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Lifetime Production Achieved Faster with ICC$ Selection

SHAWANO, Wisconsin - An analysis of over 1 million Holstein cows confirms reaching 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk at a younger age is the result of balanced genetic selection.

"Choosing sires that rank high for Genex Cooperative, Inc.'s Ideal Commercial Cow index, a balanced selection index including health, fitness, fertility, milkability, calving ease and production traits, yields higher production at a younger age," explains Keith Heikes, Genex Chief Operating Officer.

The length of time it takes for a cow to produce 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk is a simple yet powerful measure of a cow's contribution to a dairy's margin. The shorter the timeframe, the greater the return.

According to the analysis, the top 10% of dairy cows as measured by their sire's ICC$, reach 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk by 5 years and 3 months of age. This compares to the lowest 10%, which require 5 years and 7 months to produce the same amount.

"That four-month difference makes a big impact on a dairy's margin," notes Heikes.

The cost of milk production as indicated by popular press is approximately $300 to $350 per cow per month. Therefore, the extra four months required for the lowest genetic merit animals equates to additional expenses of $1,200 to $1,400 per cow. Said another way, daughters of high ICC$ sires have a $1,200 to $1,400 advantage.

When applying that cost savings across a whole herd, the savings adds up fast. A 100-cow herd would expect to save more than $100,000 by utilizing high ICC$ sires and reaching 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk four months sooner. A 1,000-cow herd would expect to save more than $1,000,000.

ICC$ is a balanced index formed through producer input and with the application of scientific data. The index is supported by academia including Dr. George E. Shook, professor emeritus in the dairy science department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information on ICC$ and its impact on lifetime production, visit$, contact your local Genex representative or call 888-333-1783.

About Genex
Genex Cooperative, Inc., headquartered in Shawano, Wisconsin, is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services to members and customers across the U.S. This is accomplished through 950 dedicated employees working in three product and service segments: cattle genetics and reproduction, livestock marketing, and milking and farmstead equipment. Genex is a subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International. Learn more at