{ NO 03 SEPTEMBER 2012 } Magazine for cattle breeding and reproduction. Improved longevity with crossbreeding. Side 4. SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews

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{ NO 03 SEPTEMBER 2012 } Magazine for cattle breeding and reproduction Improved longevity with crossbreeding Side SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews 1 By export- & sales manager Sara Wiklert Petersson
{ NO 03 SEPTEMBER 2012 } Magazine for cattle breeding and reproduction Improved longevity with crossbreeding Side SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews 1 By export- & sales manager Sara Wiklert Petersson Web: vikinggenetics.com VikingGenetics, Head office Ebeltoftvej 16 DK-8960 Randers SØ T: F: VikingGenetics, Sweden Box 64 SE Skara T: F: VikingGenetics, Finland Korpikyläntie 77 PL 95 FI Hollola T: F: Editor of VikingNews Poul Bech Sørensen T: M: Deadline for 4-12: Our foundation your success Viking covers a large geographic area from the south of Denmark next to Germany to the north of Finland with dairy farms north of the polar circle. In this issue of VikingNews we welcome you to enjoy some articles from herds representing different parts of the Viking area a progressive dairy farm located in the Laplands of Finland as well as a herd on the island of Funen in Denmark that utilizes the hybrid vigor of crossbreeding to boost the profitability in the herd. Two good examples of skilled and professional dairy farmers that are the true foundation of VikingGenetics. Our selection goal NTM is designed to make the maximum of the bottom line giving more profitable cows. NTM is designed to the one milking the cows the dairy farmer has the final decision. The whole system of herd recording, where close to 90% of all cows in Viking countries are recorded, is essential for the Nordic selection for reliable proofs for health and fertility. VikingGenetics source the bulls from all over the Viking area and today the genomic tests make the selection even more accurate. This is your guarantee that VikingGenetics will offer bulls for maximum profitability now and in the future. So please take a moment and enjoy this VikingNews. If you would like to come and see with your own eyes a great opportunity comes up in the end of November at the Agromek Exhibition in Denmark please be welcome! { NO 03 SEPTEMBER 2012 } Magazine for cattle breeding and reproduction Improved longevity with crossbreeding Side 4 Layout and production: Mediegruppen as, Denmark (17600) Print: Scanprint, Denmark Photos: Elly Geverink, Elisabeth Theodorsson, Tiina Tahvonen and employees by VG SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews 1 Cover: Kim Ellebæk, Denmark has been using rotational cross breeding for 10 years. Sexed female dairy semen and blue-white beef semen is now incorporated in the breeding strategy. Photo: Poul Bech Sørensen. 2 vikingnews SEPTEMBER 2012 Contents C ntents Magazine no. 03 SEPTEMBER 2012 volume 2 Improved longevity with crossbreeding Since 2002 Kim Ellebæk, Denmark, has carried out three-way crossbreeding in his herd. The results are healthier cows with higher longevity, lower exchange rate and more money on the bottom line. PAGE 4 Belief in milk production in Lapland Sari and Reijo Korkatti believe in a future for the milk production in Lapland in Northern Finland. Therefore they invest in a new free-stall barn with milking robot and expand the herd from 35 to 80 Holstein cows. PAGE 8 Dairy farmer of the year practices cross breeding Gavin Fowler was nominated 2011 Dairy Farmer of the Year in the UK. He is one of the first dairy producers in the UK to fully engage in a three-way cross breeding programme. PAGE 17 Viking trains AI technicians in Kenya In cooperation with the Danish government VikingGenetics provide staff for a B2B project in Kenya. The purpose of the project is to develop the AI work and increase the use of better breeding material in the minor dairy cattle herds and thus expand the milk production. PAGE 22 Beef semen improves the chance of pregnancy 7 Six generations of Roxette all going strong 7 Electronic claw health registration 11 News about Viking sires 12 High focus on genomic breeding values around the world 14 Genomically tested cows now have improved breeding values 15 Around the VikingWorld 16 SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews 3 Improved longevity with crossbreeding By Poul Bech Sørensen Since 2002 Kim Ellebæk, Middelfart in Denmark, has carried out three-way crossbreeding in his herd, which originally was a pure Danish Red herd. First he used Holstein sires, then Jersey and now VikingRed. The results are healthier cows with higher longevity, lower exchange rate and more money on the bottom line. 120 Danish Red cows formed the basis of Kim Ellebæk s herd in All in all the Danish Red cows did well, but for long the pig farmers have taken advantage of the crossbreeding richness in production. Why not welcome this additional profit?, Kim starts. At the same time, I found the Danish Red cows a bit slow in the milking barn and eventually too large for our