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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

We all agree that a deterioration in the reproductive performance of dairy cows can have a significant impact on the profitability of dairy farms. The immune system has been shown to play an important role in reproduction.

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A near-perfect storm has created an opportunity to add value to dairy calves not destined for the milking string. While dairy herd numbers remain fairly steady, improved milk production efficiencies have reduced the pace of replacement animals entering the herd.

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These days, repro programs on progressive dairies are well-oiled machines. When it comes to annual pregnancy rates, we now tend to see more dairies around 30% than we see at 20%. And a 40+% annual average is no longer an unattainable dream of the future.

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Crossbreeding cows has become the new normal for Birkstead Holsteins in Elora, Ontario. Thomas Wantenaar and his family have been experimenting with Holstein crosses since the early 2000s, around the same time Wantenaar graduated university and began working on the farm full time. Of the farm’s 310 cows, only 55 are purebred Holsteins, the rest of the herd is a variety of Holstein crosses.

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Biannually (spring and fall), the Lactanet Open Industry Session (OIS) offers an opportunity for the dairy industry to share and discuss dairy cattle genetics research, provide industry updates and bring forward future projects.

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We’re facing unprecedented times, with many things seemingly out of our control. And we’re looking for ways to trim costs and be more efficient while not losing ground. Reviewing your genetic plan should not be forgotten. For some, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is more important than ever.

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