email news from All-West Select Sires           November 2014
Quick Links

Like us on Facebook


View our videos on YouTube











Do Genetics REALLY matter?
Kevin Jorgensen, Sire Analyst,
Select Sires Inc.

I am often asked with the advancements in technology and feeding, do genetics really matter anymore?  The answer to that is a resounding yes!  As we now live a world with higher feed costs and inputs, the cow that most efficiently uses those resources is the cow that adds more to the bottom line.  The more of those we have versus cows that "take up space" the better off the dairy and ultimately the business is. 


There perhaps has never been a time when genetics mattered more than now!   As I have had the good fortune of traveling across the country and across the globe, the common denominators of the most successful and most productive dairies are:


#1, they have a clear vision of who they are and what they want their cows to be 


#2, they use the best genetics to get them in that direction


They didn't all have the same breeding philosophy, which is not what I am suggesting, but they know the kind of cow that works best in their herd and they do all they can to propagate as many of those kind as possible. 

Regardless of what traits are most important to your operation, go after them as aggressively as you can and even on the lower cows, use bulls that mirror your philosophy.  If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a herd only gets better if the bottom is improving as well!


At Select Sires, there has never been a better selection of sires to meet the needs of every producer.  Along with those sires, we have the tools available to help you meet your goals such as the SMS program and our evaluator staff, who are there to help you every step of the way.  In addition, our professional sales and service staff have some of the best product knowledge in the industry. 


Genetics have never been so important to all types of breeders these days and we're excited at the continuing way we measure value in the bulls we provide.  With ongoing genetic evaluation updates, the information and accuracy you receive helps you make a better, more profitable decision for your dairy with every straw that's purchased.  Genetics matter because we can pinpoint breed leaders.  Genetics matter because we can accurately rank and sort available sires.  Genetics matter because they help us achieve profound success in a short amount of time.  It is truly the Select Sires mission to provide a "sire for every desire" and match the best genetics for your herd's goals. 
Lots of changes coming next week - are you ready?

New sire summary numbers will be released on Tuesday, December 2nd and with that information comes a whole host of changes!  Here's what you need to know to be prepared:


* The Net Merit (NM$) index and three breed indexes will be revised
* The base change will alter Predicted Transmitting Abilities (PTAs)
* The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) will now release weekly genomic predictions for newly genotyped animals


Net Merit and more
"The TPI formula that debuts in December will have an added emphasis on production with the increase seen mainly in the inclusion of a new feed efficiency index," said a recent article that appeared in HotSpots magazine.  (Formula Changes Afoot in December 2014).  "This new index calculates the 'dollar value of milk produced' then subtracts 'feed costs of the extra milk' and 'extra maintenance costs.'  The FE index will now comprise 3 percent of the total formula and room was made by dropping PTAT from 10 to 8 percent and dropping selection emphasis for udders from 12 to 11 percent."


"Also part of the TPI revision will be the new fertility index which now consists of three parts: heifer conception rate (HCR), cow conception rate (CCR) and daughter pregnancy rate (DPR).  The breed has made progress with fertility in the last 15 years, especially within the last decade, and by raising the fertility emphasis from 11 to 13 percent, Holstein Association USA hopes to see that positive progress accelerate.  Room for the extra emphasis was found by taking 2 percent from Productive Life, now weighted at 7 percent."


There will also be more emphasis placed on Fat and Protein yield and less emphasis on Somatic Cell Score, body size and Productive Life in the new formulas.  A new merit index, Grazing Merit (GM$), is being introduced for herds on pasture-based systems and herds that require high fertility for seasonal breeding.  GM$ will not be published in sire directories, but will be available on Select Sires' website. 

By the numbers
2010 TPI formula: 42% production, 33% health & fertility, 25% type
2014 TPI formula: 46% production, 28% health & fertility, 26% type

2010 NM$ formula: 35% production, 48% health, 17% type
2014 NM$ formula: 45% production, 40% health, 15% type

New fertility index: 18% HCR + 18% CCR + 64% DPR

New feed efficiency index: -17% Milk + 30% Fat + 45% Protein - 8% Body Size


Other breed changes
The American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA) will be updating their Jersey Performance Index (JPI).  In this revised formula, CCR and HCR are now included, each with 2 percent weight.  DPR (down 3 percent) and PL (down 2 percent) receive slightly less weight and Protein (up 1 percent) slightly more.


The Progressive Performance Ranking (PPR) changes in the Brown Swiss breed, and will now emphasize DPR (4 percent to 10 percent) more and PL (12 percent to 10 percent) and SCS (8 percent to 4 percent) less.  The new Brown Swiss UDC formula places much more weight on fore udder attachment, rear udder height & width and udder cleft.  Less weight will be placed on udder depth and teat placement.