cubicals. Therefore I decided to use three-way crossbreeding with Holstein and Jersey and back to VikingRed. First and foremost we have stronger animals with higher longevity and improved hoof health. In average the cows have 3.5 lactations compared with the previous 2.5 lactations. With Jersey in the crossbreeding programme the cows are smaller, and then need less feed, Kim Ellebæk has 190 cross bred cows (VikingRed x Holstein x Jersey). Cows are inside the barn all year. 4 vikingnews SEPTEMBER 2012 benefitting our bottom line. The higher variation in the cow size has lead to no problems in the free stall system with the three DeLaval milking robots. Some of the Jersey crosses have slightly tight rear teats, but we can solve this by increasing the number of hours between milking, Kim says. On the other hand the Jersey crosses are more curious and are fast to the milking robot and the feeding table. I have seen a Jersey cross stealing the place while two large cows fight over the same place at the feeding table, Kim says laughing. Fine health As mentioned hoof health is in top due to the Jersey breed according to Kim. In general we have very few diseases in the herd. On the contrary we might call the vet sooner, and we wish to keep focused on the healthy animals. Six months ago we initiated teat cup disinfection and PCR samples when drying and treating cows with high values. We use this strategy for one year and so far we see positive effects. We would like to reduce the cell count number further. Our slightly too high cell count number might be connected with our higher number of old cows now than earlier. New breeding strategy with X-Vik and blue Since starting with crossbreeding, the breeding advisor prepared the breeding plan and the mating plan. We always use the best sire with the highest NTM, and what s positive is that we never have to take inbreeding into consideration, Kim stresses. After starting with Jersey in our crossbreeding system, we inseminated the first two times with X- Vik and then with blue however heifers with conventional Jersey semen. Our buyer of bull calves is willing to pay increased price for the blue cross calves, and we sell the heifer calves to hobby farms and nature preservation. We receive a new mating plan every two weeks updated in the AI technician s HandyVik program. We only inform of the cow s/heifer s number, and then the AI technician automatically knows which bull and breed to use. It doesn t get any easier! Kim lauds Viking s AI technicians who are always service minded and professional. Therefore he has never considered doing the insemination work himself. We have stronger animals with higher longevity and improved hoof health. In average the cows have 3.5 lactations compared with the previous 2.5 lactations. Kim Ellebæk With crossbred cows Kim Ellebæk has got stronger cows that on average last one lactation longer than the purebred. Reproduction strategy We examine at a specific day each week for days pregnancy. We start inseminating the first lactation cows 50 days after calving and others 40 days after calving. We have Heatime with our cows and heifers, and if the Heatime system shows no activity 70 days after calving, our AI technician will examine the cow. We rarely need to treat a cow with prostaglandin. Our criteria for success are definitely having pregnant cows and heifers whenever we wish. The reproduction efficiency is 0.43 for cows and 0.55 for heifers giving Kim a place among the leaders in the island of Funen in this important area. The heifers are at a farm two km away and like the cows they are in Facts 190 crossbreeding cows (RDM x HOL x JER) Free stall barn with 3 DeLaval robots from 2007 CM Euro over 2,000 in 2011 Production: 10,300 kg ECM Cell count. 164,000 Age at calving: 25 months Reproduction efficiency: cows 0.43 heifers 0.55 Average 3.5 lactations 190 ha maize, grass, grain and blackcurrant SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews 5 environment. Then rather sell blue calves when they are 3-5 months old. We have no problems with the calvings, and so far we have not assisted at the births of our calves by a blue sire, Kim says. Therefore we will increase the use of blue sires in future e.g. for cows with low lactation values. The latest two years Kim Ellebæk has achieved a second placement in Denmark for reproduction in the herd. Kim thanks crossbreeding and Heatime by both cows and heifers for the fine results. the barn all year. We use Heatime 100% and in this way we can focus on other supervision when we are with the animals. Land is expensive in this area, and having the animals in the barn allow us to run the herd more intensively. Furthermore we have experienced better growth for the young animals. The crossbred cows are milked in three DeLaval milking robots from The increased variation in the size of the cows gives no problem in relation to the AMS milking. Easy to sell crosses The combination of high reproduction efficiency and low exchange rate continuously give a surplus of young animals. Last year we sold 47 heifers due to calve in our home market, and we have no problem finding