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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Synchronization and AI Questions Answered

December 2, 2013

The other week we asked if you had any additional questions for Dr. Cliff Lamb regarding synchronization.  Below is his response to the question.

You can review previous posts here.

Q.) After starting a group of heifers on the 33 day TAI protocol, it was discovered that we need to breed 1 day early. Is it better to remove the CIDR on day 13 or give PGF 15 days(vs 16) after CIDR removal? How much would either change decrease or expected conception rate?

A.) There is no comparative data to know if there would be a decrease in fertility by limiting the CIDR to 13 days or reducing the interval from CIDR removal to 15 days.  However, I do not believe the fertility will decrease sufficiently with either option in a manner that it is noticeable to a producer.  However, given this scenario, I would elect to reduce the length of the CIDR to 13 days rather than reducing the interval from CIDR removal to PGF to 15 days.

 

Special thanks to Cliff Lamb and if you have further questions please send them our way and we will get them answered.

Cliff Lamb, Ph. D , is currently the Assistant Director and Professor at the University of Florida North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida.  He graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science at Middle Tennessee State University. He received his M.S in 1996 and Ph. D. in 1998 at Kansas State University.  As Assistant Director of the North Florida Research and Education Center he oversees one of the largest beef cattle feed efficiency facilities in the world.  Dr. Lamb oversees a research program that focuses on applied reproductive physiology in beef cattle emphasizing efficient management systems for replacement heifers and postpartum cows. A primary research focus has been on the development of practical and economical estrous synchronization protocols for beef cows and heifers. He has also published numerous research articles on the use of ultrasound technology for reproductive management of beef cattle, and has a strong research background in embryo transfer technologies.  He is author of more than 60 refereed journal articles, 3 chapters in texts, and more than 200 presentations and articles in other scientific and popular press.

 


Fall Breeding Season Is Here

November 13, 2013

It’s that time of year again, fall breeding season! If you’re a fall calver and missed our spring blog series, synchronization Q&A with Dr. Cliff Lamb, here is your chance!

You can get a refresher on the previous series by clicking here. We received such good feed back, we’re opening it up again, and Dr. Lamb has graciously agreed to answer any further questions you have. If you have a synchronization question, here is your chance to get a response from a leading expert on beef cattle reproductive technologies.

Please post any questions in the comment section below by Wednesday, November 20, 2013 and we’ll have Dr. Lamb answer them.

Cliff Lamb, Ph. D , is currently the Assistant Director and Professor at the University of Florida North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida.  He graduated with a B.S. in Animal Science at Middle Tennessee State University. He received his M.S in 1996 and Ph. D. in 1998 at Kansas State University.  As Assistant Director of the North Florida Research and Education Center he oversees one of the largest beef cattle feed efficiency facilities in the world.  Dr. Lamb oversees a research program that focuses on applied reproductive physiology in beef cattle emphasizing efficient management systems for replacement heifers and postpartum cows. A primary research focus has been on the development of practical and economical estrous synchronization protocols for beef cows and heifers. He has also published numerous research articles on the use of ultrasound technology for reproductive management of beef cattle, and has a strong research background in embryo transfer technologies.  He is author of more than 60 refereed journal articles, 3 chapters in texts, and more than 200 presentations and articles in other scientific and popular press.