By tracking performance with genetic data, Skyview Dairy measures the impact of genetic selection on profitability. Together, with professionals from Minnesota/Select Sires Coop, Inc., the herd establishes goals and prepares strategic breeding plans. Brandon Thesing is one of many Select Sires team members that collaborates with Skyview. “We know that when our producers are profitable and successful, they are able to reinvest in their farm, their family and their future,” says Thesing.
Located in Hutchinson, Minn., Skyview Dairy is owned and operated by Daryl Luthens and his four sons, Shane, Brandon, Justin and Garrett. The herd totals 1,500 lactating cows and replacement heifers.
As Select Sires’ comprehensive service program, ProfitMAX incorporates the cooperative’s many genetic and reproductive tools into a customizable plan for each dairy operation. The program is built on five pillars, with the leading pillar: driven by your goals.
ProfitMAX begins with a consultation in which goals are established. “Select Sires asks us what we want, offers clarity and helps us establish goals. With those goals established, we can take a step back and trust that the Select Sires team will carry them through,” says Garrett.
As a previous Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council gold winner, Skyview has outstanding reproductive performance. They have set genetic goals and pushed the envelope to develop genetically elite cattle in recent years.
A review of cattle born in 2018 and 2019, shows an increase in average sire GTPI® from +2418 to +2503 and an increase in Net Merit (NM$) from +674 to +739. The most extreme genetic selection changes are seen in the herd’s average sire Productive Life (PL) and Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) values. Average sire PL was +4.2 in 2017 and +4.3 in 2018. With strategic selection, the average sire PL for cow’s born in 2019 was +6.1. Sires of cows born in 2017 and 2018 show negative values for DPR. In 2019, the average sire DPR clocked in at +0.9.
Recent review of parent averages for Milk, TPI, NM$, and fitness traits across both heifers and lactating cow groups, proves Skyview’s intense genetic progress. With this data, the herd can analyze inventory needs and go one step further to maximize profit potential within the operation.
Charts below show the true impact of genetics on profit and compare genetic rank to performance and costly health events. Parent averages for both first lactation and second lactation and greater cows show better reproductive efficiency, less health events and significantly lower turnover rate.
For more information about Skyview Dairy and Garrett Luthens’ experience with ProfitMAX, visit www.selectsires.com/ProfitMAX and follow along with our farmer-focused video series.
®ProfitMAX is a registered trademark of Select Sires Inc.