Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Why are “Lineback” bulls getting more usage?


CONCEPTIONS   Dairy Route Newsletter                 February March 2020



Healthier cows, good fertility, but a key difference is they have black pigment hooves.   Lots of hoof trimming professionals believe the black hoof has less heel warts and hoof rot, requires a lot less hoof trimming.    This coloring comes from the original dutch Friesian-type “Holsteins”.

The relative heritability of traits and qualities in genetic selection

An ex-dairyman friend of mine who now has a cow-calf beef herd in Alabama posted recently in an online discussion “the heritability of disposition characteristics is 45%.”    He caught my eye because this is higher than nearly all linear traits (production, type, fitness) measured in “dairy” and we pay no attention to this at all in genetic selection for dairy cows.

To give you perspective, here is a chart of the heritabilities as calculated by AIPL (USDA) for the 14 traits that go into the “Lifetime Net Merit” (G-LMN$) ranking index:
Milk (pounds),  Butterfat (pounds),  Protein (pounds)  estimated 20% heritable.     *For Jerseys, Milk and Butterfat are 23% heritable.    Somatic Cell Score  estimated 12% heritable.
Body Weight Composite  from stature and linear frame traits,  estimated 40% heritable.    *For other breeds than Holstein, more like 35% heritable.
Udder Composite  27% in Holsteins,  (*20% in all other breeds).
Feet and Legs Composite  15% heritable.
Calving Assistance Composite  only 7% heritable.   
Daughter Pregnancy Rate  only 4% heritable, while Productive Life  more like 8% heritable.    
Cow Conception Rate 2% heritable, twice as much as Heifer Conception Rate 1% heritable.
Health Trait Composite and Livability are both only 1% heritable.

The only linear measurement traits higher in heritability than “disposition” are Protein % content (55%) and Butterfat % content (50%)—roughly twice their estimates in “pounds” because that much less affected by feeding management and other environmental variants.

So how can we anticipate disposition problems in case we want easier-tempered cows?

There is data from some areas of the world in milking speed and disposition, and here are some examples of how sires we handle fare in these observations: (100 being breed average)
566H1231  Rev Me Up Red      MS 108   DP 109          054H 552   Barbwire Red       MS  97  DP  94
566H1261  Jo Dandy                 MS 106   DP 109          566H1180  Rollag                    MS  92  DP  96
566H1235  All Game                 MS 108   DP 108          566H1199  Cambridge           MS101  DP  97
566H1246  Can Do                     MS 101   DP 108          566H1254  By Golly                MS104  DP  97
099H0509  Perpetual                MS 100   DP 107          566H1211  Blender                 MS  98   DP 98
Basically, comparing these “top five” disposition ratings vs the “bottom five” from International Protein Sires offerings, there seems to be a high correlation between temper and milking speed (and does that seem as logical to you as it does to me?)     We observe from the “aAa” breeding guide that the more “balanced” cow is generally more even-tempered, as well as healthier and more reproductive, thus having longer “Productive Life”.    Comparing studs, Intl. Protein Sires have above average temperament ratings, how much of that can relate to their preference for sires from longer-lasting cow families?    Certainly that bad-tempered cow often ends up with a shorter herdlife, so again, logical selection can lead to a more easily-managed herd requiring less labor and veterinary intervention.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Unanswered questions on A2 Beta Casein and B Kappa Casein gene preferences

 CONCEPTIONS   Dairy Route Newsletter                 February March 2020

Increasing numbers of dairymen are now including screening sires for Beta Casein variants, A2 considered a “good” casein and A1 a “bad” casein (there are also the letter mutations B etc.).   
Are conventional milk handling chains ready for this?   NO.    So far it is a specialty product you find at Meijer’s Thrifty Acres or Mooville Creamery.    So should you breed for it anyway?

All the studies to date have been done for human benefits, outside the dairy industry.    Given the association of A1 Beta Casein with human digestive problems and auto-immune disorders  nothing relating to its effect on calves has been studied as yet.    But it would be easy to expect calves from A2 cows might have less scours, for example, or a better immunity profile.    Studies are needed.     As this is not a potential drug, you won’t see any pharmaceutical company (like Zoetis) doing DNA studies on this in the way they did for “wellness traits”.

