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A.I. & BREEDING

From estrus and heat detection to genomics and sexed semen, discover the latest information to improve reproductive performance.

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Estrus detection has always been one of the most important topics to discuss when implementing an A.I. program in a dairy herd. With the changes in physiology correlated with the modern, high-producing dairy cow, visual observation of estrus has become more challenging.

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In every dairy producer’s ideal world, the norm would be a whole herd of cows that efficiently produces high volumes of milk during several lactations with no transition problems, metabolic diseases, udder health issues or conformation faults leading to an early cull from the herd.

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The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) annual meeting was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Nov. 7 and 8, 2013. The day-and-a-half event was intense with presentations and a sponsors’ trade show, but the outcome was a variety of topics and good discussion among university and industry people of what is new in research regarding improvements in reproductive performance and in overall dairy management.

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2014 marks five years since the implementation of genomics in Canada, and has the world of genetic improvement ever changed.

Genomics was boasted by scientists as a technology that would revolutionize genetic improvement strategies and significantly increase rates of genetic improvement.

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Although milk production has almost doubled during the last 50 years, conception rate did not improve and stayed low. Average conception rate is at 39 percent with pregnancy rate being as low as 15 percent.

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Technological advancements are credited with helping the dairy industry propel itself into a modern era of efficient production, striving to attain the ability to provide food for an ever-growing world population.

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