Summarized data from AgSource herds in 2012 compared to 2011 show that improvements in herd management were achieved in almost all areas, including production, udder health, reproduction, transition cow management and genetics.

Each January, AgSource calculates benchmark values for the 80th, average and 20th percentile herds based on various criteria, including breed, herd size and production level. Analysis of more than 3,300 AgSource Holstein herds shows that improvements from 2011 to 2012 were significant.

Average daily milk production per cow for Holstein herds was up by 2 pounds. Average ME, 305 day milk production for 1st, 2nd and 3rd and greater lactation cows was up 378, 428, and 511 pounds, and peak milk production was up 1.1, 1.4, and 1.7 pounds respectively.

Average days in milk decreased by 6.8 days to 179.8 days. Most notably, the number of Holstein herds producing more than 30,000 pounds RHA milk increased from 64 to 87 and herds producing between 25,000 and 30,000 pounds of milk increased from 727 to 778.

Udder health
Weighted average SCC was down 26,000 cells to 237,000. The percent of cows above 200,000 SCC decreased by 1.8 percent to 22.5 percent, the percent of cows less than 100,000 SCC increased by 1.9 percent to 62 percent.


Fresh cow new infection rates were down by 1.5 percent to 20.9 percent and dry cow cure rates were up by 2.4 percent to 65.8 percent.

Transition cow management
AgSource’s patented Transition Cow Index (TCI) values saw a big improvement. Herd average TCI values were up 214 points to 197.

Reproductive numbers also showed significant improvement in 2012. Average pregnancy rates improved by 1.8 percent to 14.3 percent, average days to first breeding decreased by 5.3 to 84.7, and average days open was reduced by 5.4 days to 139.1 days.

Genetic values, based on Net Merit Dollars (NM$), were significantly higher. Average NM$ for cow’s sires was $376 which is an increase of $27. The increase for heifers’ sires’ NM$ was $34. PD

—From AgSource news release