In Europe, where cheese production drives the dairy industry, milk Protein % is the biggest part of farm milk checks (Butterfat % is currently a bigger payout in the USA and Canada).    Decades of selection in favor of Kappa Casein variant B has gone on, which is why you now see this data on bulls as well.     For any given level of Protein %, cheese makers see 7% more cheese yield on an AB cow, and 15% more cheese yield on a BB cow, than you see from the average AA cow.

So both Beta Casein and Kappa Casein are forms of milk proteins, produced in the rumen, some of which make cheese curds and some that remain in the whey, all of which are digestible when in the right gene variant form.     The lower the rumen acidity, the higher their quality and more desirable their flavor (rations high in digestible fiber produce the best Caseins).     At this point the only way to make money from B Kappa Casein is to be producing cheese on-farm, but as in Europe, a true “Cheese Yield” payment market could develop here.        

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Next Technology Onslaught: “Gene Editing”


CONCEPTIONS  Dairy Route Newsletter                              April May 2020


Are  you  a  spring  season  AI  breeder ?

If we have your semen tank stored here, or if you will need a rental tank and your carryover semen is stored here, it may be time to think about sires to use.     Call in if you know what you want, ask Greg for an appointment if you do not…  

Looking  for  an  edge  to  stay  competitive  in  the  dairy   business ?

Most of the thinking in dairy is too simplistic, just get bigger but do everything the same as you have done for years …  read the “aAa” info inside if you seek “better”


The  Next  Technology  Onslaught:   “Gene Editing”

A dairyman called me recently because he had received a questionnaire asking his opinion on “gene editing” (which he had not heard of before)… and then noted that  supposedly unbiased research was trying to talk him into believing he needed it!

“Gene Editing” is literally a way to make GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).    Scientists in China and elsewhere have a new technique called ‘CRISPR technology’ which is said to be more precise than what has been used to create “traited” corns and soybeans (and sugar beets).

The process is described as  “you cut out the gene you don’t want and you insert the genes you do in the same place [on the chromosome involved]”.       Throwing a bone toward animal rights activists, the current example of how this could be used is “we can have all polled bulls now”…

Marginalizing the traditional breeding industry

It first became obvious with Genomic selection (a last-ditch effort to convince dairymen that all you need to select is the highest ranking index, forget mating or pedigree or on-site evaluation of the current generation of replacements) that the AI industry intended to produce the future AI bulls, marginalizing the independent purebred breeding industry of dairymen who have bred for improved cow herds utilizing all the breeding tools available.     To do this, they have spent whatever it took to buy the highest-indexing heifers at public auctions over the last decade, in the process sending a message that “if she ain’t got numbers she ain’t worth much”.    This has influenced purebred dairymen to spend exhorbitant sums of money on DNA testing, ET and IVF to compete with what the AI studs are producing themselves, all in the face of a declining milk market for the “generic” milk production indexing has produced.     

Invest up front – wait for a future return

I will not debate the issue of whether consumers want GMO cows any more than they accept GMO crops  (with the accompanying questions about the environmental “climate change” all this focus on row crops and vegetarian diets has produced).    Given current values for milk or beef or replacement cows, who has the money to pay for yet another level of technology for animal propogation?     With CRISPR gene editing, you take embryos, slice out what you don’t want, insert what you do want, and wait for them to incubate into a calf, from which you will then breed the future GMO cows and bulls.     Another generation of time passes before what they want (high numbers combined with useful genes) is produced, then you get to pay for it.    Clearly, the independent farmer-breeder will be priced out of this, and the future of dairying will be in the hands of a handful of sire analysts reading computer printouts and a cadre of technician-scientists who will produce the physical animal from the microbiology.

There is no relationship between the added layers of technology interference in the natural reproduction processes, as you use to manage and rebreed your herd, and the gene product you would be told you must now use…    what will be the future cost of fertility?


Preserve  your  choices  in  breeding

Gene editing may soon follow Genomic selection (which followed gender-selected semen) as  the final step  in a technology take-over of the dairy cattle breeding industry as we have known it.

Already, 50% of the Holstein and Jersey bulls in AI are produced “in house” by AI studs with no independent farmer-breeder input.      The mad race to accelerate generations demonstrates the impatience of the propogation of breeding stock, wherein “index rank” eclipses any consideration of trends in milk consumption or future specialty milk market opportunities… or the stocking needs of any farm not embracing all new technology investments (that tend to defy the growing climate change environmental battle we face with the voting public).

