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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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COVID-19-induced crisis mode is creating a scramble for short-term, and sometimes shortsighted, adjustments. Unfortunately, a narrow “right now” mindset doesn’t work for genetic plans.

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Prior to the April genetic evaluations, model changes were announced for both calving ease and stillbirth. These changes considerably improved the accuracy of the traits and improved the stability of the evaluations. A base change was applied for the calving traits as well; however, while predicted transmitting abilities (PTAs) for most traits decreased due to the base change, PTAs for the calving traits went up.

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There are very few studies looking at the use of implants in Holstein steers. Dan Loy, director for the Iowa Beef Center and ISU Extension beef specialist, says that is not necessarily a problem.

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The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) released information about the stepwise genetic base change that happens at five-year intervals. The April 2020 genetic evaluations of bulls and cows will reflect the most recent genetic base change.

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The April 2020 sire evaluation had more changes than usual. This is not coincidental. The most noticeable of changes was the genetic base change.

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“Knowledge is power” is a commonly used phrase, and in the dairy genetics business today, there is no shortage of information available for dairy farmers to use to try to breed a more profitable herd of cows.

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