Dimensions of Diversity
The GENESIS Cooperative Herd plays a role in developing diverse genetics for cooperative members and customers.
"Females within the GENESIS herd are managed to develop the next generation of bulls that transmit genetic characteristics of high profitability for today's dairy operations," explains Angie Coburn, Genex Associate Vice President of Dairy Genetics. "These GENESIS donor females provide not only elite genetics, but unequaled genetic diversity."
Just how does GENESIS deliver a dimension of diversity? It's through matings focused on diversity, the development of new family lines and the ability to "draw water from a deep well." In other words, Genex works with the best GENESIS females from more than 45,000 milking cows and breeding age heifers. The result is sires that provide you the opportunity to easily improve the genetics of your herd and a no fuss means to manage inbreeding.
Angie goes on to state that "when comparing GENESIS bulls with others in the industry, the emphasis on genetic diversity is unmatched."
More specifically, a greater proportion of GENESIS bulls in the 90th percentile for Lifetime Net Merit (LNM$) are also low for Genomic Future Inbreeding (GFI). In this instance, a lower number is desired because a bull's GFI indicates the likelihood of his offspring to inherit common genes due to his general use as a service sire.
The graph below shows the proportion of a stud's 90th percentile LNM$ Holstein bulls born in 2010 or later that are in the lower 10% for GFI (bulls ≤ 6.6% GFI) and the upper 10% for GFI (bulls ≥ 8.0% GFI).
While it would be typical for each organization to have a proportion of around 10% in the upper and lower deciles for GFI, the graph illustrates the emphasis Genex has placed on genetic diversity. It shows GENESIS leadership as well as Genex leadership in 1HO sires that do not hail from the GENESIS Cooperative Herd.
Cooperator Herd Contribution
The cows and heifers within the 14 GENESIS cooperator herds provide a world of opportunity in the search for and creation of genetic diversity.
1HO11071 Brandvale Co-op LEADED-ET (Layne x Observer x Sharky) is a bull contributing to the proportion of GENESIS sires with a low GFI. LEADED, born in 2013, at cooperator herd Brandvale Dairy Farm in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, has a GFI of 6.6%. He made his debut in the Genex lineup back in August and currently stands at +$674 LNM (99th percentile) and +$778 for the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC) index.
1HO11370 Heidifarm ER AMOR CRI-P-ETS (Earnhardt-P x Proper x Encino) is another example of a high genetic merit, low GFI GENESIS sire at +$539 LNM, +$579 ICC and 6.6% GFI. AMOR-P hails form cooperator herd Heidi Farms Inc. in Bainsville, Ontario, Canada.
LEADED and AMOR-P are two examples of recently-released GENESIS sires contributing high merit, diverse genetics to members' and customers' herds.
"However," states Angie, "singling out genetically diverse sires like these for your breeding program is not necessary. Since we pay attention to genetic diversity, you only have to worry about using the high genetic merit bulls."