Four herds with 12-month pregnancy rates of 38 percent and greater were recently recognized with the CentralStar Cooperative ReproStar Award. Schmitz East Branch Dairy, Fond du Lac, Wis.; Model Dairy Farms, Dodgeville, Wis; Blue Star Dairy Farms, DeForest, Wis.; and Burr Oak Heifers, Coloma, Wis., are the recent recipients.
During the past decade, significant genetic advancements have been made in the dairy industry, particularly with the Holstein breed, to improve cow health and fertility. CentralStar Director of Consulting and Profit Strategies Cole Mark shared, “By focusing on health and fertility traits in their sire selections for several years, our winners are now reaping the rewards. Not only are they benefiting from increased milk production, but these animals are healthy, and breeding efficiency is very high.”
Pregnancy rate is a main driver for improving productivity and profitability on dairy farms, with each point improvement having an estimated value of $15 to $35 per cow annually1. “Focusing solely on reproduction improvements is not enough,” said Mark. “Prioritizing genetic selection and strategy through top-end genetics, genomic testing, and other tools, like this year’s winners, can significantly impact a dairy’s profitability.”
Initiated in 2019, the ReproStar Award recognizes dairy producers for their accomplishments with reproductive efficiency. When selecting winners, each herd’s data is evaluated for multiple factors known to influence pregnancy rates. Strategies employed by this year’s ReproStar winners to achieve exceptional reproductive efficiency can be read about here.
1Cabrera V. 2011 – UW Madison, 2011. ReproMoney Program®