Is Artificial Insemination Right for Your Ranch

It goes without saying ABS promotes synchronization and AI, and the lifetime value it can add to the cowherd.There has never been a better time for synchronization and AI in the beef industry than today. Bull prices continue to set records and the additional value of AI bred and sired females can’t be denied.

But adoption of this technology use doesn’t come without questions and expectations from users, especially those new to or considering AI for the first time. Drovers CattleNetwork released an article online yesterday from their March issue, Dispelling the myths of artificial insemination, and one we feel is very accurate. Take a glance at it.

“AI isn’t meant to be easy and may not be meant for everyone, but it’s also not that difficult for people to establish in their operation,” Travis McCarty writes. “I believe more operations can incorporate AI into their management practices than what is currently being done in the industry.”

If you still need more information on whether AI is right for you and what other considerations are needed, check out these resources:

  • Video of a large-scale AI project in South Dakota at the Fulton Ranch. With the use of a portable breeding barn and skilled crew, synchronization and AI in the pasture is low-stress and simplified
  • The AI Cowculator is a smartphone app developed by the University of Florida to aid in the decision making process, helping producers incorporate their own costs and determine the value of estrous synchronization and AI compared to natural service.
  • The Iowa State University Estrus Synchronization Planner is a free excel spreadsheet program download that is great for planning and deciding which estrus synchronization protocol is best for you. It also has a cost breakdown analysis to compare different protocol expenses for your operation. (Note, it will ask for your information when downloading – this is only so you can be notified when an update the planner is available for future downloads and the most up-to-date synchronization protocols approved by the Beef Reproduction Task Force)
  • ABS Beef Blog Synchronization Q & A with Dr. Cliff Lamb  (Three-part series). Lamb addresses common questions and scenarios on the farm when things don’t always go as planned.
  • This pdf article from North Dakota State University Extension Service discussing Maximizing Pregnancy Rates When Using Artificial Insemination 

If you’re still skeptical about the value of AI compared to natural service with today’s prices, check out these cost comparison charts, using this spring’s data. These charts do not account for the genetic gain of using proven genetics or additional age and weight of calves born earlier in the calving season.

NaturalServiceCosts

Synch-AI_Costs

If you think synchronization and AI is something you want to incorporate, talk to your local ABS Representative today. Our professional, full-service representatives are here to help you with any questions and concerns you may have.

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