BEEF Daily

10 Resources For Breeding Success


Getting ready to breed cows? Here are 10 resources to assist you in having success this breeding season.

Every year, I dread when the semen sales rep makes his way to our house. It’s not that I’m not excited about the new genetic potential that’s available each year to utilize on our cattle, but I sure hate the bill, not to mention the time and labor that goes with it! Some would argue that synchronizing, artificial insemination (AI) and embryo transfers are a cheaper option than buying the top-selling bull at a sale, but I just have a hard time buying semen. It’s kind of like making payments on a car. There’s certainly some depreciating value in straws that may or may not get a cow bred. A bull, however, gets the job done every time, as long as you take the steps to make sure he passes a breeding soundness exam!


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However, using AI technology is just part of the game when you’re in the purebred business, more commercial breeders are finding value in using AI, too. It seems like spring and early summer are the busy months to AI heifers and cows, so I rounded up 10 resources for breeding success. Here are 10 of our best on this topic:

1. Video: A x B x C x D = Reproductive Success

2. Research Looks At Heifer Synchronization Protocols

3. Synchronizing Their Cows Led The Way

4. Genomics, Genetics and Ginning Numbers

5. What Does Your AI Set-Up Look Like?

6. Some Thoughts On The True Cost Of AI

7. Breed Heifers Before Cows

8. Video: Factors Influencing AI Success

9. To Synchronize Or Not?

10. Why Haven’t AI & Crossbreeding Flourished?

Do you AI your heifers and cows? Do you synchronize and time breed? Which programs have worked best for you? Which bulls are you trying out this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 2

on Jun 2, 2014

I'm sorry to hear that you think AI'ing is too difficult or expensive. I'm not an expert on the economics, but we do have a bit of experience with providing a custom AI service to many large and small ranches where we live (and in surrounding areas/states) and try to make AI'ing the easy choice for ranches. Their input of labor/knowledge into the project is totally up to them - we can provide either a full service set up (implanting CIDR's, giving shots, etc.) or just show up and time breed the cattle.

Genex provides their Chute-Side Service all across the country, and makes AI'ing the easy choice. Plus John Deere Financial offers a low interest, 6 month plan that can help defer the cost - bonus!

I blogged about a project we did just this weekend here:

on Jun 2, 2014

Darcy, it's not that I think it's too difficult or expensive. I just allowed myself a little time to gripe about the added labor/expense during this time of year! I should have added that my husband and dad get a little overzealous with their semen purchases, and we have more in our tanks and in storage than we will ever use in a lifetime!!! We AI extensively and have great success with it, but at the end of the day, if you really think about it, it really is straws of semen and lots of tail holding, heat detecting and time spent in a barn, during an otherwise busy year with planting, getting summer pastures ready, etc. Don't get me wrong, it's a great way to add genetics to your cowherd in a cost-effective way, but it's still not my favorite task on the ranch. Thanks for sharing the link.

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What's BEEF Daily?

BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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