High Noon Dairy, located in the Texas panhandle, has achieved unprecedented reproduction results for that area of the country. We’re talking 39% rolling 12-month pregnancy rate and 88% of the herd pregnant by 150 days in milk. How did they achieve this? Here, they reveal the secrets that enabled them to earn a platinum Excellence in Genetics & Reproduction award.
High Noon Dairy is relatively new. It was just five years ago, at its inception, that Jody Cole moved from the Northeast to Texas to manage the operation. Much has changed in that time, and today the dairy houses almost 4,500 head with the help of outstanding reproduction and valuable partner operations in Wisconsin and California.
Protocol Compliance Is a Top Priority
If you expect to achieve a pregnancy rate of 39% with 88% of the herd pregnant by 150 days in milk (DIM) and to produce almost 75 lbs. energy-corrected milk with a consistent somatic cell count less than 150,000, then everything from hormone administration to heat detection and breeding technique, fresh cow protocols, and milking procedures must be near perfect.
At High Noon Dairy, they revealed their near perfection stems from protocol compliance, which is a team effort. GENEX representative Mauricio Garcia works with the breeding team, and the veterinary team from Progressive in Clovis, New Mexico, works with the fresh cow team. Furthermore, the dairy’s employees hold each other accountable.
With protocol compliance as everyone’s goal, the Double Ovsynch program has resulted in an average 52% first service conception rate for sexed semen with breedings occurring at 79-85 DIM. Aggressive yet accurate heat detection conducted by GENEX technicians after first service allowed for an 84% heat detection rate.
Using the Best Genetics
Initially, Jody populated the farm with primarily Jersey cattle but since has focused on a crossbreeding program that adds more Holstein influence into the herd.
“Being located in the Southwest, surrounded by cheese plants and housing cows in an open lot, there are obvious reasons to milk Jerseys,” states Jody, “but our aim is to create animals that have more Holstein influence to increase milk flow and hybrid vigor.”
With the help of GENEX strategic account managers, each animal’s pedigree is analyzed in-depth and DairyComp records are monitored to ensure the crossbreeding program is followed correctly and the best animals are creating the next generation of replacements.
Then, through use of programs like the GENEX Calf MathSM program, High Noon Dairy has almost perfected their strategic breeding program. They use a combination of sexed semen and beef semen to produce the right number of replacements as well as beef x dairy calves for an added revenue stream. They would already have perfected this breeding strategy, if it weren’t for the sexed semen conception results exceeding expectations! This is certainly another secret to their success!
“In our beef on dairy breeding, we are using male-sexed Limousin semen from GENEX instead of conventional beef semen because our conception rates are strong, and we’re seeing the added return from male beef crosses versus female,” explains Jody.
Always Striving for Success
When presenting the Excellence in Reproduction & Genetics award plaque to Jody, his strong desire to continually strive for excellence showed through as yet another secret to their success.
The conversation centered on how to attain even better numbers next year as well as what needs to be done to earn higher recognition in the Excellence in Genetic & Reproduction award’s heifer category.
While many different aspects impact genetic and reproductive success, having an attitude like that and having a dedicated team surrounding you is half the battle.