Is Artificial Insemination Right for Your Ranch

April 10, 2015

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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2015 ABS Photo Contest

March 12, 2015

Its time again for the annual ABS Global photo contest!

Do you have an eye for cattle and pictures? ABS is searching for outstanding photos to use in promotional materials, including but not limited to the yearly calendar, posters, brochures and company website. We want to see your best cattle photos. Calving, branding, feeding, working pens, moving pastures, around the farm, and pasture shots – we like them all. So grab your camera, snap away, and send us your best.

Submission deadline is May 31, 2015

Complete rules and submission form found here.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these favorites from previous entries.

"Working Cattle on a Beautiful Fall Day" by Becky Harrell

“Working Cattle on a Beautiful Fall Day” by Becky Harrell

 

“Summer Roundup” by Vasco Beheregary Neto

“Summer Roundup” by Vasco Beheregary Neto

R.A. Brown Ranch Donors on Summer Bermuda

R.A. Brown Ranch Donors on Summer Bermuda

"Cowboy Sunset" by Ricardo Arias, NM

“Cowboy Sunset” by Ricardo Arias, NM

Note: All entries must be high resolution and submitted through the online form.


Spring 2015 Beef Sire Directory

January 7, 2015

Happy New Year! 2015 is looking like a new era of opportunity for the beef industry.

With strong consumer demand, tight supplies and record prices, the beef industry is entering a new era of growth and unprecedented opportunity. Position your herd to make the most of these exciting times with AI and ABS genetics.

Our Spring 2015 Beef Sire Directory is at the printer, but you can get a first look online here.

SPRING15_BEEF_SD_COVER

 

Highlights of this issue:

  • New spring EPDs
  • Spring 2015 ABS and Circle A Sire Alliance data and progeny measurements
  • Profit-driven genetics with proven, real-world results
  • Spring 2015 Specials – with increased demand this spring take advantage of these industry-leading specials before supplies run out

Stop by and visit us if you will be in Denver for the NWSS. This year ABS will have our usual booth on the hill located under the arena stands, and a booth in the yards! Come by and see us at both locations for a hot cup of coffee and learn more about the 6 ways ABS and AI can help improve efficiency and profit in 2015. While you’re there take spin on the ABS prize wheel for some exciting prizes.

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Highlights from Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium 2013

October 22, 2013

Each year the Beef Reproduction Task Force and Beef Reproduction Leadership Team hold conference proceedings to present the latest research and value of synchronization in beef cattle.  Complete list of topics, speakers and summaries can be found here on the ARSBC News Room website (2013).

ABS Global strongly believes in the value of synchronization for beef cattle production and profitability.  A summary of key topics and take home messages follow.

Provided by Matthew Drebing, ABS Representative

  • Fixed-time AI protocols are more reliable than ever, and there really isn’t a good excuse anymore to not utilize AI; time, labor, expense, and lack of facilities can all be overcome
  • Producers have to be 90% accurate in their heat detection to achieve same accuracy of a fixed-time AI protocol
  • A producer can front-load the calving season with fixed-time AI, accounting for up to 38 lbs. difference in weaning weight
  • Errors in frozen semen handling can be more common and costly than handlers consider. Brad Stroud, DVM, Stroud Veterinary Embryo Services, Inc , emphasized the importance of keeping the temperature of straws below -130°C at all times. Each time cells are exposed or re-exposed temperatures higher than -130°C, ice crystals in the cells rearrange, leading to damaged membranes, which increases fertilization failure. Stroud also emphasized exchanging semen and going up and down within the neck of tank increases loss of semen quality. “It can only take 10 seconds in the neck of a half-filled Dewar for the internal temperature of a frozen semen straw to reach -100°C.” Stroud also emphasized the importance of quality semen from reputable large scale bull studs to ensure quality of handling and product.
  • Larry Corah, Vice President of supply development for Certified Angus Beef LLC., highlighted the demand for premium-Choice and Prime is high and changing the market place. Corah also emphasized use of AI with proven genetics can help producers obtain higher quality levels that are capturing premiums
  • Steve Hopkins, Virginia Cooperative Extension, in his talk about “How do I profit from improved reproduction” listed the ability to utilize AI to create uniformity as a way to create value in heifers, cows, and calves
  • Randall Hinshaw, DVM.,  Ashby Embryo, provided additional reasons and support for rectal ultrasound; listing “Why Ultrasound:  more accurate, less invasive, confirm fetal viability, diagnose pregnancy earlier (25 days), diagnose fetal anomalies, understanding follicular dynamics, assess ovarian status before breeding AI

ABS offers expert knowledge to match synchronization systems to best fit your specific needs. You can confidently look to ABS Professionals to assist and help meet your operations’ needs at any herd size.  Contact ABS today to discuss options for your herd.

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Fall 2013 Focal Point Online

September 16, 2013

The Fall Focal Point is currently printing and should arrive in your mailbox soon! In the meantime you can view the online version here

In this issue:

  • Fall Beef Special
  • Leading Influential Sires
  • NEW Sire Alliance Graduates and Fall 2013 Angus Sire Alliance Data
  • ABS Customer Spotlight focusing on building a future and adding value with proven, foundation genetics

2013FALLFP_COVER (LR)

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Developmental Duplication Genetic Condition Test Available

September 4, 2013

Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) and Zoetis Genetics have announced they are accepting orders and samples for Developmental Duplication (DD) genetic condition testing.  Similar to other genetic tests, orders should be submitted through the AGI ordering process available on the American Angus Association login page www.angusonline.org.

View full release from American Angus Association

ABS DD Results August 30 2013

Previous ABS Beef Blogs on Developmental Duplication

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It’s Not Too Late!

June 11, 2013

Has this spring’s weather put off your breeding decisions until later than usual?  Maybe with the changing weather and prices you still haven’t made up your mind?

It’s not too late to talk with your ABS Representative! ABS has the Proven & Promising Special running through June 27th, for discount pricing, and as always, we have the right people to get the job done!

Still not convinced AI is right for you? Check out this video of  a large-scale cow breeding project in South Dakota at Fulton Ranch.  This video was taken in July 2012 while using fixed-time AI on their cow herd. It demonstrates how simple and efficient a large-scale, turn-key AI program really can be.

For more information on Fulton Ranch, you can also re-visit what ABS has done for their breeding program with the Fall 2012 Beef Focal Point, ABS Customer Spotlight article. With ABS, you’re better equipped for better results!

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