Weekly updates
In mid-November, CDCB began calculating weekly preliminary genomic predictions by processing only newly genotyped animals and using estimates from the last official evaluation.  Reliabilities and genomic inbreeding will not be included in these weekly estimates. 


In summary
All-in-all, the new rankings coming next week will see animals with higher transmitting abilities for production (milk, fat and protein) do a little better than animals who are stronger in conformation and PL rankings. 


"The Net Merit revisions will produce ranking gains for individuals that have outstanding production numbers, especially if they are more 'average' in traits being reduced such as SCS or DPR.  With the heavier emphasis on Milk and Fat Yields, animals that had high NM$ rankings but were only average in milk and fat numbers will probably drop back relative to others.


7HO12165 Bacon-Hill MONTROSS is a high NM$ and production sire that will see minimal change to his numbers based on the new index system. 
8/14 GTPI 2541 
12/14 GTPI 2538
(Source: HotSpots)



Holstein USA Webinar: December 2014 TPIĀ® & Base Change
Holstein USA Webinar: December 2014 TPI® & Base Change

As Tom Lawlor of Holstein USA puts it, "The advantage of using a selection index, such as the TPI formula, is that you can make improvement in several traits at the same time."  As our breed improves and develops, so will the formulas that provide us with a system of ranking all animals. 

Next week will hold many new changes, and based on the work done ahead of time, those changes will accurately reflect the new look of a profitable dairy cow. For more information: Tune in to Tom Lawlor's presentation on You-Tube that discusses these changes in more detail.

What's that you're watching? 

I Trust Select Sires Service
I Trust Select Sires Service

"I trust Select Sires" - watch the newest production from the Select Sires Beef Department




"7HO10721 BOOKEM" - listen to Sire Analyst Scott Culbertson talk about the young BOOKEM daughters from this great Planet son 


7JE590 ACTION daughters at Ansom Jerseys
7JE590 ACTION daughters at Ansom Jerseys

It's 7JE590 ACTION daughters at Ansom Jerseys, owned by the Perchard Family from the Isle of Jersey! The Ansom herd of pedigree Jerseys, based at La Ferme, St Martin, is the largest dairy herd on Jersey. 


CowManager SensOor System detects heat, rumination/eating behavior and disease
CowManager System detects heat, rumination/eating behavior and disease

Hearing the buzz about CowManager?  Take a quick look at the informational video that's now online! 


2015 is here!
All-West Select Sires has new dairy, beef and red pocket calendars in stock for 2015!  Be sure to get in touch with your All-West representative and get ready for the coming year!




Calendar of Events

Dec. 4-6 Bend, OR
Oregon Cattlemen's Convention

Dec. 4-7 San Diego, CA
Central Veterinary Conference

Dec. 6 Hanford, CA
25th Silver Anniversary Christmas Holiday Revue Sale, A&M Livestock

Jan. 11-14 San Diego, CA
American Farm Bureau Federation Convention & Annual Meeting

Jan. 18-22 Tatura Park, Australia
International Dairy Week

Jan. 24 La Grande, OR
11th Annual Cattleman's Workshop

Jan. 27-31 Red Bluff, CA
Red Bluff Bull & Gelding Sale

Jan. 29-31 Stockton, CA
California Holstein Convention, University Plaza Waterfront Hotel

Feb. 10-12 Tulare, CA
World Ag Expo

Feb. 12 Pixley, CA
Airosa Extravaganza Open House & Sale (100 lots of Holsteins & Jerseys)

Feb. 14 Corvallis, OR
2015 Beaver Classic Sweetheart Sale, OR State University

Feb. 26-28 Tulare, CA
Western Regional Dairy Challenge, College of Sequoias

Feb. 27-28 Seattle, WA
All-West Select Sires Annual Meeting

Feb. 28-Mar.1 Hanford, CA
Western Classic Junior Dairy Show

Mar. 3-5 Reno, NV
2015 Western Dairy Management Conference

Mar. 18-20 Fish Camp, CA
Western United Dairymen Convention & Trade Show, Tenaya Lodge

May 11-15 Richmond, UT
100th Richmond Black & White Show (Western Spring National)

Jun. 23-26 St. Charles, IL
National Holstein Convention

(to get your event listed, please email date, location and event name to


DIAMONDcuts is developed and produced by the 
All West/Select Sires Communications Team:


Karen Knutsen    800.426.2697 ext. 135


Allen Bush       800.426.2697 ext. 109