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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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It’s Monday, so my week begins with the usual pre-dawn departure from our little hobby farm in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, as I drive to the coast – specifically, the WestGen offices in Abbotsford.

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Today’s dairy cow deals with some of the greatest challenges ever faced in the dairy industry.

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Genetic progress waits for nothing, making time one of the herdsman’s most valuable assets in being competitive and profitable. The good news is: Today’s reproductive technology makes all that possible – all you need to do is make the right decisions.

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No matter what, there is almost always a group of cows that don’t conceive on the first attempt. They are inseminated, but within a month or two, they have either required another insemination or unexpectedly turn up open. What is going on?

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Historically, dairy cattle breeders had limited tools to work with. Genetic selection was based only on what could be seen. Decisions were handicapped to visible and subjective conformation traits.

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Eliminating horns has long been part of basic herd management, but the economic value, practicality and acceptability of traditional horn removal practices is in question. A recent analysis compares the cost of dehorning with breeding for naturally hornless cattle.

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