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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

Robotic milking has established itself more and more across the country – to the detriment of tiestall barns. Although this milking and herd management method provides several advantages, it also requires producers to adapt their level of management and choice of bulls in order to achieve success.

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The bar for reproductive performance is set high at Pagel’s Ponderosa of Casco, Wisconsin, but a skilled and reliable team take it to the next level.

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World Dairy Expo brought together more than 72,000 individuals from around the world Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. While each came with unique experience and ambitions, this year’s central theme, “Dairy in our DNA,” drew on attendees’ shared interest in the dairy cow.

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The Net Merit (NM$) Index is a dairy selection index that incorporates many different traits that have economic value associated with them. After the most recent revision of the index, it was calculated that an increase in genetic progress is worth $8 million per year to the dairy industry on a national basis, when using NM$ as the selection index.

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Confirming more than 40 percent of cows pregnant from the first service and conception rates nearing 30 percent don’t just happen; these are the result of meticulous management, protocol adherence and teamwork.

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Body condition scoring (BCS) is a relative measurement of the amount of fat tissue that cows store, which is also correlated to their energy reserve. The industry uses a 5-point scale (with quarter-point increments) to determine the body condition of dairy cows. By evaluating BCS changes, we can identify possible nutritional deficiencies, health issues and, by extension, potential impacts on milk production and reproductive performance.

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