We’ve all heard the statement, “genetics can’t make an impact without first creating a pregnancy.”
Realizing this truth, if improved fertility is one of your ultimate goals, genetics can help get you there – both now and into the future.
Get more pregnancies now
If you’re looking for a fertility advantage on inseminations today, sire fertility rankings are where you’ll want to focus. Alta’s ConceptPlus evaluation ranks each sire on his ability to get cows pregnant. Sires with the high fertility ConceptPlus status will give you a 2%-5% conception rate advantage over the average service sire.
Why should you trust Alta’s ConceptPlus rankings? They are based on real pregnancy check results from herds in the US, Canada and Germany. The evaluation also maintains accuracy by accounting for factors like number of times bred, month/season, technician and breeding code effects.
If you’re more familiar with sire conception rate (SCR), keep in mind that Alta’s ConceptPlus evaluation served as a basis for SCR, and the table below compares what’s included in Alta’s ConceptPlus evaluation and SCR.
|Comparing sire fertility information||SCR||ConceptPlus|
|Based on real pregnancy check data||X||X|
|Accounts for various factors affecting fertility, including age, month, herd, service number and lactation||X||X|
|Accounts for additional factors affecting fertility, such as technician and breeding code effects||X|
|Data is collected from herds in the US and Canada and is not restricted to US herds on official test||X|
|Ongoing data is collected from herd management software through our partnership with VAS||X|
|Data is only from progressive, large herd environments||X|
You can see that both fertility evaluations include a great deal of factors and information, but ConceptPlus takes it a few steps further for greater accuracy. If improved fertility is your current goal, ConceptPlus sires will provide that boost to improve your herd’s conception rates. But it doesn’t stop there.
Create more fertile cows for the future
While sire fertility selection can get you more pregnancies now, it takes genetic selection for female fertility to ensure your herd’s reproduction continues to improve.
Daughter pregnancy rate (DPR), heifer conception rate (HCR) and cow conception rate (CCR) all provide a genetic basis for creating more fertile females. Emphasizing one, or any combination, of these traits within your customized genetic plan means you are breeding a next generation of cows with a greater ability to conceive.
Daughter pregnancy rate is defined as the number of non-pregnant cows that become pregnant within each 21-day period. When a sire has a DPR of 1.0, it means that his daughters are 1% more likely than the average herdmate to become pregnant in a given 21-day window. And each added point of DPR equates to 4 fewer days open.
When referring to HCR and CCR, these traits are defined respectively as a virgin heifer or lactating cow’s ability to conceive. For each of these traits, when a sire has a value of 1.0, it means that his daughters are 1% more likely to conceive than daughters of a sire with an HCR or CCR of 0.0.
While DPR is a slightly different calculation than HCR or CCR, all three are a way to measure the fertility of the female herself.
Improve fertility results – now and into the future
So if you’re looking to improve fertility and reproduction in your herd, take these steps for best results:
1. Improve conception rates now by using sires with the high fertility CONCEPT PLUS ranking to get a 2%-5% boost on current breedings.
2. Improve fertility for the future of your herd by including DPR and/or HCR and CCR in your customized genetic plan to create a next generation of more fertile females.