Does AI Cost or Pay?

Dr. Les Anderson, Beef Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky

Last week we compared the costs per pregnancy for natural service and for a breeding system that included estrus synchronization and AI (ESAI). Considering the current costs of feed and pasture, the cost per pregnancy for natural service ranged from $38 to $72 when producers ran their bulls with 25-30 cows and the purchase price of the bull ranged from $1,500 to $3,000. The cost per pregnancy of the more popular ESAI protocols is from $65-75 depending mainly upon the conception rate to AI. Therefore, if the average cost per pregnancy is about $50, then using ESAI will add $15 to $25 to our costs of production. The question then becomes, does using ESAI increase our productivity enough to overcome this added cost of production.

Little data can be found in the literature that examines the return on investment of incorporating estrus synchronization and AI. We designed a trial to determine if implementation of estrus synchronization and AI is cost effective and Continue reading

What is the Condition of Your Cow Herd?

John Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

Fall is a very exciting time for most of Ohio’s commercial cow-calf operations. Since the majority of this state’s producers utilize a spring calving season, they are in the midst of weaning and marketing this year’s calf crop. This is the time to reap rewards for months of hard work and management towards the beef enterprise. Now is also a very important time to make management decisions that can affect your operation for years to come.

We are currently in the midst of record high prices for all classes of cattle. Regardless of the price of feeder calves, it is always of the utmost importance to Continue reading

But My Bull Doesn’t Cost Me Much . . . ?

Dr. Les Anderson, UK Beef Extension Specialist

One of the biggest concerns of ranchers when they are considering AI is that their costs will increase if they synchronize estrus and AI their cows. Does estrus synchronization and AI actually increase the cost of getting a cow pregnant? Few ranchers understand these costs which make the decision to AI a difficult one.

Let’s first try to understand the costs of pregnancy when using natural service. The factors that most dramatically impact cost per pregnancy for natural service include Continue reading