DNA – Your Insurance Policy

We are continuously asked the following questions in the DNA department.
“How many more genetic defect tests will be developed?”
“How can I best protect my herd if something comes up down the road?”
“If my sire/dam has a clear TraitTrac, will that always be the case?”

The answer to all of these questions is simple.  Protect and insure your herd.  No, I do not mean that you need to call your local insurance representative and take out a policy, but what I do mean is you do need to start taking the necessary steps to properly protect your genetic investments. There will always be new DNA testing that is constantly coming about and being introduced in to the industry, that is a fact.  Whether it is a few months down the road, a year or even ten years, it’s coming.  What is important to remember is each animal, including you, has genetic defects.  It is up to you, as the breeder, to evaluate each animal/defect, determine the economic impact and decide whether they will be retained in the herd as a breeding animal.

Naturally, your next question is, “what’s the best way to start collecting DNA insurance on my herd?” The answer is once again, a fairly easy one.  After you have finished calving or prior to weaning, or if you’re planning on working the entire herd through the chute any time soon, call ASA and order blank DNA cards.  Blood cards are supplied free of charge and you can order any amount you wish.  Keep in mind, if an animal is a twin, you’ll need to pull a hair sample instead of a blood sample since twins can share the same blood source in-utero so oftentimes a blood sample will end in a No Results(NR). When the animal comes through the chute, collect a blood sample on the card.  Label the card and place it in a secure location, out of the elements, such as a safe or desk drawer.  Every animal that steps foot or is born on your ranch, should have a DNA sample collected and stored.  Whether you ever have to submit the sample for testing or not, it’s better to have it and not need it, than to not have it.  By collecting a sample on each animal, you’re insuring that if a DNA test becomes available somewhere down the road, you can submit that one sample for testing and depending on the result, further testing may not be necessary on any other animals.  You can potentially save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of testing by taking the time to secure a DNA sample on each animal and store it. Yes, this includes your AI sires and donor dams which are required to have a DNA sample submitted through the Association.  Go ahead, take an extra sample, or two, especially on the high impact animals.  It never hurts to have extra samples stored for use at a later date if it becomes necessary.

As the spring calving season is coming to a close, herd bulls are being turned out, AI sires are going to stud and donor dams are being flushed, take a moment, order some blank cards and start stockpiling a DNA sample on every animal. I can guarantee you, it’s the best way to prepare for the future of DNA technology and at the same time, insure your genetic investments.

If you have questions on the above information or would like more information, email dna@simmgene.com or call our office at 406.587.4531 and select #3 from the menu options.


Opening Day – Fall 2016 THE Enrollments

It’s that time of year again, Total Herd Enrollment(THE) season is upon us and that means it’s time to enroll your Fall calving females. As of April 15, Fall 2016 THE enrollment is now OPEN.  Any females that will be calving July 1 to December 31, you will have until June 15, 2016, to enroll on inventory and take advantage of the lowest enrollment fees possible.  If you submit an enrollment today, you are able to adjust your inventory online up until June 15, as many times as you wish without penalty.  There’s really no reason not to go ahead, fill out an inventory today and get it submitted before the deadline. At ASA, our THE motto is, don’t delay, enroll today! To download step-by-step enrollment instructions click here. For a refresher on the three enrollment Options offered, watch a short 15-minute webinar session titled THE, it’s as Easy as 1-2-3. If you have specific enrollment questions or need assistance cleaning up errors in your job, please email the@simmgene.com or call our office at 406.587.4531.

Fall Calving 1

Spring 2015 Calf Reporting – Are you in Compliance?

Spring 2015 compliance reporting is now in effect.  What does this mean?  It means that each dam enrolled on your Spring 2015 THE inventory needs to either have a calf reported or a productivity code(reason why she did not calve).  If the reporting requirement has not been met, your account is considered to be in non-compliance and you will not be able to process any registrations/transfers until the data has been turned in.  There are three ways to submit the compliance information: online, spreadsheet or by paper submission.


Log-in to Herdbook Services
Go to Data Entry, select Online
There are four tabs on the left, select the bottom one, Manual Job
Under Job Type, leave it as selected in Animal Data Reporting
Enter in a Job Title, i.e., Last of 2015 calf data
From the right under default groups, select the last one, Dams Not in Compliance
Click the black dot in to As Dams
Select Start New Job
This will start an online job that lists all of the dams lacking data for 2015 calving.  If the dam had a 2015 born calf you will go ahead and enter the information.  If she did not calve, report a productivity code and the productivity year as 2015. To view more information on reporting 2015 calving data, click here.
Screenshot from 2016-04-08 10:13:34
Keep in mind, if you are not reporting a 2015 calf record, you will need to record a productivity code for the female indicating why she did not calve in calendar year 2015.  The productivity columns are located under the BrthDam tab.  Click on the Productivity column header for a help box that displays the 11 different codes you can choose from.  Next you will need to fill in the productivity year, which in this case is 2015.  By reporting a productivity code, you are informing the database that this dam did not have a calf in the year 2015.  There will not be any calf data information listed under the Animal tab for this female, just a productivity code and year under the BrthDam tab. Note: A productivity code should only be used if there is not any calf data to report for the given year and cannot be used in addition to calf data, it’s either a calf is being reported or a productivity code, not both.
Productivity Reporting


Log-in to Herdbook Services
Go to Data Entry, select Download
From the left under default groups, select the last one, Dams Not in Compliance
On the right under Animal Entry, select Standard File
Under Download File, select As Dams
Select Document type, i.e., MS Excel
Select Download
This will open a spreadsheet that lists all of the dams lacking data for 2015 calving.  If the dam had a 2015 born calf you will go ahead and enter the information.  If she did not calve, report a productivity code and the productivity year as 2015.  After you have filled in the spreadsheet with the necessary information you can either go back to Herdbook Services and upload your file or email to the@simmgene.com and we can process it for you.
Screenshot from 2016-04-08 10:08:00

Paper Submission

Contact ASA and request a non-compliance packet to be mailed out to you.  You will receive a form containing all of your dams that need data reported for 2015 along with any other years your herd is missing data.
Screenshot from 2016-04-08 10:17:20

Once the non-compliance information has been entered, your account will immediately be considered to be in compliance with THE reporting requirements and you will be able to submit registration/transfers requests at will.

If you have any questions or concerns about THE and compliance reporting please email the@simmgene.com or contact our office at 406.587.4531 and select option 4 to be connected to THE department.