Controlled breeding for better herd management | Midwest Marketer

The 2017 NAHMS study, released in May 2020, surveyed cow-calf producers in 24 states that represent 80% of all U.S. cow-calf businesses. Farmers and ranchers from eastern, central, and western states participated, producing data on beef cow-calf operations in the United States in 2013.

The study found that 77% of heifers were bred by natural service only and 15% of heifers were bred by a combination of bulls and artificial insemination (AI). However, the cows were almost all (93%) mated by natural service only, with 5.5% mated with a combination of natural service and AI. Small remnants in each group are heifers (3.4%) and cows (1.0%) mated only by AI

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To better understand what cow-calf producers are doing in relation to their breeding program, NAHMS investigated the breeding practices and technologies used on farms. In this, as well as in other measures, they cross-checked the size of the operation. Three sizes have been defined; small: 1-49 cows, medium: 50-199 cows and large: > 200 cows. The practices/technologies considered were synchronization of estrus, AI, diagnosis of pregnancy by palpation, blood test or ultrasound, pelvic measurement, body condition scoring (BCS), semen assessment ( as part of a reproductive examination) and embryo transfer.