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The Cattle Connection

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies

Breeding season on a collision course for 2013 planting?

Anticipation and anxiety fill Illinois farmers' heads. Late winter weather in the Midwest has many farmers in hurry-up-and-wait mode in effort to get the crop in the ground. When the sun starts to shine and the breeze starts to blow, many farmers could find themselves having to choose between planting corn or breeding cows. Thanks to proven synchronization methods it doesn't have to come to that.

With a little bit of planning you can fit AI'ing cows into any hectic schedule. Years of research and application have provided good evidence that Timed-AI can result in comparable conception rates to heat-checking and breeding on the 12 hour rule. Yes... that is correct. You don't have to check for heats and worry about who came in heat and who didn't. You just breed them all by appointment. Protocols have different lead times, so it is important to plan in advance.

The success of Timed-AI is dependent on the same mentality as any AI protocol. There must be strict adherence to the protocol and a meticulous attitude in following the procedure. If you plan and do things right, the results are very good.

Among many things you should consider when choosing a protocol is whether you are looking to breed heifers or cows. In most cases the protocols will differ. If you are unsure of the specifics click on the links at the end of this post or contact your veterinarian or extension specialist.

If you foresee yourself caught in the collision of planting season and breeding season, take a look at the options for synchronization and Timed-AI. The option to have your veterinarian out to breed cows exists if you can't pry yourself from the tractor... at least you are only paying for one trip to the farm.

Take a look at synchronization protocols for cows here and heifers here
Also, Dr. Cliff Lamb answers frequently asked questions about synchronization here and here and here

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