For dairy farmers who plan on spring calving, the next few weeks are a crucial time not only
for their herds, but also for their business and profit plans, especially if they are using Artificial Insemination (AI) techniques on-farm.
Dairy Australia program manager for Genetics and Data Management Matthew Shaffer, and Michelle Axford of the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme
(ADHIS) recommend farmers ensure they have enough replacements sired by AI bulls from the Good Bulls Guide. This may mean extending their AI program
by a few days before allowing bulls into the paddock to naturally join with their cows.
“Don’t fall short with your AI program and give it that extra bit of time as the upfront costs will pay dividends for over the lifetime of the cow.
”Improving the genetics of your herd will benefit your business bottom line and ultimately your profits even when times are tight,” said Mr Shaffer.
“In 2014, for example, AI bred Australian Holsteins produced 22kg of more fat and 23kg more protein than those naturally bred creating an additional
annual production value of about $271.80 per cow.
“And that means if you have 100 more AI bred Holstein cows in your herd you can expect an extra $27,000 of production value every year,” he added.
Ms Axford said that ADHIS and NHIA research for 2014 showed the total number of herd-recorded Holstein cows in Australia was 317,290, of which about
70% are AI bred. The extra value of annual production (based on $6.04/kg MS, source Dairy Farm Monitor Project 14/15) if the other 30% of cows
were bred by AI rather than by the herd bull was approximately $25 million.
“The reason we do research on better genetics for our cows is that it produces healthier cows who produce better quality milk and make better profits
for our dairy farms,” said Ms Axford.
For more information contact Michelle Axford, ADHIS Extension and Education Manager, ph 0427 573 330 email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.adhis.com.au.