in January 2010 dropped, on average, 150 NM$ from their first release until their August 2018 daughter proof. Whereas, the bulls first released as genomic sires in April 2015 only changed 89 NM$ from their initial release.

A graph to show the average trend comparing the genomic proof versus daughter proof for the Net Merit $ value of industry Holstein bulls

Looking at these results, your argument might be that dairy genomics are still inflated. Yes, and while that is true, the gap between genomic and daughter proofs has clearly improved since the start of genomics.

Let’s dig deeper into genomic proof stability

To understand from another angle, we took a look at the facts and figures in a different light.

Graph 3 and Graph 4 are based on proof data that our geneticist, Ashley, evaluated from 1,073 industry bulls released in 2014. She uses this age group because those bulls released in 2014 now have a daughter proof for production, health and conformation traits.

Graph 3 shows that the bulls released in 2014 changed an average of -110 TPI points from their initial release in 2014 to their daughter proof in August 2018.

Nearly 120 of these bulls have a daughter-proven TPI within just twenty points of their original genomic TPI. Only about 30 bulls from the entire group of 1,073 lost more than 300 TPI points – that’s less than 3%.

A histogram showing the skewed bell-shaped curve distribution of the amount of change in TPI points an average bull had from his genomic proof to daughter proof

We see the same trend for NM$. Graph 4 shows the average NM$ change and standard deviation of the same 1,073 industry bulls. The average sire released in 2014 changed -89 NM$ from their initial genomic proof in 2014 to their daughter proof in August 2018.

More than 160 of the 1073 bulls held steady within the small 20-point swing from genomic to daughter-proven NM$. Just 12 bulls changed more than 300 NM$.

A histogram showing the skewed bell-shaped curve distribution of the amount of change in Net Merit $ an average bull had from his genomics proof to daughter proof

What are your genetic options today?

Still debating whether your best bet is to use daughter-proven or genomic-proven sire groups? Take a look at the top 10 daughter-proven TPI sires available from Alta today.

AUGUST 2018 Top daughter-proven sires

Sire CodeSire NameAug. 2018 TPI
11HO11478AltaLEAF2712
11HO11437AltaSPRING2663
11HO11531AltaSABRE2624
11HO11493AltaHOTROD2616
11HO11601AltaHIFASHN2588
11HO11523AltaHOTSHOT2576
11HO11499AltaMEGLO2572
11HO11508AltaCONSUL2547
11HO11440AltaCORNELL2528
11HO11537AltaJANGO2508
Average2594

AUGUST 2018 Top genomic-proven sires

Sire CodeSire NameAug. 2018 TPI
11HO12115AltaFORCE2826
11HO12165AltaBUGGY2820
11HO12122AltaSTARJACK2818
11HO12169AltaEMIRATES2813
11HO12161AltaAROLDIS2793
11HO12124AltaGOPRO2791
11HO11778AltaROBSON2789
11HO12188AltaCUCHILLO2785
11HO12287AltaEDIFY2784
11HO12270AltaMANOR2783
Average2800

Currently, our top daughter-proven sires average a solid 2594 TPI. Yet, the top, readily-available genomic-proven group offers a much more enticing 2800 TPI average. That’s a 206-point advantage over the daughter-proven choices!

It’s inevitable that some bulls will gain points and some bulls will lose points between their genomic proof and daughter proof – the data show us that. Yet we can also see genomic proofs continue to improve. Keep in mind that your odds are essentially zero that every single bull atop the genomic-proven list would drop to rank lower than the current list of daughter-proven sires.

With your genetic choices, keep these points mind:

  1. Genomic proofs are still slightly inflated. Yet, we see less change from genomic to daughter-proven TPI and NM$ over time because of model adjustments made along the way.
  2. Despite an average drop for TPI and NM$ from a bull’s genomic to daughter proof, you will make much faster genetic progress using a group of genomic-proven sires than a group of daughter-proven sires.
  3. Make sure the genetic progress you make is in the direction of your goals. Select a group of genomic-proven sires based on your farm’s customized genetic plan. Emphasize only on the production, health or conformation traits that matter most to you to boost your farm’s future progress and profitability.

 

 Proof analysis and graphs provided by Ashley Mikshowsky, PEAK Geneticist

For a PDF of this article please Click HERE.

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Alta Proven on Pasture

Alta Genetics Bulls continue to perform under Australian Dairying conditions. With Daughter proven favourites improving greatly on BPI and new Genomic Superstars emerging, Alta Genetics have had an extremely strong ABV run.

Our high genomic bulls from the April run, AltaANCHOR, AltaZONE and AltaGILMORE made slight gains for BPI to 354, 340 and 331 respectively whilst newcomers AltaAROLDIS 356 and AltaSTAFFORD 330 blasted to the top filling number 4 (highest Type bull in the top 5) and =22nd. In all Alta have 8 of the top 25 including the #4, #5 (#2 and 3 positive for milk) and #12 bulls.

Daughter proven performers continue to strengthen...

Daughter proven performers continue to strengthen with the addition of Australian daughters. Full brothers AltaROBLE and AltaRABO maid great gains to 252 and 242 BPI improving for all production traits. AltaROBLE is the #1 Mammary bull in the GBG at 116.

Crackholm AltaROBLE Buckle from Crackholm Holsteins; Richmond, QC
Crackholm AltaROBLE Buckle | Crackholm Holsteins; Richmond, QC

AltaRABO is no slouch...

AltaRABO is no slouch at 108 Type and 112 Mammary. AltaRABO is a known female fertility improver and can fast track improved pregnancy rates on your farm. AltaRABO is A2A2 and is considered a genuine CE bull. Daughters of both bulls are impressing their owners with their style, will to milk and quiet nature.

