Five years after the introduction of Immunity+®, the revolutionary, award-winning genetic technology that was developed by Dr Bonnie Mallard at the University of Guelph, Semex is taking the next step and bringing it to clients worldwide. With the Elevate program, Semex is now offering a genomic test that ranks and selects cows based on their genetic merit along with their Immunity+ genomic test results!
Immunity+ results speak for themselves with results achieved on large commercial herds comprised of 35,000 cows and 75,000 heifers being analysed for disease reduction. It was found that Immunity+ sired animals had anywhere from 2%-20% less disease, depending on which disease was analysed. The most significant reductions in this dataset were found in the traits with the biggest economic impacts, including a 20% reduction in cow mortality among the Immunity+ sired animals. Dairy producers worldwide have seen healthier herds as a result of using Immunity+ sires, resulting in less treatment costs, less drug and antibiotic use and less time spent dealing with sick cows. The introduction of Elevate only speeds up the process.
"With Elevate and its Immunity+ genomic test, producers no longer have to guess which cows are their healthiest," says Gordon Miller, Semex Sr. Vice President, Sales & Business Development. "Instead, they're able to tailor their breeding program with both genomic information as well as Immunity+ results categorized as high, average or low health. They're able to make faster genetic progress towards a stronger, more disease resistant herd, reducing losses and drug use. Immunity+ heritability is 30%, similar to that of milk production. We're excited for herd health gains that can be made by both identifying female health and utilizing Immunity+ sires!"
Currently available in Canada, the US, Germany and the UK, Elevate and its Immunity+ genomic test supplies Semex clients with the same information as other commercially available genomic tests, with exclusive Immunity+ results at a competitive price.
"Elevate is the only program that makes genomic testing completely seamless," explains Paul Krueger VP, Global Key Account & Solutions Strategy. "We've taken feedback from our clients in the field and simplified the process. Semex's App collects and identifies the genomic samples and minimizes labor and time invested. There's no paperwork involved and no hair to pull. The information is automated between the Semex App, the Elevate test as well as SemexWorks™ and OptiMate™, our sire selection and mating programs. All our clients need to do is take an ear tissue sample and ship it to the lab. The rest of the process is seamless."
Miller adds that Elevate and the Immunity+ test is yet another example of Semex delivering practical solutions to farmers, widening the gap between those simply selling genetics, and those offering the technological advancements needed on today's farms.