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FERTILITY FOCUS AT DAIRY-TECH

Herd monitoring technology improves conception rates through accurate heat detection and optimised insemination timing.

With the use of sexed semen to breed replacement heifers and accelerate the genetic progression of dairy herds becoming increasing commonplace, Allflex Livestock Intelligence’s focus at this year’s Dairy-Tech event (Stoneleigh Park, 7th April 2022) will be to showcase the role of technology in ensuring conception rates from sexed semen remain on par with those from conventional semen.

“Because the sorting process can make sexed semen slightly less durable than conventional semen, conception rates from the former tend to lag 10-15% behind those typically achieved from conventional inseminations,” explains Paul Mitcham, Allflex’s monitoring sales manager in the UK.

“For this reason, as well as safeguarding its viability by ensuring sexed semen is stored and handled with care and precision, it is also vital that sexed semen is used at the optimum timing. For conventional semen the general rule of thumb is for artificial insemination to take place at around 8 to 14 hours after peak heat, but for sexed semen this should be delayed to between 14 and 20 hours.”

Ensuring the accuracy of these timings isn’t easy, especially as herds expand and farm workers come under increasing time constraints. “Under these pressured circumstances it can be difficult to spot each heat reliably, and even trickier to determine exactly when the animal concerned came into oestrus,” Paul continues, “which is why more and more herd managers are turning to technology to accurately detect the onset of heats.”

The advanced electronics housed within the latest generation of Allflex’s SenseHub collars and monitoring ear tags have been proven to accurately and reliably detect more than 95% of heats, including the majority of silent heats. “This information is subsequently relayed to the herd manager or AI technician as easy to interpret graphs and text alerts to ensure each animal, irrespective of whether she is ear-marked to receive sexed or conventional semen, is inseminated at the optimum time. As such, each animal will have a higher chance of conceiving,” Paul Mitcham adds.

“To help herd managers and AI technicians get a better handle on how technology can improve their herds’ fertility scores from sexed semen, Allflex’s team of herd monitoring experts will be at the Dairy-Tech event to showcase the SenseHub system and to offer practical heat detection and insemination timing advice.”

For more information go to www.allflex.co.uk or visit the Allflex stand (Stand T12) at Dairy-Tech.