Sandy AI Techonolgies

(Sandy) Hi my name is Sandy Johnson, I’m an Extension Beef Specialist with K-State Research and Extension located out in Colby. My area of expertise is reproduction and I want to talk just a little bit about some of the reproductive technologies we have to utilize today. And we’ve had AI around today for lots of years and of course, the dairy industry has used it quite extensively. Beef has been a little slower to pick it up and perhaps we demand a little higher response than what the dairy industry does in their setting. But what people need to understand with the ability to control estrous and ovulation that we have with the tools available today, we can do an excellent job getting cows bred on a timed appointment. Three trips. Third trip is insemination and get 55-60 percent of those cows pregnant or better in one day. So, that’s the beginning of our breeding season. We’ve stacked everything on top, which has some tremendous advantage then, give them more time when they’re gonna.. before breeding the next year. They have more recovery time. And you just begin to move these cows up closer. And of course, with marketing opportunities now to market high quality beef. We may want to market some F1 females, we can use sex semen, we can do things with AI sires that might not be as usable for us to do with sires that we can afford to buy. And of course, we can use any sire, or virtually any sire could be available through AI and there’s tremendous choices there to allow you to do things in a breeding program that you couldn’t do with a limited number of nature service sires. The technology works. You need to think about it as an option, particularly as we think about rebuilding the cow herd for replacement heifers. We know that producers routinely say, the value of AI, a lot of it comes from the replacement heifers we create and having a good, high accuracy, low calving difficulty sire. And we certainly can get that using AI and you know, what better…you’re calving out a bunch of heifers knowing that you’ve used this high accuracy sire but also have some growth to add to that. So, tremendous advantage there to think about. And a lot of us are recognizing the problem that we have by just using just a single breed. There’s a tremendous advantage to reproduction if we look at weaning weight per cow exposed if we have an F1 female. OK, we can create some F1 females using AI and maybe that allows you to increase the heterosis in your herd and get the advantages that maybe you’ve missed in other years in your breed selection. So, the tools work. There’s a tremendous number of good AI technicians that can help you if you don’t know how to AI yourself. Because of the… because it works so good, you can schedule it. And these guys are busy enough now, you need to be planning ahead, get on the calendar. And then also be thinking about making sure your nutrition is right, third trimester coming into calving season and breeding season. In order to get a reasonable response those cows do have to have some condition and we can’t expect to get cows to reproduce that look like they’re gonna blow over in a big Kansas wind. So, excellent technology available. If you haven’t tried it, you should check out some of the opportunities that are there. It’s not the system of old. We can do a much better job with our technology today.

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