Monday, July 15, 2013

What is JPI™?

JPI™: What is it? How is it used? What goes into it? These are all important questions when you look at the Genex Jersey lineup. First off, JPI stands for Jersey Production Index. JPI is a breed-specific selection tool.

Updated in 2010, the current JPI formula has the largest emphasis on production traits – a 57% emphasis on those traits. Of that 57%, PTA Protein makes up 42% while the remaining emphasis (15%) is placed on PTA Fat.

The remainder of the JPI formula is a combination of four fitness and longevity traits. At 15% is the Functional Trait Index (FTI). This index is designed to separate the impact of production and type traits on lifetime profitability. FTI is composed of a sum of the PTAs for the linear traits times their respective economic values. FTI is not published separately because it needs to be combined with production traits to be interpreted correctly. FTI was introduced in 1992, updated in 1998 and most recently updated in 2006. The FTI calculation has the highest weight on udder traits (54%), followed by body traits (41%) and finally foot angle (5%). Udder depth is the single largest contributor to FTI.

Coming in at a 12% weighting, Productive Life makes up the next portion of the JPI formula. Productive Life is defined as “time in the milking herd before removal by voluntary culling, involuntary culling or death.” Rounding out fitness and longevity traits, Daughter Pregnancy Rate (DPR) is defined as the percentage of non-pregnant cows that become pregnant during each 21-day period. The DPR weight in the JPI formula is 10%. The final trait is Somatic Cell Score (SCS). SCS is an indicator trait for mastitis based on the direct measure of somatic cells in milk samples. JPI puts a 6% emphasis on SCS.

The graph below is a great visual break-down of the JPI formula.

Reference: “2010 Jersey Performance Index™ (JPI).” American Jersey Cattle Association.


Author Leah James is our U.S. Jersey Marketing Manager.  James grew up on a family dairy farm and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education. She has since worked within the artificial insemination industry and for the American Jersey Cattle Association. Today, she and her husband also operate a 125-cow dairy consisting of registered Holsteins, Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer at Genex Hawkeye West - Billings, Montana

I have the privilege of calling Genex Hawkeye West, located in Billings, Montana, my "Genex Home."  Throughout the fall, winter and spring it is a bustling place, full of both Genex Beef and custom collection bulls that customers have brought in for us to produce high quality semen.  In fact, for most of March, April, and May the facility was full to capacity, housing nearly 180 bulls on the property! During the summer months a majority of our usual residents leave Hawkeye West to spend a couple of months out on pasture breeding cows.  During this time the staff at Hawkeye West spends a lot of time performing maintenance projects, cleaning bull pens and runs, and mowing grass.  In general, preparing for bulls to start arriving back at Hawkeye West in just a few short weeks.

However, in the last couple of weeks we have had the opportunity to showcase our facility to three awesome tour groups!

First, we hosted the 2013 National Red Angus Junior Association Round-up.  It was so exciting to get the chance to meet nearly 60 youth from across the USA that are so passionate about the beef industry.  The group joined us for lunch and then had the opportunity to see our semen processing routine from bull collection to the lab.

 Next, we hosted groups of beef producers from Argentina and Brazil.  Nearly 45 Argentines and 35 Brazilians had boarded tour buses nearly two weeks before and had spent several days touring farms and ranches across the west, viewing many popular bulls from the Genex Beef line-up and their progeny.  One of the last stops for both tour groups was Genex Hawkeye West.  Highlight bulls that both groups were extremely excited to see included Cole Creek CEDAR RIDGE 1V (1AN01224) and Trotters STRONGHOLD 156 (1AR00948).


Now that the tours are over, things have returned back to normal here at Hawkeye West.

If you are ever in the Billings area and would like a tour, please stop by, we love to have visitors!

If you would like to learn more about the services that we offer at Genex Hawkeye West, and at our other custom collection facilites (Genex Alabama - Fort Payne, Alabama, Genex Baton Rouge - Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Genex Dakota Sire Service - Mitchell, South Dakota, Genex Strafford - Strafford, Missouri) please take a minute to view this short video.


Author, Sarah Thorson, is our Beef Education Manager.  Sarah grew up in Eastern Montana on her family's ranch.  She is a graduate of Montana State University and has been a member of the Genex team since 2004.  Sarah works closely with the Genex Beef Marketing Staff, providing training to the cooperative's nearly 200 Independent Contractors.  She also provides Artificial Insemination training for Genex members and customers and reproductive consulting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Improve Efficiency with the DeLaval Activity System

Achieving success in any breeding program depends on a lot of different factors.  One of those factors is breeding the animal when she is in optimal heat.   The DeLaval Activity System can help any dairyman determine when that time is.  It can be considered the dairyman’s 24/7 eyes on the cows (or heifers) system. 

A neck mounted meter records each animal’s individual movement and activity.  This collected information is then transmitted every hour, 24 hours a day via a wireless link.  The herd management software provided with the system analyses the data and alerts the dairyman of increased activity, ultimately determining which animals are in heat.  With heat detection rates of up to 95%, the reduced reproduction costs and increased conception rates can make the initial cost of implementing very feasible. Plus not only will the DeLaval Activity System provide alerts for increased activity, it will also detects decreased activity sending a notice that an animal may be ill and needs attention. 

Genex Representatives across the United States have been trained on the DeLaval Activity Systems and are ready to help answer any questions you may have.  You can also check out our website for more information.


Author Katie Wolf is our Product Program Manager.  She has been a member of the Genex team since 2002.  Katie graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville, where she studied Agricultural Business.