Sexed semen helps Tirau farmer further genetic gain

Edward Anderton

Dairy farmer Edward Anderton had so much success using sexed semen last season he has had to revise his mating strategy this year to factor in the growth in the number of replacement heifers.

Edward contract milks 600 Friesian cows on his family’s 250-hectare dairy farm at Tirau. He is a sixth-generation dairy farmer, and his grandparents and parents were keen Friesian breeders who bred the herd for type and production.

A key breeding goal for Edward is to continue building on the work of his family and grow the herd’s high-quality genetics.

“We normally rear about 100 replacements every year and we’re focused on getting replacements out of our best cows, which is why we use CRV’s sexed semen,” says Edward.

“There’s not much point in getting a bull calf out of your best cow unless you’re contract mating,” says Edward.

The herd is split calving with about 120 cows calving in Autumn and a further 400 calving in Spring. The herds are carried over on the System 2 operation with each cow producing about 450kgMS per season.

“We have had such good success with using CRV’s sexed semen we have now almost got too many heifer replacements! We will have to be even choosier this mating season with which cows we are using sexed semen on,” says Edward.

Any reservations Edward had about using sexed semen were put to rest with the results he got last mating and the number of heifer calves he has on the ground back that up.

“In June 2022 we blanket inseminated our Autumn calving herd for 10 days and about 57 percent of them held. We were very happy with that result,” says Edward.

“We then selected cows in our Spring herd to use sexed semen on. Many of them are also any carry overs from our Autumn herd,” says Edward.

“I know with sexed semen you’re supposed to choose your strongest heats, but CRV’s sexed semen seemed to work perfectly on our herd,” says Edward.

His experience was so positive he used it again on the best cows in his Spring calving herd and again returned comparable rates to using conventional semen.

“The processes CRV uses are generating an extremely high-quality sexed semen product that is getting cows in calf with the heifers we need to continue building on our herd’s genetics,” says Edward.

After using sexed semen, he follows up with a short gestation cross bred and then puts the rest of his cows out with a Hereford Bull at the tail end of mating.

While he used Alibi straws last season, he has also used Alias on the herd as well.

“If you’re looking to improve your herd and want heifer calves out of your best cows, I know from experience that using CRV’s sexed semen is the best way to achieve that,” says Edward.