April 14, 2009

Workshops spotlight programs to better beef reproductive efficiency

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Beef producers who are considering using an estrous synchronization and artificial insemination program will have an opportunity to learn how the Purdue University farms manage cattle in these programs during a two-part workshop at three Indiana locations.

"Using estrous synchronization and AI can increase the reproductive performance and reproductive efficiency of beef herds," said Allen Bridges, Purdue Extension reproductive physiologist.

"There are several advantages that estrous synchronization and AI offer. Some of these include the ability to get cows pregnant earlier in the breeding season and having them calve earlier in the calving season. This means they will have older, heavier calves at weaning."

Bridges said that using an estrous synchronization and AI program will help producers achieve the goal of having every cow calve every 365 days.

"With AI you have the opportunity to use better genetics, select sires that have proven genetics for production parameters that you need, such as calving needs, heavier weaning weights or carcass merit," he said.

The workshops are free and registration is not required. Individuals may attend one or both of the workshops. Dates, locations and times are:

* May 4 at 9 a.m. and May 14 at 10 a.m., Animal Science Research and Education Center in West Lafayette, located at 5675 W. 600 N.

* May 7 and May 15, both at 10 a.m., Feldun-Purdue Agricultural Center in Bedford, located at 923 State Road 458.

* May 18 at 10 a.m. and May 26 at 11 a.m., Scholer Farm in Greenhill, located east on 450 N., south of Greenhill.

These hands-on workshops will allow producers to place controlled internal drug-releasing inserts (CIDR), detect cows in heat and thaw semen to be used for AI, Bridges said.

After the hands-on portion of the workshop, Bridges will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using estrous synchronization in beef herds. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions or address any concerns they may have.

Beginning an estrous synchronization and AI program is more work than just putting a bull out, but considering the investment in time, labor and costs, it typically pays for itself, Bridges said.

For questions or more information, contact Bridges at 765-494-4810, allenbridges@purdue.edu

Writer: Julie Douglas, 765-496-1050, douglajk@purdue.edu

Source: Allen Bridges, 765-494-4810, allenbridges@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Steve Leer, sleer@purdue.edu
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