You will be reading articles in favor of yet another technology that takes breeding out of the hands of those who need it.    Read these with a critical mind and draw your own conclusions…   meanwhile, traditional selection and mating still works.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Comparing the impacts of each (beef) breed on the semen market


CONCEPTIONS  Beef Cow-calf route newsletter       Winter 2020


The beef AI industry is unique in that you have three different supply chains:
Major dairy AI systems with beef programs;  Specialized beef AI centers;  private breeders direct-marketing custom-collected semen online and through Beef-focus publications.   Not all breeds get marketing attention from AI studs, a decision based on semen production figures provided by NAAB and their “Certified Semen Service” membership reports.   We searched out this data and here is a presentation of what it told us (rounded off to nearest 100 straws).

The NAAB reports semen sales in three categories:   Domestic,  Export, and  Custom Collected.   2019 is not totaled yet, but I have figures for 2018 and 2017 you can compare, as I did.

Breed                   Domestic                           Export                     Custom collected
                                 2018           2017                  2018          2017                   2018            2017

ANGUS              2,400,200   1,648,800         3,329,200   2,805,600         1,088,900    1,232,400
LIMOUSIN            501,700      203,900               19,000           8,900            737,000         76,000
SIMMENTAL        570,000      316,900               65,400         91,400            426,900       220,500
RED ANGUS         142,200      139,300             284,800       302,100           205,200       152,200
PL HEREFORD        81,900        78,300               66,900         87,900              85,100         84,400
CHAROLAIS            78,400        23,200               28,200         56,500              58,500         76,500
WAGYU                  27,800        22,600                 8,700          13,400           128,400         94,300
BRANGUS                4,800          2,100                78,700         78,800              71,700         34,900
AMERIFAX             23,900             -0-                  16,400              -0-                75,100               100 
GELBVEIH              37,400        38,000                     min              min              72,800         41,800
BEEFMASTER             min             min                       -0-               -0-              104,800         61,200
BRAHMAN              8,400          7,300                19,300          26,000             60,000         68,400
HO HEREFORD     25,200        29,500                 2,100             3,100             56,200         66,200
MAINE ANJOU       6,200          7,900                     min                min             40,300         34,100
SHORTHORN          2,800          3,100                     min                min             39,000         41,900
CHIANINA              3,800           3,800                     min                min             36,700         19,600
GYR **                   2,700           1,400                17,900          11,500                   min              min
BELG BLUE                min              min                      -0-                 -0-               16,100          3,500
TX LONGHORN         min             min                       -0-                 -0-               15,300        16,700
CHI MAINE            2,500           1,500                     min                min              10,900        15,800
BLK BALDY                -0-               -0-                         -0-                 -0-                13,100          3,700
SANTA GERT.           min              min                       -0-                -0-                 12,900        11,200
BUCKING                  min              min                       -0-                -0-                 11,500        18,600
RED BRANGUS        min              min                  6,900           20,100                 3,000          4,500
DUTCH BELT**       min               min                      -0-                 -0-                  8,700         26,600
SOUTH DEVON        -0-                -0-                        -0-                 -0-                  6,500           4,400
MASHONA               -0-                -0-                        -0-                 -0-                  6,200           3,800

BREED                Domestic                         Exported                   Custom collected

PIEDMONTESE         min           min                        -0-           -0-                      5,000               600
IRISH BLACK              -0-            -0-                          -0-           -0-                      4,500            9,800
SALERS                       min          min                        -0-           -0-                      3,900            4,200
BEEFALO                    -0-            -0-                          -0-           -0-                      3,800            1,300
SIMBRAH                   -0-            -0-                          -0-           -0-                      3,700            7,600
BRAUNVEIH              min          min                        min         min                     3,300            5,500

OTHER BEEF *        116,400      12,500                10,100      7,500               244,800       223,500

Under the category of “other” beef breeds the obvious big one is “Club Calf Composite”-- but also includes Barzona, Belted Galloway, Bonsmara, Braford, Brahmousin, Brit White, Corriente, Devon, Dexter, Galloway, Guzerat, Indu-Brazil, Marchigiana, Murray Grey, Nellore, Normande, Pinzgauer, Red Poll, Romagnola, Scotch Highland, Senapol, Tarentaise, Watusi and White Park.

