Data analysis and implementation
Select Sires has collaborated extensively in research efforts, leading to improvements in fertility potential of sex-sorted semen, including gender SELECTedTM SexedULTRATM 2M and gender SELECTed SexedULTRATM 4M. However, research trials and field fertility data clearly and repeatedly confirm that some sires achieve much greater conception rates than others, regardless of whether the respective comparison is between conventional, gender SELECTed SexedULTRA 2M or gender SELECTed SexedULTRA 4M. Simply stated, a sire’s fertility advantage can outweigh any sperm dose advantage. Even though there is a slight overall improvement in conception rates with the new SexedULTRA 4M product, there are many bulls packaged at 4M dosages that underperform their 2M counterparts.
Select Sires constantly monitors the success of both conventional and sex-sorted semen products through in-house fertility analysis systems. Fertility of conventional and sex-sorted semen are independent traits with very poor correlation. A bull that exhibits above average fertility with conventional semen is not guaranteed to exhibit above average fertility with sex-sorted semen. “Select Sires’ research and field fertility data both lead us to believe that identifying sires that excel at achieving pregnancies with sex-sorted semen would be a more productive endeavor than simply processing at four million per dose,” explains Mel DeJarnette, Select Sires’ vice president of research and quality control. “Although there have been many advances in sex-sorting technology through the years, it remains a very expensive and inefficient process. The added cost and reduced supply created by processing at four million sperm per dose does not appear to be consistently and repeatedly offering our cooperative’s customer-owners a return on the added investment.”
Designation details and qualifications
The Elite Sexed Fertility designation will identify gender SELECTed sires with above average conception rates through sire fertility analysis. Selection criteria will be based on Composite Fertility Index (CFI) data. CFI combines information from several large-scale sire fertility analysis systems including Select Sires’ Relative Breeding Efficiency (RBE), which includes an 18-month rolling database in excess of two million services. A large number of services adds power and reliability to estimates, while restricting data to the most recent 18 months allows for greater sensitivity to detect changes in sire fertility over time.
Only the latest CFI data will be used in identifying sires and, therefore, updates will occur monthly. Only active sires shown to have superior fertility in sexed semen use with a minimum of 500 services will qualify for the designation. Sires of all breeds in both SexedULTRA 2M and SexedULTRA 4M product lines will be eligible for an Elite Sexed Fertility designation.
With over 11,000 services, 507HO12195 BUTLER earns the designation as one of Select Sires’ best Elite Sexed Fertility sires. Additional Holstein leaders in this new product line include 507HO12266 YODER and 507HO11351 SUPERSIRE. Leading the Jersey breed, exceeding 16,000 services, 507JE5020 STRIKER earns the designation, along with 507JE1528 DISCO.
Ensuring the best return on investment
This new designation comes to Select Sires as result of extensive data analysis and the cooperative is excited to offer customer-owners another tool to enhance genetic and reproductive success. In its true cooperative form, Select Sires believes in developing and offering product lines that ensure the best return on investment for dairy producers.
“Select Sires continues to innovate the use of data to benefit customer-owners as the first and only A.I. organization to identify our highest performing sires for sexed semen in both 2M and 4M products. The addition of the Elite Sexed Fertility designation will be a useful new tool to help dairymen maximize their success with gender SELECTed semen,” explains Lyle Kruse vice president of U.S. market development for Select Sires.
Based in Plain City, Ohio, Select Sires Inc., is North America's largest A.I. organization and is comprised of nine farmer-owned and -controlled cooperatives. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America's best genetics at a reasonable price.