Aug. 14 2012 08:54 AM

Are the reproduction strategies currently used on your dairy optimal?

Hoard's Dairyman completed its 20th webinar yesterday. Paul Fricke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shared "Five keys to reproductive success" with attendees from 25 states, seven Canadian provinces and 11 other foreign countries. Viewers received 50 minutes of presentation and an additional 15 minutes of answers to questions they provided.

While Monday at noon (Central time) may not fit everyone's schedule, the webinars are archived and then available on our website at All 20 presentations are available. There is no charge to attend the webinar or to view archives thanks to sponsors. Archive use is approaching the 12,000 view threshold.

Fricke's five key points were:
1. Inseminate cows quickly after the end of the voluntary waiting period
2. Inseminate cows at the correct time in relation to estrus or ovulation
3. Improve A.I. efficiency
4. Identify nonpregnant cows early after an insemination (but not too early)
5. Aggressively reinseminate nonpregnant cows

Throughout his presentation, Fricke used clearly defined charts and graphs. He addressed heat detection methods of visual observances, pedometers and accelerometer systems.

Fricke polled the audience as to their current method of pregnancy diagnosis. Among those on the webinar, over half use ultrasound for diagnosis, 40 percent use palpation, and a small, yet growing 9 percent use blood-based pregnancy tests. Discussion included accuracy and challenges with each method.

Conception rate is determined by timing of A.I. x A.I. efficiency x male fertility x female fertility. Using this model, he addressed the four components of the formula.

Topics Fricke mentioned that would cause producers to reflect upon their own operations included:

• Should you breed off natural heats or from timed A.I.?
• Are you breeding too late in relation to heat or ovulation?
• Who is doing the insemination, and are they the best option for greatest results?
• Is semen getting to the cow within 15 minutes of thawing?
• Are you checking for pregnancy too early in gestation?

"Five keys to reproductive success" is presented here.

Fricke's webinar brought to you by Merck.
See their U.S. dairy farmers care video.