News / Blog

Using Conformation Assessment to Increase the Bottom Line
September 11, 2014

Brantford, ON—– Holstein Canada is pleased to release new data to support the value of Conformation Assessment.

While the Conformation Assessment (or Classification) program has not changed, the results of the year-long, collaborative study with industry partners now provide Holstein Canada with the ability to show the value of an animal’s functional traits and final score in relation to profitability($).

These results stem from research conducted with Canadian DHI and the Canadian Dairy Network, and are published on a daily per cow basis using all classified first lactation animals from the years 2004-2007 that were given the opportunity to reach 4th calving (including those culled during that time). Profit was calculated using milk production income, dry period, maintenance and production-related feed expenses, heifer rearing costs and quota opportunity costs. The new educational information has been packaged into an easy-to-read, visual manual categorized into four main pillars: profitability, longevity, added value and volume pricing.

“We are excited to showcase the value of Conformation Assessment re-packaged in terms that all producers can relate to and understand – profitability in dollars ($) per day of life,” says Dr. Bethany Muir, Manager, Classification & Field Services. “Functional conformation evaluations conducted by Canadian classifiers serve many purposes including managing selection and culling decisions and making informed choices for best mates to improve production and survivability, and therefore profitability, in any dairy herd.”

The Value of Conformation Assessment booklets will be available online at with hardcopies available through Canadian classifiers and provincial field staff. Questions and comments can be directed to Holstein Canada’s Education & Extension Specialists, Jeanette Van der Linden and Laura Donkers, and all interested individuals are invited to join the conversation on social and/or


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