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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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Ranking bulls to make a sire selection decision is most easily done based on a single value from a selection index. For dairy farmers with a profit-driven focus, the best selection index is a representation of the money that could be made from the genetics supplied by the bull.

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Let’s be honest. Whenever we eat something, do we always check to see if it’s FDA or USDA approved? No. We may have a quick look if we care and have the time. Maybe we see the marketing labels and check the expiration date and the nutritional content, but that’s about it.

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When we look at reproduction on today’s dairy farms, we find more and more of them performing at a higher level than ever before. I can remember when we first started using pregnancy rate (PR) as the main measure for overall reproductive performance on dairy farms.

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Since the introduction of Ovsynch more than two decades ago, dairy cattle estrous synchronization programs have been revamped, tweaked and refined in the quest to boost dairy cattle fertility and optimize reproductive management programs.

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During synchronization protocols, there are a variety of products which are used to manipulate the estrous cycle. Synchronization protocols are not “band-aids” and should not be used to overcome mismanagement. To achieve desired results, cows should be healthy, ready to breed and in appropriate body condition.

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Interest in crossbreeding is at an all-time high among commercial dairy producers internationally. Generally speaking, however, circumstances have changed regarding the historical superiority of pure Holsteins compared to crossbreds for profitability.

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