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Trends in the use of beef semen in dairy herds in the western United States.

J. M. V. Pereira




Trends in the use of beef semen in dairy herds in the western United States.
J. M. V. Pereira*1,2, M. I. Marcondes1, F. C. Ferreira2. 1Universidade Federal de Vicosa Vicosa, MG, Brazil, 2Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of CaliforniaDavis, CA .

Beef semen has been used as a strategy in the dairy industry to improve herd profitability. Our objective was to describe the trends in the use of beef semen in dairy herds in the western US. DHIA data from 2010 to 2017 was obtained from AgriTech. We used SAS 9.4 for data management and descriptive statistics. Cows with more than 10 lactations were excluded from our data set (498 cows, 2,083 lactations). Our final data set contained data from 460 herds (CA:380, ID:29, OR:22, NM:19, WA:10), 2,611,805 cows, 5,510,083 lactations, and 12,515,585 breedings. Cows were classified according to their parity order (1st, 2nd, and 3rd and plus), milk production: MP, (low (<34.3 Kg/d, P25), medium (34.3 - 43.5 kg/d) and high (>43.5 Kg/d, P75)), and breed (Holstein HO and Jersey JE). Herds were grouped by: herd size (small: < 694 cows (n = 115, P25), medium: 694 - 2,296 (n = 230) and large: > 2,296 (n = 115, P75)), herd type (HO >70% Holstein cows, (n = 373, 81% of all herds), JE >70% Jersey cows, (n = 77, 17% of all herds) and mixed (n = 10, 2% of all herds)), and conception rate: CR, (low: < 26.1% (n = 134, P25), medium: 26.1 - 32.4% (n = 199) and high: > 32.4% (n = 127, P75)). Beef semen was used in 152 herds (33% of all herds). In 2014, 0.2% of all breedings were beef (3,341 out of 1,692,420). In 2017, beef breedings represented 1.3% of all breedings (20,064 out of 1,596,485), an increase of 600%. By parity order, 45% of all beef semen breedings were on 3rd and plus lactation. Medium MP cows used BS in 0.8%, while low and high MP cows used BS in 0.7% of breedings from 2014 to 2017. In 2017, the percentage of beef semen breedings was 1.4%, 1.2% and 0.6% in large, medium and small herds. Holstein herds had 98% of all beef semen breedings. For CR, 1.7% represents the use of beef semen in low, 1.3% in medium and 0.9% in high CR herds in 2017. From 2014 to 2017, sexed dairy semen breedings increased 300%, from 34,567 in 2014 to 106,383 breedings in 2017. In conclusion, the increase in beef semen use has been led by dairies using large Holstein herds, with medium production level, low CR, and greater parity.

Keywords: trends, beef semen in dairy cattle, reproductive management.

Biography: Animal Scientist, PhD student in Ruminant Nutrition and Production at the Universidade Federal de Vicosa,�visiting research scholar�at University of California - Davis.