Get More with Less

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With most of the world demanding sustainable practices for a smaller carbon footprint, the U.S dairy industry can stand proud. During my 40 years working with Select Sires, I have witnessed phenomenal changes in our business. Improved efficiency and lessened environmental impact lead that charge. 

Just consider production in the U.S. In 2020, the average cow produced 23,777 pounds per lactation, more than double the production per cow in 1980.

By: Lyle Kruse, vice president of U.S. market development, Select Sires Inc. 

Genetics have played an important role in cow efficiency, and yet, we are just scratching the surface. As dairies double-down on genetics, they are more critical of the genetic superiority of females selected to produce replacements. This strategy, combined with an intense focus on sire selection, is expected to move the dial on genetic advancement. 

I’m grateful to work with some of the best dairy managers in the world. Learning about their goals and helping develop solutions and strategies to meet those goals is part of my role. Throughout the last year, I’ve heard many of these dairy owners and managers echo a common wish, “I want more with less.”

While there are a lot of tools and varying strategies available to help farmers work toward this notion, it’s important to go back to the basics. Simplify your plan and remember that there are only two parts to this equation: females and sires. 


Part 1: Elite Females

Progressive dairy owners have made it their goal to create future herd replacements that are healthy, reproductively sound, and efficient with the genetic capacity to maintain high levels of milk production. In summary, these dairies want to produce more milk with fewer cows.

To get more with less, genetic planning is critical. Select Sires offers ProfitMAX® tools and proprietary calculators to determine the best breeding strategy for each herd. With the help of your Select Sires advisor, ProfitMAX uses genomic or pedigree data to deliver optimal replacement numbers, maximize genetic improvement from high-ranking females and take advantage of beef x dairy or straightbred HerdFlex™ beef diversification opportunities with lower-ranking females — making sure each mating yields the most profitable outcome. 


Part 2: Sire Selection

A more aggressive approach to sire selection will deliver returns on your investment. NxGEN® provides dairies with early access to the cooperative’s top genetics. Click here for a NxGEN membership application and get access to breed-leading genetics earlier than ever before.

The lineup changes monthly with new, high-caliber sire additions. The November lineup totals 22 sires and averaged +2929 GTPI®, +969 Net Merit (NM$), +890 Dairy Wellness Profit Index® (DWP$®) and +977 Herd Health Profit Dollars™ (HHP$™). These elite sires provide dairy owners with a significant opportunity to maximize performance and productivity of their next generation. Boost genetic superiority to increase efficiency and you will get more with less.

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