Genome testing pays off at Sale of Stars

TORONTO, Ont. — Big money was paid for youthful genome-tested dairy heifers at the 60th annual Sale of Stars at the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair in Toronto Nov. 8.

“We are on the threshold of some great things,” said sale organizer Donald Johnston at the start of the sale.

“We went through a period where those who owned bulls had the market power. Now females have the power,” he said.

Morsan Farms of Ponoka, Alta., and Butz-Hill Farm of Iowa paid the top price of the evening for a heifer born in May 2012. Named Sully Numero Uno Maribel, this genotyped entry fetched $250,000. David Dyment of Ontario and Sebastien Dion of Quebec were the consignors.

Coming in at $245,000 was a baby calf born in September named Jolicap Mogul Carmey. It came from Jolicap Holsteins, Que.

The next high seller for another high testing genomic calf came from Cormdale Genetics of Bethany, Ont., Oscar and Eric Dupasquier of Guelph, Ont., Impact Agri Division, LA of Burlington, Ont., and Al-Be-Ro Land and Cattle of Piacenza, Italy. The sale offered the first choice of a high genomic mating for $210,000.

Selling at $200,000 were multiple semen and embryo contracts from Lookout Holsteins and  Richard Pesce of Canton de Hatley, Que.

All the animals offered in this sale have been or will soon be genotyped to assess their future performance for milk production, fertility and other valued dairy traits.

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