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Revolutionizing Dairy Breeding: Unlock a heifer’s potential with genomic testing

With escalating input costs and a burgeoning market for beef-on-dairy calves, the need for well-informed breeding decisions has reached a critical juncture. Leading the charge in this paradigm shift is Dan Weigel of Zoetis U.S. In this report from Holstein Association USA, we hear from Weigel about how Zoetis’ groundbreaking genomic testing provides producer critical insights and reshaping the landscape of dairy farming.

In the pursuit of better breeding decisions, Zoetis provides two powerful tools: the Clarifide and Clarifide-Plus genomic tests. Dan Weigel emphasizes the importance of focusing on pre-breeding heifers. Analyzing performance records, including conception and pregnancy rates for the current and previous generations, becomes pivotal in shaping the trajectory of each heifer’s future.

“Heifers are actually selling for very good money right now; so rather than continue to put the expensive feed into them, we can cash those heifers in and really push people to use the information,” Weigel said. “The key lies in asking strategic questions: Will you use sexed semen? Will you breed for beef-cross calves? These decisions, when aligned with genomic data, maximize information and profitability per cow.”

December 15, 2023

Charlsie McKay

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