“Team JZB . . . our “in-house” team breeds cows at Jer-Z-Boys Ranch,” commented Gary de Graaf when responding to the question "Who breeds cows on your farm?" “We rotate relief assignments with cross-trained fresh cow technicians so we have a number of well-trained A.I. technicians on our farm. We started the AM-PM breeding routine the same day we started placing sex-sorted semen in milk cows,” added son Daniel de Graaf, Pixley, Calif., whose farm earned Platinum honors in this year's Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s award competition.

All six of this year’s Platinum winners of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s awards share additional insight in this Hoard’s Dairyman Intel as well as the Round Table found on pages 695 to 697 of the November issue of Hoard’s Dairyman. This year’s competition drew the second-largest set of nominations to date from 16 U.S. states, Canada, and Italy.

Here are additional responses to the question, “Who breeds cows on your farm?”

Emerald Spring Dairy, Plainview, Minn.: We work with Select Sires. A technician stops once a day to heat detect and breed. A majority of the breedings are done on Thursday, so I assist breeding on those days to minimize lockup time.

Plymouth Dairy, LeMars, Iowa: Genex technicians carry out 98 percent of our cow breeding with 2 percent done by our herdsmen. The key is the teamwork between the Genex staff and our herdsmen who handle heat detection. They have great respect for each other and work hard to get great reproductive results. We only breed once per day after the cows return to their pen after being milked. At our custom heifer raiser, there are primarily two breeders who share the responsibility and also do a phenomenal job.

Rollin Green Dairy, Brooklyn, Wis.: Jeff does a majority of the breeding, about 80 percent; Jason Goke, our technician from Accelerated Genetics (Select Sires), does the remainder. Usually, the technician comes to the farm on ovsynch days. When Jeff has time off, everyone else watches for heats, and the A.I. technician is called to service cows.

Most of the breeding is done in the mornings, with the only exception being when a cow shows first signs of heat in the late morning after chores, then it will be serviced that night.

Schilling Dairy, Darlington, Wis.: Cows and heifers are bred once every day by Genex. Once-a-day service is provided by Genex lead technician Tim Heiring. Kenna Kirnis and others provide relief for Tim and assist with service on ovsynch breeding days and with keeping the cows painted.

Weisenbeck Dairy, Durand, Wis.: Our main breeder is Tim Nemitz (Genex), and we follow the AM-PM breeding rule.

This Hoard’s Dairyman Intel article is part of a nine-part series detailing top reproduction tips from the Platinum winning herds for the 10th annual Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council awards competition.

Click on the links below to view previous reports from this DCRC series:

They track fresh cow temps for 12 days

How they handle problem-breeding cows

We breed cows one week later, now

We confirm cows pregnant twice

Cowside records are a great tool for us

These benchmarks help us track our herd

We detect for heats morning, noon, and night

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2017
December 26, 2017
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