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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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Gandhi seemed to have known what he was talking about when it came to breeding a profitable herd of cows when he said, “The future depends on what you do today.”

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What are your choices when mating A.I. sires to the dairy cattle in your herd? Do you use one of the mating services? Focus on Net Merit Dollars (NM$)? Or simply want to get the cow pregnant because you know that nine months from now she will drop a calf and start all over again on the lactation curve?

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The simple solution to boosting dairy cattle conception rates (CR) is to improve reproductive management and cow environment, as these two general categories account for 96 percent of CR variation.

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Historically, dairy cattle breeders had limited tools to work with. Genetic selection was based only on what could be seen. Decisions were handicapped to visible and subjective conformation traits.

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Over the past decade, reproductive tools used to get cows pregnant have evolved tremendously. Automated activity monitoring technology has developed to deliver accurate detection of heats.

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At this year’s American Dairy Science Association annual meeting held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June, several invited speakers presented ideas about how they saw the dairy industry in 50 years.

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