Enhancing reproductive and genetics management of dairy cattle

Getting cows pregnant on a timely basis using genetically superior sires impacts dairy herd profitability.

Successful dairy herd management includes focusing on getting cows pregnant on a timely basis using genetically superior sires. Reproductive efficiency on dairy farms requires maximizing conception rates at first and later services, identifying cows that are not pregnant and re-breeding open cows as soon as possible. An important outcome of getting cows and heifers pregnant is generating replacement heifers. Genetic selection decisions have a significant impact on the future performance of these heifers.

New strategies to enhance reproductive performance and to improve the genetic potential of dairy herds will be discussed at an upcoming program being hosted by Michigan State University Extension. The program “Enhancing Reproductive and Genetics Management of Dairy Cattle” will be offered at four locations across Michigan from Feb. 25-28.

Featured topics at this MSU Extension dairy program are:

  • Increasing fertility of lactating dairy cows at first service - Conception rates following first service can be enhanced considerably with key fertility programs.
  • Is Your Pregnancy Diagnosis Program Working to Your Benefit? - Timing and frequency of pregnancy diagnoses are critical to reduce time to re-insemination of non-pregnant cows.
  • She’s not pregnant – now what? - Dairy farms must implement efficient programs that enhance fertility potential and reduce days open to maintain profitable calving intervals.
  • Heifer synchronization programs that work - Heifer raising costs represent a major expense on dairy farms. Synchronization programs for heifers can be a labor management strategy that pays big dividends.
  • Making smart sire selection decisions - Genetic evaluations are available for a number of economically important traits, including fertility, health and fitness traits.
  • Using dairy genomics information on dairy farms - Genomics testing results have increased the reliability of genetic evaluations. Greater rates of genetic improvement can occur as a result of more accurate estimates of genetic merit.

Dr. Paul Fricke from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will take part in this event along with Dr. Richard Pursley, MSU Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science, and Kathy Lee, MSU Extension Senior Dairy Educator. Pursley and Fricke have presented more than 22 workshops together and through these collaborations have developed a unique way of interacting with their audiences.

Registration information for this program is available from Kathy Lee, MSU Extension Senior Dairy educator at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or (231) 839-4667.

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