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J Dairy Sci. 2013 Apr;96(4):2681-2693. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-5982. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

Economic comparison of reproductive programs for dairy herds using estrus detection, timed artificial insemination, or a combination.

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Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and D. H. Barron Reproductive and Perinatal Biology Research Program, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610. Electronic address:
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics, Capital University, Columbus, OH 43210.
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.
Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


The objective of this study was to compare the economic outcome of reproductive programs using estrus detection (ED), timed artificial insemination (TAI), or a combination of both (TAI-ED) using a stochastic dynamic Monte-Carlo simulation model. Programs evaluated were (1) ED only; (2) TAI: Presynch-Ovsynch for first AI, and Ovsynch for resynchronization of open cows at 32 d after AI; (3) TAI-ED: Presynch-Ovsynch for first AI, but cows underwent ED and AI after first AI, and cows diagnosed open 32 d after AI were resynchronized using Ovsynch. Evaluated were the effect of ED rate (40 vs. 60%; ED40 or ED60), accuracy of estrus detection (85 vs. 95%), compliance with the timed AI protocol (85 vs. 95%), and milk price ($0.33 vs. 0.44/kg). Conception rate to first service was set at 33.9% and then decreased by 2.6% for every subsequent service. Abortion was set at 11.3%. Cows were not AI after 366 d in milk, and open cows were culled after 450 d in milk. Culled cows were immediately replaced. Herd size was maintained at 1,000 cows, and the model accounted for all incomes and costs. Simulation was performed until steady state was reached (3,000 d), and then average daily values for the subsequent 2,000 d were used to calculate profit/cow per year. Net daily value was calculated by subtracting the costs (replacement, feeding, breeding, and other costs) from the daily income (milk sales, cow sales, and calf sales). The ED40 models resulted in greater profits than the TAI-85 model but lower profits than the TAI-95 model. Both ED60 models resulted in greater profits than the TAI-95 model. Combining TAI and ED increased profits within each level of accuracy or compliance. Adding TAI to ED would increase overall profit/cow per year by $46.8 to $74.7 with 40% ED, and by $8.9 to $30.5 with 60% ED. Adding ED to TAI would increase profit/cow per year by $64.2 to $99.4 with 85% compliance and by $31.8 to $59.7 with 95% compliance. Although combining TAI and ED increased profits within each level of accuracy or compliance, when evaluated separately, ED60 with 95% accuracy or TAI with 95% compliance were as profitable as or more profitable than TAI-ED with low ED, accuracy, or compliance. Therefore, producers can improve their profits by combining TAI and ED as reproductive management; however, if a herd can achieve high ED with high accuracy or have high compliance with injections, using only ED or TAI might be more profitable than trying to do both.

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