** these are considered dual-purpose breeds:  also add Devon, Dexter, Normande, Red Poll,


Choice of breeds in the USA can be quite different from Europe as well as South America (which is the largest export market for US-produced beef semen).  Thus we see the differences where minimal USA use is supplemented by significant export markets.
We also see the prejudices in favor of EBV-driven breeds that have the major dairy-based AI systems favoring a more limited number of breeds than are actually in wider usage.   Thus the custom collection business remains quite strong for club calf composites, heritage breeds (often focused on grass-only beef production), breeds that fulfill specialty consumer demands (examples: Piedmontese, Beefalo, Texas Longhorn) or are favored for crossbreeding beef quality into dairy herds selling deacons and feeders (examples: Belgian Blue).

In the USA’s AI establishment, no distinction is made between the Simmental and the Fleckveih, however among grass-based dairymen there is a strong growth trend for the German Fleckveih “dual purpose” (and the French Montbeliarde, another Simmental derivative).    Auction barns are now seeing lots of Fleckveih-cross deacons, and basically sell them like a Simmental-cross. 

It is casually reported that Alta Genetics, which recently acquired CRI Genex’s AI divisions, has seen increased beef semen sales gaining one million straws in 2019 over 2018, also over 2017.  They are the dominant establishment AI player for beef sires in the South American market.   

When you add up the numbers, it is clear that ANGUS (with 6,818,400 straws out of 11,687,700 total straws sold, represents 58% of the sales total) maintains a dominant place in the USA Beef industry.    This reinforces the success of their “Certified Angus Beef” label marketing program.     But each breed has its own advantages that can be marketed either to consumers or producers, especially as niche markets grow.


We are here to help you.

Just ask us for options we can make available, in AI supplies, in feed supplements, in heat detection aids and semen from sires that fit your goals.

If you think you need a “brush up” on your AI technique, give Greg a call.


Mich Livestock Service, Inc ** Ovid, MI 48866 ** ph (989) 834- 2661

Website:    www.michiganlivestock.com

Also check out   “Van Beek Natural Science”  and   “Byron Seeds”

Dealer for  “Cattle Visions”

We offer International Cryogenic and MVE Chart semen tanks

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Genetics of Beta Casein and Kappa Casein


Here is a summary of what I think we know so far.   For anyone wishing to produce milk whose value is enhanced by possessing the best gene combinations, consider this information.


Beta Casein

Beta Casein, one of three major types of milk proteins, is considered a “whey” protein, as it is not a curd-forming variety that would influence cheese yields.    At this point it does not seem to matter whether you make hard cheeses from A2 milk or not, but of course it would show up in cheese forms (like cottage cheese) where whey is still present in the package we eat.

Beta Casein variants are most important to people with genetic backgrounds that have any of the auto-immune disorders, the most important being those producing autism or childhood-onset diabetes.    The medical profession has concluded that the mutated Beta Caseins (forms A1, there are also B and a dozen other rare variants) aggravate the health and behavior of anyone afflicted with such ailments.

Beyond that, there does also seem to be evidence that much of the “lactose intolerance” diagnosed may actually be an allergic-like reaction to the A1 Beta Casein, as some studies that were done in places like Germany and Oregon have found previously diagnosed people able to drink A2 milk (or eat hard cheeses) without the expected discomfort.

In sire selection, you basically see three types of sires:  

A2A2   the desired gene pairing for Beta Casein
A1A2   half good, half bad—milk will contain both variants
A1A1   the undesired gene pairing for Beta Casein

These are like most simple “polynomal” gene pairings, neither dominant or recessive.    If you breed an A2A2 cow to an A2A2 bull, you are 99.9% certain of an A2A2 calf result.    If you breed  four A1A2 cows to A2A2 bulls, at random you would expect this distribution:

                         (two) A1A2 results and (two) A2A2 results =  on average, 50% A2A2

A1A1 cows require at least two generations to produce any descendants that are A2A2, as in the first generation with A1A1 mated to A2A2, you get all A1A2 offspring.

As it is not possible to separate A1 from A2 in the milk such cows produce, the best you can do is utilize their milk for producing hard cheeses (the undesired A1 will pass out in the whey).   I have actually seen farms bottling milk and making cheese, using two bulk tanks and segregating the milk according to whether cows were A2A2 or some lesser status.


