March 26 2021 02:00 PM

A diversified breeding strategy can help dairy farmers maximize return on investment.

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Select Sires and the J. R. Simplot Company’s Animal Sciences division are pleased to announce Simplot’s SimVitro® HerdFlex™-branded beef embryos are now available through all Select Sires member cooperatives nationwide.

Dairy farmers across the country now have easy access to superior strategic breeding genetics thanks to this expanded partnership. Select Sires is the first and only provider of Simplot’s SimVitro® HerdFlex™-branded beef embryos.

This partnership gives dairy farmers increased opportunity to sell 100% beef calves of high-quality born from pregnancies not needed for herd replacements. Simultaneously, dairies can advance elite genetics within their dairy herd and appropriately manage heifer inventories.

“Select Sires works side-by-side with customers to create a customized path for their genetic progress goals with a strategic breeding plan. HerdFlex™ beef embryos are the latest advancement in our long commitment to dairy farmers to help them reach their goal of constant improvement,” said Lyle Kruse, Select Sires vice president of U.S. market development.

Consistent genetic quality

As progressive dairy farms seek new marketing opportunities while improving dairy and business performance, HerdFlex™ beef embryos offer a way to accomplish their objectives. That’s because beef calves with superior genetics have the potential to earn a more desirable return on investment compared to dairy-beef crossbred calves or straight dairy calves. Resulting calves from these beef embryos offer additional benefits related to feeding and finishing.

These calves are of a consistent, superior genetic base, providing farmers and feeders a cost per gain advantage due to high carcass merit and marbling. Plus, the ready supply of embryos means animal availability year-round, delivering a consistent supply to the beef cattle market.

HerdFlex™ beef embryos are grade 1, high-quality and commercially produced specifically for placement in dairy cows. Each mating is to a proven Select Sires beef sire to maximize the resulting embryo’s genetic potential and value for key traits such as:

  • Calving ease
  • $Beef – including weaning and yearling weight, dry matter intake, as well as carcass weight, marbling, ribeye area and fat
  • Ribeye area

Partnership of knowledge and experience

HerdFlex™ beef embryos are produced by Simplot, the largest beef cattle producer in the western U.S. with extensive farm and ranch holdings, including feedlots. Simplot has invested decades of research and improvement in making the commercial application of IVF embryos feasible for customers.

“Our HerdFlex™ beef embryos production capacity is poised to serve commercial dairies and their growing needs,” said Brady Hicks, manager of Simplot Animal Sciences. “Our mission is to help farmers cultivate their genetics and their livelihoods. Along with local Select Sires teams, we’re here to help farmers expand business opportunities.”

Select Sires cooperatives offering HerdFlex™ beef embryos include All West/Select Sires, CentralStar, COBA/Select Sires, Minnesota/Select Sires, Premier Select Sires and Select Sires MidAmerica. Talk with your local Select Sires team member about how HerdFlex™ beef embryos fit into your breeding program.

Select Sires Inc. ( is the largest global A.I. cooperative and is comprised of six farmer-owned and -controlled local organizations in the United States. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen, as well as excellence in service and programs to supply dairy and beef producers with the world’s best genetics.

SimVitro® HerdFlex™ embryos are backed by the trusted Simplot brand. The J.R. Simplot Company, a privately held agribusiness firm headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has an integrated portfolio that includes phosphate mining, fertilizer manufacturing, farming, ranching and cattle production, food processing, food brands, and other enterprises related to agriculture. Simplot’s major operations are located in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, South America and China, with products marketed in more than 60 countries worldwide. For more information, visit