Genomic test to help producers select Holstein heifers based on health and profitability potential
Zoetis today announced the launch of CLARIFIDE® Plus, the first commercially available, U.S.-based genomic test that gives dairy producers the ability to directly predict disease risk in Holstein cattle.
CLARIFIDE Plus includes new genomic predictions for wellness traits that provide direct indication of the genetic risk factors for six of the most common and costly animal health challenges on dairies. CLARIFIDE Plus also includes an exclusive new selection index, called the Dairy Wellness Profit Index™ (DWP$™). By using DWP$ for their animal ranking, producers may incorporate all economically important traits, including the new wellness traits and the polled trait*, to make more comprehensive and profitable genetic selection decisions.
"For the first time, dairy producers can genomically select heifers based on wellness and other economically important traits to help build a healthier, more productive herd," said David Erf, geneticist, Zoetis Dairy Technical Services. "CLARIFIDE Plus offers dairy producers an unprecedented opportunity to test Holstein animals early in life in order to make genetic management decisions that can significantly impact their future operation success."
New genomic predictions for wellness traits
To help producers manage and reduce risk for costly health events, CLARIFIDE Plus provides reliable assessments at an early age for these six common dairy health challenges:
· Retained placenta
· Displaced abomasum
CLARIFIDE Plus derives genetic predictions based on data collected from millions of health records within U.S. commercial herds, so U.S. producers can be confident results will be relevant to their operations. CLARIFIDE Plus predictions have an unprecedented average estimated reliability of 49% to 51% for the six traits in young animals, compared with no existing information without CLARIFIDE Plus testing.
"We did a lot of research, which was published over 10 years ago, to show there are genetic differences between sire families and their chances of developing health challenges such as milk fever or mastitis," said Kent Weigel, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Dairy Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Finally seeing this research get to the point of being an available tool that producers can use for making genetic selection decisions to raise animals with reduced risk for health problems is really encouraging. When you have traits that have an emphasis on health, longevity and wellness, all integrated into one package, this allows producers to make decisions earlier and invest in raising healthy animals. Healthier cows stay in the herd longer and make an enormous difference in a herd's profitability."
Use of economic indexes help support more profitable solutions
Zoetis also developed two proprietary economic selection indexes in CLARIFIDE Plus. These selection indexes are a critical component of all genetic selection strategies, as they provide a path for dairy producers to be able to select for comprehensive genetic improvement across a host of traits. These new indexes are:
- Dairy Wellness Profit Index (DWP$): CLARIFIDE Plus is the only genomic test that includes this multitrait selection index based on novel health traits along with other economically important traits that affect dairy production, profitability and saleable milk. DWP$ combines production, fertility, type and longevity traits, as well as the new wellness traits, to provide opportunity to make more profitable animal rankings and decisions.
- Wellness Trait Index™ (WT$™): This multitrait selection index focuses solely on the wellness traits - mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum, ketosis and polled. This selection index directly estimates differences in expected profitability related to differences in genetic risk for disease.
Together, all of this information combined in CLARIFIDE Plus gives producers the most comprehensive package of trait predictions for Holstein cattle, enabling use of genetic selection along with good herd management to help reach their herd health and profitability goals.
CLARIFIDE Plus builds on the proven success of CLARIFIDE®, the most widely used genomic test in the dairy industry.1 As with CLARIFIDE, the new genomic test comes with industry-leading support to help producers make the best use of their genomic information and integrate test results with other Zoetis management solutions to achieve desired outcomes.
For more information, contact your Zoetis representative or visit CLARIFIDEPlus.com.
Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2015, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetisUS.com.