What Is the Most Cost-Effective Breeding Program for Breeding Heifers: Timed AI, Estrous Detection, or a Combination of Both?

e dairy cows wait patiently in line to give milk at the UF/IFAS Dairy Research Unit in Hague. Florida ranks first nationally in average herd size and 15th in milk income. Photo by Milt Putnam.As any other business enterprise, the sustainability of a dairy farm is highly dependent on economics. In order to obtain a profitable return on assets, there is a constant need to maximize outputs and, oftentimes, to minimize inputs. Reproduction influences both milk production and number of replacement heifers available on a farm; therefore, reproductive efficiency becomes a key determinant of dairy cow profitability. This 3-page fact sheet presents information from recently published work that looked at the economics of different reproductive programs for breeding heifers that use timed AI only, estrus detection only, or a combination of both. Written by Klibs N. Galv√£o, Eduardo S. Ribeiro, and Jose Eduardo P. Santos, and published by the UF Department of Veterinary Medicine-Large Animal Clinical Sciences, May 2014.