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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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Don Bennink, owner of North Florida Holsteins in Bell, Florida, has been a standout in dairy industry advocacy and within the Holstein community.

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It is now a standard feature on any bull evaluation page: the genotype for beta casein, better known as A2. Despite not being a trait, nor a genetic defect, the A2A2 genotype has grown to become an undeniable marketing tool.

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Unlike the stock market where you can cash out on a bad investment, bad genetic decisions stick with your herd and stay for generations.

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“The three largest expenses of a dairy business are feed costs for the lactating herd, labor and raising replacement heifers,” Dr. Joseph Dalton of the University of Idaho stated as he opened his presentation at the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference recently in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

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A few years ago, I was invited to a team meeting at a dairy that was considering adopting genomic testing and selection as part of their management strategy.

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If I had written a book predicting the past two years in dairy farming, it would have been coined as fiction. In addition to a global pandemic, nobody could have predicted the wild swings in commodities coupled with the challenges in weather.

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