Dairy producers now have additional trait insights to help predict potential lifetime profitability. Results from CLARIFIDE® Plus genetic testing for Holsteins and Jerseys now include cow-wellness traits for cow respiratory disease and fertility traits for cow abortion, twinning and cystic ovary. Previously available only for Jerseys, Holsteins now have milk fever available among the cow-wellness trait insights. These new trait insights are in addition to cow-wellness traits for mastitis, lameness, metritis, retained placenta, displaced abomasum and ketosis, and calf-wellness traits for calf livability, respiratory disease and scours.
With the availability of more trait insights, Zoetis also has updated the Dairy Wellness Profit Index® (DWP$®), which helps producers predict potential lifetime profit of individual dairy replacements. The latest update incorporates additional traits impacting lifetime profitability, including cow abortion, twinning, cow respiratory disease and cystic ovary.
“We’re helping our customers build a cow for the future,” said Dave Erf, geneticist, U.S. Dairy Technical Services for Zoetis. “That cow needs less interventions, needs to live longer and needs to produce more milk over more lactations; essentially, deliver more ROI and profitability over her lifetime.”
Improved lifetime profitability prediction
The impact of DWP$ has benefits over other ranking methods, such as Net Merit (NM$).
“DWP$ has a three-pronged approach to improving production, fertility and health, simultaneously. NM$ is more focused on production and fertility, with a minor acknowledgment of health traits,” Erf said. Selection index updates and the incorporation of the new fertility and wellness traits into DWP$ also are increasing the accuracy of DWP$ in predicting potential lifetime profitability.
In a study, Zoetis ranked Holstein cows tested with CLARIFIDE Plus with the updated DWP$ from April 2020. There was an additional 1,442-pound difference in lifetime energy corrected milk (ECM) and $141 in lifetime income over feed costs (IOFC) per cow between the best 25% and worst 25% than when we ranked the same cows by DWP$ in 2018. This indicates the latest DWP$ updates have improved the accuracy of predicting lifetime profitability.
DWP$ predictions are a useful tool for dairy producers interested in using genetics as a method to improve their overall herd profitability. Incorporating DWP$ into breeding and culling decisions will help dairy producers create a herd for the future that is capable of higher lifetime profit when combined with best herd management practices. More information is available at www.clarifideplus.com.
Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and precision livestock farming. 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 2019, the company generated annual revenue of $6.3 billion with approximately 10,600 employees. For more information, visit www.ZoetisUS.com.