Select Sires has researched sexed-semen technologies for more than 40 years, as has most of the dairy industry. Many technologies have fallen by the wayside as they simply could not accurately and repeatedly sort male and female sperm with a significant degree of purity. Other technologies received patents, yet failed to deliver their promise. In the late 1980s, the flow-cytometry sorting method developed by USDA showed major promise that male and female sperm could be sorted effectively. While the method to sort sperm cells by gender was reliable, the process was inefficient and caused damage to sperm cells resulting in compromised conception during field use.
In the late 1990s, Select Sires initiated studies with XY Inc., Fort Collins, Colo., official USDA patent licensee, to assist in research and development trials aimed at bringing sexing technology to the point of successful commercial application. Select assisted with investigating the effects of staining procedures, sorting pressures and the addition of antioxidants to semen extenders as each relates to conception rates in the field. In addition, Select provided numerous bulls to XY for use in their in-house field trials. Results consistently demonstrated the process could sort sperm with a high degree of purity; however inconsistent fertility data caused us to delay moving forward with marketing. In the meantime, Select Sires conducted a large scale marketing study to determine consumer impressions about the commercial application of sexed semen.
XY Inc. continued to refine the sexing process and exclusively sub-licensed the technology to Sexing Technologies of Navasota, Texas. In 2005, Select Sires and Sexing Technologies conducted additional field trials focused on fertility and market acceptance. These trials were conducted in a random sample of herds with average or better reproductive efficiency in order to accurately assess product performance for the â€œaverage producer.â€� Trial results along with commentary from participating herds made it clear that it was time to move forward with marketing our gender SELECTed product.
Pregnancy results of Selectâ€™s gender SELECTed semen trials have been fully disclosed in our sire catalogues and on Selectâ€™s web site. Our sales representatives are directed to inform potential customers that they should expect to achieve 90 percent of offspring of the desired sex. The product is for heifer use only and achieves conception rates that are approximately 70 to 75 percent of that achieved with conventional semen in the same herd. This product is not recommended for use in lactating cows or heifer herds where conception rates with conventional semen are below 60 percent.
A number of new sex-sorting technologies and companies have recently appeared. As you evaluate other technologies, please take the time to be wary, and ask numerous questions in order to make informed decisions. If the sex-sorting technology is not based on flow-cytometry and the patents developed by USDA, you should ask for scientific evidence that the procedure can, in fact, sort sperm. Accept nothing short of hundreds of births to assess whether the procedure can effectively produce offspring of the desired sex. Similarly, conception data should be based on thousands of services and should be based on palpated pregnancy data, as simple non-return data may mask results and distort the success that can actually be achieved.
Presently, Select Sires is conducting two additional field trials with the goal of developing improved sorting procedures and a gender SELECTed product suitable for use in lactating cows. While we have no definitive results at this time, you can count on us to offer full disclosure of our research into any new technologies.
Select Siresâ€™ commitment to you is to continue to seek the best sexed semen process available and bring that technology to you, our customer. Our core value of â€œIntegrity in everything we do.â€� ensures we will continue to provide you with only those facts that can be supported by scientific research. As our owner, you demand it!
â„¢ gender SELECTed is a trademark of Select Sires Inc. – less–ZoomInfo