The Ideal Commercial Cow (ICC$) index, a profit-indicating measure for Holsteins, will be published exclusively by Genex Cooperative, Inc. beginning in August 2014. ICC$ is designed to breed for farm profitability and efficiency, using real-time economic indicators and science-based genetic principles to address the needs of progressive dairy producers. The index incorporates elements from the U.S. national evaluation and other data sources.
In addition to ICC$, Genex will publish five sub-indexes providing dairy producers the opportunity to emphasize genetic selection for specific areas of farm management.
The Production Efficiency (PREF$) sub-index pinpoints genetics resulting in high yielding cows with lower feed costs, at a ratio of 60 percent total yield and 40 percent feed efficiency indicators. Emphasis is placed on pounds or kilograms of protein. Use of PREF$ and ICC$ will reverse the trend for taller cows.
The key elements of the Health (HLTH$) sub-index provide opportunity for producers to breed for improved and sustainable health and longevity. High-ranking HLTH$ bulls have daughters with proper body condition, low somatic cell scores and excellent locomotion.
With nine measures of cow and heifer fertility, Fertility and Fitness (FYFT$) will meet the needs of producers looking to emphasize reproductive efficiency. Selection of bulls with high rankings for FYFT$ results in optimal age of first calving, reduced days open and shorter calving intervals.
Milking Ability (MABL$) optimizes farm efficiencies with trouble-free milking cows. Components of MABL$ include mastitis resistance, milking speed and temperament, and udder form and function. Ideal commercial cow udder conformation can be described as strongly attached above the hock with appropriate teat placement and length. Choosing bulls using MABL$ will enhance udder texture and manage the emerging trend of shorter teat length.
Calving Ability (CABL$) focuses on live calves born without difficulty. Select high-ranking CABL$ sires that are also high for ICC$ to use on virgin heifers and give them the best chance to have a successful and profitable first lactation.
ICC$ and the five management sub-indexes provide producers the option to select for greater genetic improvement for fertility traits, body condition, milking efficiency and overall longevity, while continuing genetic progress for yield and udder traits. Furthermore, use of ICC$ will select for improved feed efficiency and better address the alarming trend for increased stature and body size.
Watch the Genex website, genex.crinet.com, and Genex August sire summary materials for more details on ICC$.
Genex is a subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International (CRI). The CRI mission statement summarizes the goal of CRI: "To provide products and services as effectively as possible to maximize the profitability of members and customers worldwide while maintaining a strong cooperative."