Simplify A.I. Program Through Synchronization Offers Many BenefitsTue, 18 Aug 2015 17:43:32 CDT
Fifty thousand dollars—that’s how much a Florida cowherd’s revenue increased with one management tweak. That's according to University of Florida animal scientist Cliff Lamb of the North Florida Research and Education Center.
"One of the things that we've been able to do is we've followed a beef herd for the last seven years, from when we when they did not use artificial insemination and synchronization to where we are now," Lamb said. "And during that period of time we've managed to decrease the breeding season by about 50 days, at the same time increasing the overall breeding season pregnancy rates and increasing the calf value. And I think a lot of people don't realize the net benefits of synchronization and AI together as an economic benefit."
That $169 per-calf increase comes from a tighter calving season, better rebreed rates and a more uniform calf crop. Lamb says cattlemen and women who resist the technology typically cite the “hassle factors:”
"One is that the, it's complicated to select bulls or for artificial insemination or the synchronization protocols," Lamb said. "The other one is facilities. They just don't feel they have facilities or they don't have the time or the expertise to do it. Um, ultimately that's how everything, people don't AI for one of those four reasons."
Timed A-I protocols simplify the process—taking heat detection out of the equation—and make it easier for any size operation to implement.
"So whether you have three thousand cows or you have twenty cows, the uh the ability to do, to do artificial insemination is is there," Lamb said. "You have the opportunity to do it."
Hiring outside help often makes economic sense, and overcomes most of the hurdles.
"We have turnkey operations where there are experts that have the facilities," Lamb said. "They have the expertise. You don't even have to know how to artificially inseminate cows. You can have somebody come out to the operation and do it for you."
A-I costs have not gone up with the rising price of bulls, which, Lamb says, should push more cattlemen toward the technology.
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