Kappa Casein

There are actually two gene pairings that impact on yields of cheese produced form milk and the efficiency of cheese production:  Kappa Casein and Beta Lactoglobulin.     To the extent I understand the differences, Kappa Casein has the major effect on curd yields, while Beta Lac affects the efficiency of the processes, as to firmness and time of setting curds.

The desired Kappa Casein gene is the B variant.     The desired Beta Lactoglobulin gene is also the B variant.      The general assumptions are as follows:

BB   the highest potential cheese yields, estimated up to 15% greater than basic AA milk.
AB   still pretty useful, estimated 7% greater potential cheese yields.
AA   basic milk form, produces the expected average cheese yield (predicted from protein %).

If you ask the question, “are there genes that reduce cheese yields below normal?” the answer is YES, there is a mutated form of Kappa Casein, which is designated as E variant.   ( The A gene is not a “negative” gene; cheese will form from A milk, it has just a “neutral” impact on yields. )

AE    you will see a reduction in cheese yield, and a resistance to produce firm curds.
EE     such milk would not set curds at all.

Historically, before the more extreme genetic interventions caused by the focus on bottling milk volume from 1970 to 2000 (prior to “component pricing”) – we knew the following:

Jerseys               80% of little brown cows had at least one B gene
Brown Swiss     50% of big brown cows had at least one B gene
Holsteins           only 20% of Black and White or Red & White cows had at least one B gene


The impact of Protein % on cheese yields

Higher protein breeds tended to have higher cheese yields, but the Jersey and the Brown Swiss were recognized as the leaders for cheese production, before the Kappa Casein gene was found as a contributor to cheese yields.     Sire selection in favor of protein % remains important to the relative quantity of cheese-curd-forming caseins.    

Brown Swiss milk could generally go straight from the cow barn to the cheese vat and produce a good product.    Jersey milk used to be too high in butterfat % for the familiar varieties, thus some cream might have to be removed prior to cheese making.     Thus the level of butterfat % also has an impact on cheese production, all based upon which cheese varieties you make.

 In general, high milk volume, low bf% sires (perennially preferred in the non-component price southern milk orders and California) are least likely to have the B gene for Kappa Casein.

Friday, March 12, 2021

How much sense does the latest Genomic selection fad make?

 From the Oct/Nov 2018 Dairy Route letter

By the time you have read the same article six times (in six different “free circulation” dairy magazines) it is easy to believe you must be reading a trend.   In fact you may just be reading the same article, circulated to these magazines by one advertiser, edited six different ways, to influence semen buying behavior.    Public Relations companies have perfected the art of generating “press releases” to promote product concepts making them look like magazine articles.


A return to the economics of the 1950s


In the early days of the AI industry, dairy farmers always had enough replacements.    Typically they would breed yearling heifers to beef bulls in order to have a supply of deacon calves to sell at premium “beef type” prices in the auction barns.    They waited to see if the heifer was any good, and then bred the “keepers” for their dairy replacements.    This practice persisted into the 1960s until DHIA began to collect “calving ease” data in order to convince dairymen to use dairy bulls on dairy heifers.


The failure of genetic ranking to preserve fertility (1970 thru 2000)


As we entered into the Earl Butz era of farming “fencerow to fencerow” and bottled milk received new government subsidy, the genetics industry shifted into high gear ranking on “PD Milk”.     Geneticists geared up to produce faster maturing dairy cows and select on high peak milk days, naively assuming any other desired gene traits would just maintain themselves.    This proved to be a false assumption as maintaining such cows required more corn energy and breeding efficiency suffered (in spite of the high energy ration designs).    Suddenly, it became apparent that mainstream milk volume dairies were not producing enough replacements to make up for high culling rates and shorter cow life.


The “magic bullets” of Ov-Synch reproduction and sexed (gender sorted) semen


Professor Ash at Arizona State University was concerned with the low reproduction rates in the dairy herds (Arizona and elsewhere) that had to endure subtropical temperature and humidity.    As the cow environments were not conducive to effective heat detection, Ov-Synch techniques evolved to replace heat detection with timed insemination.    Results were not great, but were good enough that his work resulted in other university trials and a general trend evolved spreading Ov-Synch north where skilled dairy labor was beginning to be in short supply for expansion dairies.


