Today, you have more sexed semen product options than ever before and that means determining the most appropriate sexed semen product to use has become more difficult with their differing fertility and price. So, how can you be sure you’ve chosen the sexed semen that will earn you the largest return on investment? Use the Prospective℠ program, a semen profit comparison tool.
The Prospective℠ program is a free, value-added tool aimed at helping you develop the most effective strategic breeding program. The unbiased, Microsoft Excel-based program uses your dairy's basic inputs to calculate how a semen product choice may impact your profits. It shows the return on investment for sexed semen products in comparison to conventional semen.
The program is applicable whether you want to use sexed semen on cows or heifers; the Excel file contains one tab with appropriate calculations for sexed semen use in cows and a separate tab for calculations relating to sexed semen use in heifers.
» For cows, return on investment is calculated as: Difference in Asset (Calf) Value + Difference in Semen Cost + Cost of Added Days Open = Total Profit/Loss of Using the Sexed Product Versus Conventional Semen.
» The same formula is used for heifers, but it also includes a value for additional milk income associated with heifers birthing heifer calves.
Furthermore, the Prospective℠ program calculates the estimated cost of days open based on different breeding strategies (i.e., if you plan to use the sexed semen product on the first service, first two services or all services).
Both the cow and heifer reports are broken into three sections: 1) conventional semen, 2) GenChoice™ sexed semen and 3) GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen. The screenshots shown below walk you through the three sections in the heifer report. In all sections, you are able to edit the cells shaded light gray. The white cells are calculated values. The values shown in red indicate a financial expense or loss.
In the first section (pictured below), you will enter your # of units, price/unit, conception rate, heifer ratio and values per calf for heifers and bulls in the light gray boxes. The additional light gray cells contain values based on industry research, but these values can be altered if you have data specific to your dairy.
In the second section of the heifer report (Figure 2), GenChoice™ sexed semen is being compared to conventional semen based on your farm-specific inputs. In this section, you would again enter your farm-specific data - price/unit, conception and heifer ratio for 501 stud code semen – in the light gray cells in the upper left.
In this example, the bottom box shows GenChoice™ sexed semen is a profitable choice for this dairy when used on the first service to heifers ($8.02/unit profit) or first two services ($1.99/unit profit) compared to conventional semen. If GenChoice™ sexed semen was used on all services, it would lead to an expected loss of $4.44 per unit compared to conventional semen.
The third section of the Prospective℠ program compares GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen use to conventional semen based on farm-specific inputs. Again, you would enter your price/unit, conception rate and heifer ratio for 601 stud code semen in the light gray cells in the upper left.
In this example, the price per unit and expected conception rates have increased in comparison to the values used in Figure 2. Furthermore, in this example GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen is profitable, compared to conventional semen, when used on any number of services. Interestingly, the profit gained per unit of GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen is also greater than profit gained per unit of the traditional GenChoice™ sexed semen when compared on any number of services. If your on-farm conception rates for GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen are significantly greater, then you could expect a greater return on investment even with a higher price per unit.
Conception rates impact the return on investment from different sexed semen products. The increase in sexed semen conception rates in recent years has mostly been attributed to technology improvements.1,2 Among the improvements is sexed semen processed with SexedULTRA™, which GENEX and other A.I. organizations have been marketing for several years. However, sexed semen conception rates still trail conventional semen. Furthermore, there’s a significance variance in fertility levels among individual sires. (learn more about PregCheck+™ fertility rankings for GenChoice™ and GenChoice™ 4M sexed semen). It is not uncommon for conception rates to vary between individual sires by 10 points or more.
Ultimately, conception rates from sexed semen will continue to improve and its use in the dairy industry will continue to increase. By using the Prospective℠ program to compare sexed semen products you will be able to better utilize the products now and in the future.
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