It's not required but highly recommended that producers use artificial insemination so that they can use semen from proven sires. Top sires with good records are expensive. However, any producer can afford semen from the best bulls in their breed—when they buy bull power one semen straw at a time.
An advantage of timed AI (TAI) is that all heifers or cows in a herd can be bred in one morning. That cuts labor and produces a uniform calf crop, another benefit.
At the meeting, Patterson showed results from an early study comparing synchronized AI breeding with bull breeding. Heifers that were time-bred had 66% conception, compared to 44% of those bull-bred.
The benefits of synchronized breeding
Cows are receptive to breeding in a narrow window of time. Bulls don't always arrive for service at the right time.
Synchronized breeding allows insemination at the right hour.
Research for breeding protocols was conducted in Grundy County at the Thompson Farm, a part of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
In showing the AI breeding protocols, Patterson pointed to the timeline. "This is when the clock starts. If this was at 2 p.m. on Monday, 66 hours later, 8 a.m. Thursday, heifers are ready to breed."
At that point the cattle should be lined up at the breeding chute.
Later, Patterson showed slides of portable breeding barns for rent at MU Extension centers.
North-central Missouri producers get an extension on the enrollment deadline because of the delayed meeting. Regional livestock specialists have enrollment forms. Paying the registration fee holds a slot for a later decision on number of heifers to enter.
Source: University of Missouri Extension