Colorado State University had been experimenting with methods to sort sperm cells between the X and Y chromosome so as to predetermine the sex of resulting calves.     At a certain point they believed they had a commercially viable patent, so they put it up for auction.    A group of OSU graduate students in animal science from Colombia had the winning bid—most US AI studs being asleep at the switch in a belief that changes in sire indexing to include fertility and health traits would solve the problem of herd replacement numbers proportional to herd turnover rates.


Ov-Synch improved reproduction rates in larger herds, enough to absorb the higher costs.    Higher repro rates in turn made higher-cost, lower-conception sexed semen more reasonable in the eyes of those dairy managers who were spending premium dollars chasing scarce replacement heifers (produced mostly in the smaller to mid size herds with engaged dairy breeding skills).      As long as milk prices rose, these technology-enhanced management options seemed affordable and many dairymen utilized them.

Let’s do the math on today’s economics


The sales pitch is:   (a) test your herd for Genomic value, (b) breed your lowest G value cows to sexed Beef semen to sell premium feeder calves, (c) cull your lowest G value heifers as deacons, (d) breed all retained heifers to the highest G value sires using sexed Dairy semen to provide adequate replacements.

Any conventional dairy semen still used goes into the higher G value cows, where sexed conception was not expected to be adequate to maintain reproduction rates.     


Problems with this “idea”l scenario:   (a) conception is lower with sexed semen, therefore semen costs per pregnancy will go up, beyond the higher cost [2x to 3x conventional] of the initial sexed product.

(b) “Up front” Genomic testing costs are equal to semen costs, given you may test twice as many heifers as you end up raising.   (c) Genomic values are still 40% parent average, meaning there will be constant culling of calves born from older “survivor” cows who will have the oldest, therefore lowest G value, pedigrees.   Might those have been your best calves?   Realized productive longevity will be negated by a Genomic theory that has assigned the highest values to two generations of animals yet to be evaluated on their actual productive ability rather than on objective evaluation of actual results.


The only difference between 1950 and 2020 breeding approaches is who gets the beef semen


In the practical 1950s, the least proven animal on the farm (the heifer) got bred Beef.   In the theoretical approaching 2020s, the most productive animal on the farm (matured cows) gets bred Beef.    While the official genetic theory of “Lifetime Net Merit” appears to find matured cows the most profitable, semen marketers selling on Genomics want you to believe the immature cow is better and the unfreshened calf the most valuable.     (Even Zoetis, whose future is based on Genomic measurements, shows data that a matured cow milks 30% more on average than the best of new heifers— greater than any increment of genetic “value” ever accomplished.)


Try this scenario instead


(a)     Skip the genomic testing of heifers and save $50 per head up front.

(b)    Breed those heifers with conventional beef sire semen, just like granddad did, and sell every calf at a premium price as deacons (a beef breed heifer will still bring a premium too) while saving $50 on semen costs per conception.     This minimizes your dairy bull calves without sexed semen use.

(c)     Analyze your cows on their first calving with aAa to determine their optimum mating, and breed accordingly (with conventional semen) to produce a higher percentage of adaptable replacements.   This only costs $6 per cow lifetime—a fraction of Genomic testing, which does not assist mating.

(d)    Select mating sires on a matrix of traits that most directly influence your future milk price (bf% and pr%, fertility, physical health, ease of calving) using conventional semen, which is more fertile.

(e)     Gain maturity from aAa matching so that 30% additional milk volume is gained on a majority of the herd.    Reduce involuntary culling rate from more balanced physiques that result from aAa.

(f)   Also use Beef semen on any cow after three dairy services.    There is no need to raise a heifer calf

       from any cow whose slower fertility may be heritable and associated with metabolic diseases.   As

       long as you propogate more fertile cows, you will always have enough heifers.


Time to do the math


There were lots of great ideas we bought into when the base price of milk was in the $20 range.    Are these still great ideas when the base price of milk is around $14?      How many “ideal” management practices are actually affordable on the margin of their productivity, at any given price of milk or beef or feed costs?


The Genetics industry is fully capable of getting carried away by the theoretical possibilities of its technologies.    There is already talk of gene editing—a process that would in fact mean that all future sires would be “clones” (totally alien to the natural biology of cow herd propogation as done on our dairy farms).      


As a dairyman, you must first be a businessman (concerned with profit over costs and positive returns over all invested capital).    Every time our industry has lost focus on profits and become enthralled with all the theoretical productivity of new technologies, dairymen have lost out.    The basics still apply.