The Pendora farm team includes (L to R): kneeling, Jesse Boyd, herdsman, and René Portena; standing, John Hunt, D.V.M.; and Ingrid, Rick, Kristen, and Carmen Portena.

"Three people on our dairy handle all the breeding — Rick and Ingrid Portena and Jesse Boyd. We have alternating weekends between Rick, Ingrid, and Jesse,” said Rick Portena from Pendora Dairy of Monkton, Ontario, Canada. “We breed twice a day — in the morning and after the afternoon milking,” explained the first-time Platinum winner of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s (DCRC) annual awards competition.

“We have a ‘friendly’ competition between each other to determine who beats who in conception rate (first breeding, cows, overall, and heifers),” added his wife, Ingrid, with a smile.

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 679 to 682 of the November issue of Hoard’s Dairyman. This year’s competition drew the second-largest set of nominations to date — 102 — from 15 U.S. states and seven countries found on four continents.

Here are additional responses to the question, “Describe your A.I. breeding program?”

Holmesville Dairy, Argyle, Wis.: We have Genex do our A.I. breeding. We breed our cows once a day, usually mid-morning. We don’t have any trained farm personnel to do the breeding.

Rollin’ Green Dairy, Brooklyn, Wis.: Jeff does a majority of the breeding, about 80 percent. Jason Goke, our technician from East Central Select Sires, does the remainder. Usually, the technician comes on ovsynch days. Time off is usually handled with everyone else watching for heat, while the technician handles the breeding. 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 she will be serviced that night.

On a side note . . . although Jeff does a majority of the repro and herdsmen work at our farm, a lot of credit is due to the rest of the family and hired help. It is truly a team effort in running the entire operation.

Schilling Farms, Darlington, Wis.: Cows and heifers are bred once every day by Genex. Once-a-day service is provided by lead technician Tim Heiring with Kyle Kass and others providing relief and assisting on ovsynch breeding days.

Seidl’s Mountain View Dairy, Luxemburg, Wis.: We have in-house personnel do A.I. breeding. Two herdsmen handle duties and alternate weeks. Most breeding is done on Thursday morning within 16 hours of administering the Wednesday afternoon GnRH. Services to standing heats follow the AM-PM breeding rule.

Victory Farms, Milbank, S.D.: Breeding is done in-house. We have three technicians who breed cows, so they relieve each other. We breed once a day.

This Hoard’s Dairyman Intel article is part of a seven-part series detailing top reproduction tips from the Platinum winning herds for the 11th annual Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council awards competition.

Click below to view previous reports from this DCRC series:

He checks for heats morning, noon, and night

Our presynch protocol sets the stage

We closely track our results

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2018
November 26, 2018
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