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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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“I installed an automated heat detection system, but it is flagging cows that are not in heat. I’m so frustrated.” This is a very common complaint from dairy farmers. They are told an activity system will find the cows in heat better than their personnel, which is true, but they are never told what to do with the extra cows on the list. 

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Many of us in the dairy industry are thinking about the same thing these days: How do we make the right number of heifers for our operation and create the most value from the rest of our calf crop? Clearly, the market is signaling that we need to stop trying to make as many heifers as we can and change our strategy on types of pregnancies we are creating.

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2019 marks 10 years of genomic selection. Most livestock genetics conferences that are held this year will have a scientific seminar celebrating this milestone. It’s been a decade since our cattle genetic industry changed like this only once before – with the invention of A.I.

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Advanced reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) offer significant opportunities for genetic advancement in your dairy operation, but if you’re like most commercial producers, you have one burning question: “What is the economic return?”

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Meet cow 8968. She lives on a 1,500-cow dairy farm in Wisconsin, where she’s milked three times per day through a double-20 parallel parlor. She’s fed a well-balanced ration and spends her time resting in sand-bedded freestalls.

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Raising heifers today is about having the right ones, not keeping every one. Do you need an inventory of heifers to maintain your milking herd? Of course. But are you confident your heifer inventory contains the type of females you need to sustain your herd and help you reach your herd’s productivity and profitability goals?

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