Lyle Kruse, V.P. U.S. Market Development, Select Sires Inc.

Since the availability of genomic predictions in 2009, the pace of genetic improvement for Holstein cows in the U.S. has accelerated at a significant pace compared to the pre-genomic era. Keeping up may be overwhelming, but Select Sires can help you meet the challenge.


Based on the latest data from the Council for Dairy Cattle Breeding, since the introduction of genomic predictions, the Holstein breed has averaged a gain of +53 Net Merit (NM$) per year, which is more than double the previous annual genetic gain in the U.S. The average sire of cows born in 2015 was +409 NM$.

We recently assembled data from 200 sizable dairy operations that work with Select Sires to evaluate their current genetic levels for sires of heifers and the service sire used to create these heifers first pregnancy.
Looking at the average sire of heifers in these operations, the range in sire NM$ average was significant (+198 to +788 NM$) and the average sire of the heifers in this data set was +505 NM$.


Looking at the average service sire for heifer pregnancies in these operations, the range in service sire NM$ average was also significant (+317 to +921 NM$) and the average service sire for heifer pregnancies in this data set was +631 NM$.


With the average pace of genetic improvement increasing at a rate of over +50 NM$ per year, dairy owners are challenged to keep pace and hopefully exceed the industry genetic improvement. Select Sires provides you with the opportunity to far exceed industry averages. With the April 2017 sire summary, Select Sires now offers more than 70 elite Holstein sires that exceed +750 NM$. If you use TPI® for your selection index, Select Sires currently offers more than 75 elite Holstein sires that exceed +2600 TPI. Each of these groups of elite NM$ and TPI sires also include a vast selection of sires that rank as elite sires for Sire Conception Rate (SCR) and echo the Select Sires commitment to semen quality.


As another busy summer arrives, we are reminded of how challenged the typical dairy operation is to get needed tasked completed, especially if this includes the normal summer demands of field work. If you are challenged with enough time in the day, I suggest getting help from your Select Sires team led by our genetic specialists to make sure your genetic planning and resulting genetic harvest is the best you can make it. With nearly half of the industry’s elite sires for TPI and Net Merit, Select Sires is very well positioned to provide you with the elite genetics you need to move your herd forward in today’s fast genetic pace.

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