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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.

LATEST

Heat detection is often cited as the most costly component and, undoubtedly, the major limiting factor to the success of A.I. programs on many dairy farms.

Incorrect detection of estrus is related to loss of income due to extended calving intervals, milk loss, increased veterinary cost, increased heifer-rearing cost and slowed genetic progress. To achieve excellent heat detection, many factors have to be taken into account.

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Dairy producers, herd managers, veterinarians and consultants monitor production data, health events and reproductive protocol compliance regularly; however, little time is spent evaluating semen storage and handling. Unfortunately, this can be a critical oversight, as every successful artificial insemination (A.I.) program begins with proper semen handling.

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For a variety of reasons, dairy heifer reproductive performance is not a primary focus on many dairies even though it is critical to future success.

But that shouldn’t be the case on your farm. There are a number of tools, including estrous synchronization and timed-A.I. protocols, that can ensure your heifers are bred on time and are ready to enter the milking herd and help you meet your herd goals.

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The addition of fatty acids to dairy diets has piqued the interest of dairy producers and nutritionists in recent years.

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Did you know traits like milk yield, conformation, rump and calving ability aren’t included in the LPI? Do you feel these traits are important in your sire selection and herd improvement program and should be included in the LPI formula?

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Five years ago, it felt like there was a ceiling on reproductive performance in the lactating herd. Once top-performing herds got to the 24 to 26 percent annual pregnancy rate level, there was no room to grow. Higher annual pregnancy rates were not sustainable or economical for long periods of time.

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