Head down Crackhom AltaRabo from Crackholm holsteins
Dasha AltaRABO daughter

AltaSPRING has cemented himself as a true transmitter of Elite Progeny...

AltaSPRING added global daughters and has cemented himself as true transmitter of elite progeny under any conditions. With early Australian daughters now milking, reports of impressive udders, moderate, open dairy frames and high production are starting to be the norm. With an increasing BPI of 238, AltaSPRING improved for all production traits and now rates at 26kg Protein, 30Kg Fat and over 850ltrs Milk good for an ASI of 148. Add in 106 Type, 110 Mammary and 109 daughter fertility and it is easy to see why AltaSPRING is performing everywhere.

Head Down AltaSpring Daughter
Halloverhill Spring Gypsy | Halloverhill Holsteins UK

AltaHOTROD continues to improve each proof round. Now up to 240 BPI, AltaHOTROD has improved to 24kgs P, 25kgs Fat and 804 ltrs Milk. Rated at 110 Type and 110 Mammary, AltaHOTROD is also highly rated for all Dairy Frame traits and noticeable lowers rumps. A high female fertility improver, AltaHOTROD is a perfect choice to add Dairy Frames, Production, Fertility and Udders to your herd.

AltaLEAF, the outcross Top 10 TPI sire also made great improvements on ABV with 30 Australian daughters now milking. Offering 34kg Protein, 29Kg Fat with 1364lts, AltaLEAF has an impressive ASI of 147. Increases in SCS, Survival and Daughter Fertility saw an increase in BPI of 52 to 218. Type and Mammary virtually remained unchanged at 105 and 103.

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Create more pregnancies with precision fertility management

Big data is sweeping into agribusiness with precision agriculture. Now, with more information, growing crops and livestock has become more accurate and efficient, allowing you to do more for less.

We’re taking precision agriculture one step further. With precision fertility management, we are helping you turn data into dollars by creating more pregnancies.

Backed by the CONCEPT PLUS gold standard fertility designation, we’ve raised 20 years of fertility experience to a higher standard. We’ve compiled millions of pregnancy check data and delivered it through innovate tools to accurately and efficiently create pregnant cows.

Bullseye to represent precision fertility management

What’s new with CONCEPT PLUS?

If you’ve used sexed semen on your dairy, you already know what millions of pregnancy check results confirm. Sexed semen fertility is not the same as conventional semen fertility.

The data also shows that the same bull may perform well with conventional semen fertility, but not as sexed semen, and vice versa. With that in mind, we now give you access to two separate fertility evaluations, so you can take a precision approach to fertility management.

Alta 511 CONCEPT PLUS logo to designate high fertility sires when using sexed semen

Know which bulls will give you highest fertility using Alta511 SexedULTRA semen by finding this 511 CONCEPT PLUS designation on a bull’s individual page on Alta Bull Search.

Alta CONCEPT PLUS logo to designate high fertility sires using conventional semen

The industry’s most accurate sire fertility evaluation, CONCEPT PLUS designates whether a bull offers elite fertility on conventional breedings.

Can a bull be CONCEPT PLUS and 511 CONCEPT PLUS?

Yes. Since we know that conventional semen fertility and sexed semen fertility are two different traits with low correlations, we now identify them as such. An orange CONCEPT PLUS icon or logo designates the bulls with the best fertility on conventional semen. The purple 511 CONCEPT PLUS logo shows you which sires offer the best fertility on breedings to Alta511 SexedULTRA.

Why would I want to use sexed semen with average or unknown fertility?

As with any decision you make, there are trade-offs. With Alta’s sexed semen options, it comes down to what you value most in a genetic plan: the most rapid genetic progress or known high fertility.

Let’s say the main goal in your genetic plan is to make the fastest genetic progress possible. In that case you may choose to use bulls that don’t yet have fertility data, or else are proven as average for sexed semen sire fertility. If these bulls best fit your goal of rapid genetic progress, they may not have the CONCEPT PLUS or 511 CONCEPT PLUS designations.

However, if your main focus is to create a pregnancy, the purple 511 CONCEPT PLUS designation will give you confidence you’re boosting your odds at creating pregnancy with sexed semen. The orange CONCEPT PLUS designation will continue to help you recognize which bulls create the most conventional semen pregnancies.

How often does Alta evaluate sire fertility?

We want to help you create more pregnancies. To do that, accurate fertility information is key. To be accurate, the data must be timely. We run a complete evaluate for sire fertility every other month.

We know differences exist in sire fertility, even over shorter periods of time, so to take advantage of the most accurate and current information, we now release new CONCEPT PLUS and 511 CONCEPT PLUS ratings six times per year.

Why should I trust the fertility of Alta 511 CONCEPT PLUS sires?

Alta 511 CONCEPT PLUS sexed sires will give you the confidence to create more heifers and more pregnancies. We provide the utmost care for our bulls, we follow strict lab SOPs, and ensure careful semen distribution procedures. And more importantly, we make firm culling decisions on bulls with sub-par fertility performance.

You can have confidence in the CONCEPT PLUS and 511 CONCEPT PLUS evaluations because:

  • CONCEPT PLUS is COMPLETE
    • It accounts for the effect a technician or breeding code can play on a sire’s fertility within a given herd.
    • Data is collected from US and Canadian herds, and not limited to US herds on official test.
  • CONCEPT PLUS is CURRENT
    • Our team is always collecting data DairyComp in our partner herds.
  • CONCEPT PLUS is CONSISTENT
    • Data is only gathered from progressive, large-herd environments, where management is consistent, contemporary group sizes are large, and repro programs are aggressive.

 

When you want to create more pregnancies, take a precision approach to maximizing your herd’s fertility by using the right tools for the job. Work with your trusted Alta advisor to define your dairy’s customized genetic plan and create pregnancies with a precision approach to fertility management.

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