buyers for the crosses, Kim emphasizes. In future we will reduce the number of young animals both out of consideration for space and Crossbreeding not for all Kim emphasizes that he does not encourage all cattle breeders to start crossbreeding. It was interesting and the right decision for us, but I am glad that many competent cattle breeders breed with pure breeds. I can benefit from this in my production. Therefore, the cattle breeders selling bulls to Viking should be paid decently, Kim believes. Do not use crossbreeding to obtain higher production. We solely do it for financial reasons, Kim finishes. The contribution margin of more than 2,000 Euro per annual yield of a cow in 2011 and a place in top 10 on the island of Funen proves that the productivity is in top. Do not use crossbreeding to obtain higher production. We solely do it for financial reasons. Kim Ellebæk 6 vikingnews SEPTEMBER 2012 Beef semen improves the chance of pregnancy The chance of pregnancy is improved when dairy cows are inseminated with beef semen. Danish analysis of the insemination results in dairy cattle shows that cows inseminated with semen from beef sires have a higher chance of pregnancy than cows inseminated with semen from sires of their own breeds. The non-return rate for Holstein is 7% higher for insemination with semen from a beef sire compared with insemination with semen from a Holstein sire. For Jersey the difference is 6.5% and 6% for Danish Red. In general insemination with beef semen is positive when it comes to reproduction. However, we must stress that cows inseminated with beef semen in general have a lower genetic level for produc- tion. They have lower production indexes than cows inseminated with semen from their own breeds. Since there is unfavorable genetic correlation between production and fertility, the actual profit from inseminating with semen from another breed will be lower than shown by the figures. Furthermore cows inseminated with beef semen are in general longer from calving in first insemination which could also affect the values positively. The analysis is based on insemination results from purebred dairy cows from Source: Danish Knowledge Centre for Agriculture, Cattle. The non-return rate for dairy cattle is 6-7% higher for insemination with semen from a beef sire compared with insemination with semen from a dairy breed sire. Six generations of Roxette all going strong Heifer 1738 Roxette by the Gen- VikPLUS sire VH Antik is the sixth generation of the Roxette cow family from Christer Samuelsson, Juby in Sweden. Special for the heifer is that all five generations before her are still lactating in the herd and are pregnant again. With a little luck and use of X-Vik semen the chance of a seventh generation is there. The Viking sire J Rox is from this cow family originally imported from Canada. In the photo Christer Samuelsson presents 1738 Roxette. The cows behind the heifer are (from the right): 6774 Roxette EX91 (Rudolph), nine calves and 131 tonnes ECM. 995 Roxette VG87 (Slogan) seven calves and 95 tonnes ECM 1178 Roxette VG86 (Laudan) five calves and 71 tonnes ECM 1363 Roxette GP84 (Buckeye) three calves and 33 tonnes ECM 1533 Roxette VG85 (Planet) first lactation. SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews 7 Belief in milk production in Lapland By Poul Bech Sørensen Sari and Reijo Korkatti, Vallila Farm, believe in a future for the milk production in Lapland in Northern Finland. Therefore they invest in a new free-stall barn with milking robot and expand the herd from 35 to 80 Holstein cows. When writing this, Sari (45) and her husband Reijo Korkatti (50) open a new insulated barn for 80 cows. The barn is equipped with a DeLaval milking robot and prepared for a second robot. All fixture cattle crush, cubicals, mattresses, windows and ventilation is from DeLaval. In connection with the expansion the old tie-stall barn is being renovated and changed into a free-stall barn for the young stock. The total investment is approx. one million euro including purchased female animals (60 cows and 70 heifers) and a milk quota at a price of 10 euro cent per kg. We believe in the future of milk production here close to the Arctic Circle, Sari and Reijo agree. The costs are high with our short summers and long cold winters. The variable costs are approx. 40 euro cent per kg milk the same as Valio s milk price. In return we receive national support of 14 euro cent to compensate for the Northern and expensive production conditions, Sari says. Sari used to be an AI technician in Faba. She met Reijo when she had this job. They fell in love, and Sari moved in at the Vallila Farm. Sari and Reijo Korkatti are building a new insulated loose house barn for 80 cows. The have belief in milk production in Lapland close to the polar circle. Finnish Vhisky Sari and Reijo have great confidence in genomic selection and test many female animals prior to ET. They have also sold bull calves with high genomic tests to VikingGenetics. The most well-known sire from the 8 vikingnews SEPTEMBER 2012 The Korkatti girls present two calves with high genomic tests: Vallian