Dykstra Dairy, Tulare, CA
Dykstra Dairy milks 3600 Holstein cows housed in a freestall barn. Johnny’s comments about FreshPlus are simple. “If you know FreshPlus is going to get cows pregnant, it’s worth it!” For Johnny, it’s worth it! In the four months that they’ve been using FreshPlus in their cows 150 days in milk and over, they’ve experienced an increase in conception rate of more than 12 points over conventional semen. He also commented on how easy FreshPlusis to use, especially on their OvSynch breeding days. Johnny is excited to use more FreshPlus and get more personal experience with the program. He really wants to dive into the data by lactation and DIM since the dairy’s overall goal is to get DIM even lower.
Evert and Leyendekker Nonning
Friesian Farms, Tulare, CA
Nonning Leyendekker and his son Everet Leyendekker milk 2700 Holsteins on their open lot farm in Tulare. Friesian Farms was one of the first herds to try FreshPlus, and they’ve been using it since November, 2014. Their herd goals are to maintain good production and ensure that cows in later lactation are pregnant. They’ve seen conception rate increases ranging from 3% all the way up to 10% while using FreshPlus in their herd. They’ve also noticed that cows are locked up for less time and breeding is much faster with FreshPlus. Everet says, “It’s the prep deal. It’s so much more efficient. We can just load the ‘A.I. gun’ and go.” In the heat of the summer in the Central Valley, that can have a significant impact on milk production.
Marvo Holsteins Dairy, San Jacinto, CA
Michael milks 2400 Holsteins cows on his dry lot farm. Michael had good conception rates, in the high 30%’s, in his milking herd before starting FreshPlus and attributes his increase of at least 14% to FreshPlus in a trial he conducted since April 2015. While continuing to use a mating program on his first lactation animals, Michael uses FreshPlus on third and more services and in older cows. He’s even beginning to use FreshPlus on some first and second lactation animals. Michael says, “I’m excited to see what our conception rate will be over the summer. A 14% increase is a BIG deal for us. With FreshPlus, I can make decisions on DNB cows sooner, lower my calving interval and DIM, and reduce my feed costs and liability by eliminating our herd bull. It all comes down to ‘what is a pregnancy worth?’ If I can reduce my services per conception with less labor and still get good genetics, I’m making money!”
Cottonwood Dairy, San Jacinto, CA
Cottonwood Dairy milks 1500 Holstein cows and will be up to 1900 milking cows by December. With a growing herd, they’ve been on a rollercoaster ride when it comes to conception. To get things back on the right track, he’s implemented a Double OvSynch program and has changed breeders. FreshPlus is helping, too. On FreshPlus, his conception rate has been averaging 4 percentage points higher than with frozen semen from his highest fertility bull and 6 points higher than with other frozen semen! Marinus said that his breakeven is a 2-3% improvement in conception rate based on the extra milk he gets with lower DIM and calf income. For him, “an increase of 4% sure pays!”