January 18, 2017
Proprietary Health Traits to be Included in ICC$ Formula Update
SHAWANO, Wisconsin — With the December sire summaries, Cooperative Resources International (CRI) will update the Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index to include three new proprietary health traits: Subclinical Ketosis (SCK), Metritis (MTR) and Foot Health (FH). This change will enable customers to breed for even healthier ideal commercial cows.
The ICC$ index is a sire ranking tool that was first released in August 2014. Building on its reputation for innovation, CRI created the index after producers asked for a better way to rank sires that create cows which excel in commercial conditions.
“Over the past two years, members and customers have begun using ICC$ because it puts greater emphasis on longevity, health, and optimal body size and condition without sacrificing yield and udder traits,” explains Keith Heikes, Chief Operating Officer of Genex, a subsidiary of CRI. “The addition of the three new health traits continues the emphasis on cow health.”
Heikes goes on to note that ICC$ was developed to be real-time and flexible. “When creating ICC$, we envisioned it as an index that could quickly address producers’ emerging needs and an index where new traits could easily be incorporated. That vision has become a reality with this update to ICC$ and the inclusion of these new proprietary health traits.”
ICC$ is the summation of five easy-to-use sub-indexes: Health, Production Efficiency, Fertility and Fitness, Milking Ability and Calving Ability. The sub-indexes enable producers to narrow their genetic emphasis to specific areas of farm management, if desired. SCK, MTR and FH are being added to the Health sub-index.
New Health Traits
Ketosis is a common and costly metabolic issue that puts cows at higher risk for other early lactation metabolic diseases. With its impact extending beyond the digestive system, ketosis costs producers an average $289 per case. One culprit causing ketosis is a build-up of blood-based beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) due to a negative energy balance after calving. With the addition of the SCK breeding value, ICC$ can help producers breed for lower BHBA levels and therefore lower incidence of ketosis. The SCK breeding value is the only one of its kind that takes into consideration both clinical and subclinical ketosis.
Metritis costs producers an average of $396 per case. While working to prevent, diagnose and treat metritis are first steps in lessening the economic impact of this disease, use of the updated ICC$ index with inclusion of the MTR breeding value can help to jumpstart prevention through genetic selection.
Similarly, breeding for better foot health by using ICC$ will help to improve animal welfare and lessen the financial impact of lameness, which ranges from $130 to over $450 per case depending on the specific condition.
Ideal for Any Situation
With ICC$ selection, a producer has the most effective tool to identify genetics that excel in real world commercial conditions. ICC$ puts greater emphasis on health traits, addresses the alarming trend for increased stature and body size, and incorporates science and data-driven genetic evaluations from multiple sources. ICC$ creates cows that are ideal for any commercial herd situation.
To learn more about the ICC$ index and the three new proprietary health traits, visit www.crinet.com or contact your CRI distributor.
Cooperative Resources International (CRI), headquartered in Shawano, Wisconsin, is the global leader in delivering excellence, innovation and value to members and customers. Built from organizations dating back to the 1920s, CRI and its subsidiaries – AgSource Cooperative Services, Genex Cooperative, Inc. and MOFA Global – encompass more than 1,500 employees dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals linked to the land through plant and animal production. Learn more at www.crinet.com.