Iltaahti 8144 and Jamine Sexed X-Vik semen is an excellent tool when the herd needs expansion and the pregnancy results are fine. Sari Korkatti herd is V Vhisky (P Shottle x 340 Pivatar Jocko Besn) NTM +21, production index 114 and impressive longevity 131. V Vhisky has 168 daughters, and the figures show that they are healthy, with positive reproduction, high components and super conformation. Vhisky has a brother by Tequila, who was a proven sire in Faba for a short period of time. Vhisky s dam 340 Pivatar is the only cow in the herd that has been flushed all other flushings have been made in heifers. The flushing resulted in only one embryo giving the daughter UsvatarET (Laudan x Pivatar) born in 2005 currently with NTM +11 and more than 50,000 kg lifetime production. A young sister Evitar (Carnival x Pivatar) was born in 2009, classified VG87 with a production of 11, Pivatar has five daughters and 14 grand daughters in total and she has exceeded 100,000 kg lifetime production. All interesting heifer calves will be genomically tested and the best will be flushed routinely. VikingGenetics tests bull calves with high indexes and the latest test bull from Vallila is VH Mickey Mainio (Mickey x Avatar (Billion) x Pivatar). Positive merger between Faba and VikingGenetics Sari and Reijo find it very positive that Faba merged with VikingGenetics. We have a much larger and wider selection of Holstein sires to choose from. Genomic selection is a super tool and Faba could not have handled this alone. Vallila Farm 60 hectares + 53 hectares leased all grass 50 hectares wood 80 Holstein cows New free-stall barn from 2012 Two annual cuts of grass for silage 8,000 kg dry matter / hectare Price for pressing and wrapping of round bales (800 kg): 20 euro Milk price: 40 euro cent + 14 euro cent subsidy / kg Breeding goal: longevity, temperament and health X-Vik for all heifers High-index heifers are genomically tested Vallian Elysee 480 (D Sammy x Lancelot) is one of the promising young cows in the Vallila herd. In the background is the new barn. SEPTEMBER 2012 vikingnews 9 The half sisters Evitar 460 (Carnival x Jocko Besn) and Usvatar 385 (Laudan x Jocko Besn) are both bred on the top cow Pivatar. Usvatar obtains NTM +11 and has produced over kg milk until now. Sari and Reijo are also pleased with the service from Faba delivering semen and equipment punctually every three months. In between the fixed delivery times, they can have semen deliveries from a local AI technician. Being previous AI technician it is a matter of course that Sari inseminates herself. Strategic use of X-Vik in all heifers Longevity, temperament and health have high priority in the breeding goal. We prefer invisible cows that can manage on their own in the new freestall barn. In general, our cows have fast milking speed and therefore we have not given this trait higher priority even though we now have a milking robot. On the contrary we would like a smaller-sized cow since we believe that medium sized cows have less trouble in modern production systems. The distribution between the use of test sires, GenVikPLUS sires and prov- We prefer invisible cows that can manage on their own in the new free-stall barn. en sires is 20:40:40, and X-Vik semen is used strategically with very good results since Faba merged with VikingGenetics. The strategy is to inseminate heifers with high NTM index twice with X-Vik and all other heifers are inseminated once with X-Vik and then with conventional semen. So far we have sold our surplus of heifers for production thanks to the use of X-Vik and fine reproduction, but in connection with the expansion of our herd, we need all heifers ourselves. X-Vik is an excellent tool when the herd needs expansion, Sari and Reijo point out. Sari og Reijo Korkatti Extended cooperation between VikingGenetics and Geno SA Extended cooperation between VikingGenetics and Geno SA about R&D agreement for the red dairy breeds VikingGenetics and Norwegian Geno have agreed to continue and extend their collaboration agreement on the red breeds VikingRed and Norwegian Red (NRF) signed in 2010 for another period including 2012 and The collaboration involves continuation of R&D related to genomic evaluations using a common reference population, which involves exchange of genotypes also for young bulls and continued exchange of genotypes for new progeny tested bulls. This is important for exchange of semen from young bulls and also because a common reference population needs to be updated with new progeny tested bulls after every progeny testing. Including young bulls The agreement has also been extended to involve exchange of semen from young bulls, and harmonization of trait definitions. Harmonization of traits is important as this is the platform for calculating breeding values used as phenotypes in genomic evaluations, and also important for comparison of breeding values. 10 vikingnews SEPTEMBER 2012 Electronic claw health registration now also in Finland and Sweden By Elina Paakala, Karin Ulvshammar, Emma Carlén and Anders Fogh, NAV Claw health in dairy pro
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