Sorting Through to What's Right for You
Jenny DeMunck, Dairy Product Support Senior Manager, Genex
HELP! Over 100 active Genex bulls? Genomics? GenChoice 90TM? GenChoice 75TM? Conventional semen? Choices, choices and more choices! I just don't know what I should be using. I want to stay up to date with technology, and it is all moving so fast. What should my breeding and genetic program strategy be?
If this is the way you feel you are not alone. These are common concerns asked on farms today. Having more product choices helps producers make more specific breeding goals but it can get confusing. Released in January 2010, Calf MathTM is a new tool to help find the right mix of conventional and sexed semen to meet your herd goals.
What is Calf Math?
Calf Math is a simple spreadsheet which helps you test how different semen usage strategies will affect your herd before you even make a semen purchase. Examples of herd goals could be creating higher quality replacements, expanding the herd, trying to achieve reproductive or other on-farm goals or finding new avenues to increase profits. Let's take a look at two herd examples.
Herd 1: A 2400-cow dairy is looking at doing more voluntary culling in the herd. What mix of semen will they need to maintain herd size if they increase their culling rate to 42 percent? By using Calf Math, they find that if they only want to use sexed semen in heifers they must use it at a 70 percent usage rate.
Herd 2: A producer with 1700 cows is looking to make faster genetic gain. He has identified a group of high genetic merit heifers and a group of high genetic cows. He is planning to utilize sexed semen to get more heifer calves out of his top genetics. Previously he used sexed semen for herd growth, but is no longer in expansion mode. His philosophy is not to make more replacements but to improve quality. By using Calf Math, he now knows to focus on the top 15 percent genetic merit cows and the top 65 percent of heifers to yield the proper amount of heifer calves.
Check out Calf Math here: calfmath.crinet.com and discover your best use of all these choices of products. To utilize a more in depth version of Calf Math with a financial application, contact your local Genex representative.