advertisement
breadcrumbs

A.I. & Breeding

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

LATEST

Marketers have consistently maintained that sex sells, but what about “sexed”? Within dairy’s A.I. industry, the word seems to be proving the slogan is still true. During the last six months, A.I. companies have rolled out sexed semen offerings one after the other. Each of the new programs have clever names. But beyond the fancy titles, there are some suggested do’s and don’ts for using sexed semen products.

“My sense is that sexed semen is here to stay. That it’s a technology that we hope will mature. But even in its present state, there are definitely places where people should be using it,” says John Fetrow, a University of Minnesota researcher.

Read more ...

New all-breed formula announced
Records from all breeds, including crossbreds, are now combined and analyzed together in one animal model. All relatives, regardless of breed composition, contribute to each animal’s genetic evaluation, and more cows are compared within management group in herds containing multiple breeds and crossbreds.

Read more ...

During the past several decades, selection for increased milk yield has had a temporal association with declines in fertility and reproductive efficiency in dairy cows. In the U.S., an average annual decrease of 0.5 percent in conception rate at first service occurred between 1975 and 1997. In the United Kingdom (between 1978 and 1996) and in Spain (between 1991 and 2000) conception rate at first service decreased 1 percent per year.

Read more ...

The Prins Dairy, owned by John and Kevin Prins, is located near Oakdale, California. Our dairy has been in operation since 1971. Today, we milk 570 cows, and cows are grazed in the summer and freestall-housed in the winter. All cows are fed a total mixed ration (TMR) once per day.

Read more ...

Dairy producers and dairy cattle breeding companies should breed for more profitable dairy cattle. Producers are limited in their breeding decisions by the genes or families in the populations available, and this is primarily under the control of breeding companies. Past selection for increased production and for improvement in several other traits (such as udder conformation) has been very successful.

However, the genetic antagonism between production traits and health and between production traits and reproduction have resulted in increased disease rates and reduced reproductive performance in U.S. dairy cattle. Some recent additions to our genetic evaluations (genetic evaluations in the U.S. are called predicted transmitting abilities or PTAs) will help breed more profitable, problem-free dairy cattle and will reduce or eliminate the downward trend in reproductive performance.

Read more ...

Starting with this column and continuing each month, this space will include benchmarking data on a number of key performance indicators (KPI) for U.S. dairy producers.

The data has been compiled from 175 herds and about 182,500 cows located across the United States that are participating in Alta’s AltaAdvantage® program. These herds average approximately 850 cows, with a minimum of about 200 cows, and a maximum of 4,000 cows. All herds are managed under commercial conditions, where income is mainly generated from the production of milk.

Read more ...