Updates in genetic tools for farmers: Pro$ and Lifetime Profit Index

April 2019 will see the release of an enhanced Pro$ formula, which will allow for selection for optimal daughter profitability in today’s market conditions. In addition, Lifetime Profit Index (LPI) updates will include the addition of trait weightings to better reflect market demands, as well as new traits to reflect breed association goals. In general, national indexes are updated every few years as market conditions or breed goals evolve.

Pro$ was introduced in August 2015 as a selection tool to maximize genetic response for daughter lifetime profitability and has been quickly embraced by farmers and dairy organizations. The Canadian Dairy Network updated Pro$ and the LPI given significant changes in milk pricing and expenses over the past few years, the accumulation of more data, as well as the opportunity to add new traits and expenses unavailable in 2015.

Pro $ updates will better reflect milk component pricing changes, which favour fat production more since Pro$ was introduced in 2015. Overhead costs and feed costs have also seen significant change. Other improvements to Pro$ include the modification of expenses to reflect cow differences in terms of reproduction and maintenance costs, and the addition of four more years of cow profit data.

All economic values used in cow profitability calculations from 2014 and 2019 are seen in Figure 1 and can be useful when assessing where the major updates to Pro$ originate.

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The Holstein LPI has been updated to shift the fat to protein ratio to reflect current component pricing and market demand, and by adding two new traits to the durability component of the formula: rump and hoof health.

For a copy of the full article, including LPI / Pro$ comparisons, click here: https://www.cdn.ca/document.php?id=516

Celebrate Earth Day by taking stock of your farm’s sustainability performance

For this year’s celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, try the online tool called Dairy Farms + to track your farm’s sustainability and efficiency.

The tool, which is available to all Canadian dairy farmers that have a farm ID issued by your provincial dairy organization, can:

  • Help you calculate your farm’s environmental footprint;
  • Compare it to other dairy farms in your province;
  • Identify your farm’s strengths; and,
  • Flag the areas where you can act to meet your sustainability goals and improve farm efficiency.

Watch the following webinar on how to use the DairyFarms + tool and prepare your plan of action to keep contributing to a sustainable dairy future.

 

Protein and body weight

{The following is an excerpt of an article available on Dairy Farmers of Canada’s website. To read the full article, visit dairynutrition.ca.}

By: G. Harvey Anderson, PhD, Professor, Nutritional Sciences and Physiology; Director, Program in Food Safety, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

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The role of protein in regulating energy and maintaining healthy body weight is still unclear. But evidence is mounting that the source of protein is very important in this equation.

Research Highlights

  • A growing body of evidence supports a role for dairy products in the regulation of body weight.
  • Calcium supplements do not appear to confer the same benefit as dairy calcium, suggesting that other components in milk may be a factor.
  • Proteins in milk, including casein and whey, improve satiety, regulate food intake and promote the maintenance of lean muscle mass.
  • Peptides and other bioactive components in milk products appear to have additional benefits including modulation of blood pressure, inflammation and blood glucose levels.