Robert Fourdraine, vice president of AgSource Cooperative Services DHI Operations, met recently with Holstein Switzerland officials in Berlin, Germany, to sign a contract licensing the use of the patented Transition Cow Index (TCI®).
Pascal Monteleone, general manager of Holstein Switzerland, is enthusiastic about the introduction of TCI in his country.
"At Holstein Switzerland, we are very proud to be the first organization in Europe to provide TCI to its members. We expect that TCI will be a very important instrument in the herd management toolboxes of Swiss Holstein producers. Moreover, it has the potential to increase awareness among our producers as to how important a successful transition period is for economical milk production."
Developed by AgSource and the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, the Transition Cow Index provides the basis for estimating the economic impact of improved transition cow management.
Using current prices, a 1,000 pound (454 kilogram) change in TCI is worth $250 USD per cow per year. The spread between better and poorer TCI scores is about 4,000 pounds (1814 kilograms), meaning there is a $1,000 USD per cow per year opportunity for improving fresh cow management on a number of dairies. In the U.S., herds processing their dairy records through AgSource can obtain an in-depth analysis of their Transition Cow Management program through the Fresh Cow Summary report, which features TCI.
Ken Norlund, DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison, was central to TCI's development. Upon its release in 2006, he predicted TCI would become to transition cow management what SCC is to mastitis control.
The Transition Cow Index summarizes the net effects of both prevention and treatment programs during this pivotal time in a dairy cow's life. Because TCI measures the net effectiveness of transition cow programs, herd managers can use it as a benchmark to tell how well current programs are working as compared to the rest of the industry.
Holstein Switzerland is the second organization outside of the United States to license TCI. TCI has also been available to Valacta members in Eastern Canada for the past four years.
Valacta General Manager, Daniel Lefebvre, notes, "Since 2010, TCI has helped thousands of Valacta customers and their advisors monitor the transition period. When you consider how much influence the transition period has on the rest of the lactation, having a tool to evaluate it brings a huge value for our clients."
Efforts are underway to grow the use of this powerful tool in other parts of the world. Learn more about TCI and AgSource's Fresh Cow Summary at http://agsource.crinet.com. Questions regarding licensing may be directed to Robert Fourdraine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooperative Resources International (CRI), a member-owned holding cooperative, is comprised of three subsidiaries: AgSource Cooperative Services, Genex Cooperative, Inc. and MOFA Global. 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."