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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

Five dairy producers discussed if and how new genetic evaluations for health traits might be incorporated into their herd management during the Council for Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) annual meeting, held Oct. 3 in conjunction with World Dairy Expo.

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Holstein breeders making sire selection and breeding strategy decisions will have genetic information directly related to herd health beginning in April 2018.

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Over time the dairy industry has encountered the challenge of declining trends for fertility and overall health, across diverse production systems. A number of reasons may explain this performance slope, including changes in cow physiology related to greater milk production, challenges in nutritional management, housing, increased herd size, reduced estrous expression and changes in the genetic makeup

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In addition to the information that will be available from the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding later this year, several dairy companies have already taken the lead in providing options for dairy producers to improve herd health through genetic selection.

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Dairy farmers could lower costs associated with heifer rearing by making improvements in their herd reproductive management, based on research being conducted by Ph.D. candidate Magdalena Masello and Cornell University’s Dairy Cattle Biology and Management Laboratory.

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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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