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Industry Insights: Genomic Testing With CLARIFIDE® Plus

February 07, 2018
POSTED BY: Dave Erf | Geneticist | U.S. Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Genomic testing with CLARIFIDE® Plus: Is it worth the extra cost?

At the 2017 World Dairy Expo, we sat down with industry peers, including dairy producers, a nutritionist and veterinarian, and an agricultural financial consultant, to gather firsthand insights on their experiences using, or supporting dairies using, genomic information gathered with CLARIFIDE® Plus. We asked the panelists the hard questions regarding the relevancy, accuracy and profitability of wellness traits from CLARIFIDE Plus, and they gave us their honest opinions. Below, I’ve highlighted some of the key questions and responses from the panelists. You also can watch the complete video to hear more insights and firsthand success stories from industry peers about genomic testing with CLARIFIDE Plus.

Industry Panel Participants

  • Mike Larson, Larson Acres, Inc., Evansville, Wisconsin
  • Simon Vander Woude, Vander Woude Farms, Merced, California
  • Matt Lange, Compeer Financial
  • Edwin J. Kreykes, DVM, GPS Dairy Consulting

Is the information worth the cost? 

“It is still the best available data that we have, and as we continue to do audits, we continue to see that we’re making really good progress in all areas and trying to build that well-rounded animal — that animal that’s not too big, that’s healthy, that’s going to stick around, that’s going to make good high-component milk.” Simon Vander Woude, Vander Woude Dairy

What does it cost to raise heifers?

“I think that’s a number that every producer should have a better understanding of — what it costs to produce a heifer than what it costs to milk a cow — in my opinion, because you look at some of the very best dairies that I worked with, we’re looking at $1,550 per cow. That’s before the value of the calf. Now you add $250. Can you get $1,700 to $1,800 for that animal guaranteed? No, you can’t.”  — Matt Lange, Compeer Financial

How do you use the information from CLARIFIDE Plus with your financial advisers?

“At our quarterly meetings, when our consultants are in, our bankers are in, we spend some time going over the quartiles on a lot of these traits, whether it’s milk production, whether it’s lameness, whether it’s mastitis, and you can really see their eyes open.” — Mike Larson, Larson Acres.

What’s the value of an “invisible cow”?

“My goal as a veterinarian and nutritionist with my clients is to make as many cows in their herd invisible as possible. And I think that [genomic testing] is one way that will assist in that. So a cow comes in, she has no calving problems, she starts out lactating, she has a nice lactation curve, may not be record-setting milk production, she gets pregnant on her first and second service, she goes dry and she repeats that over and over for three, four, five, six lactations. I think that’s a really important thing that I see knowing these genetics better will help us to be better at.” — Edwin J. Kreykes, GPS Dairy Consulting

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