A recent national study looked at what eight successful dairies do well to achieve higher-than-average pregnancy rates. These dairies featured pregnancy rates than ranged from 17 percent to 25 percent. The national average is about 14 percent.

While each herd was managed differently, they had several factors in common, says Ellen Jordan, TexasA&MUniversity extension dairy specialist. For instance, they adopted technology to overcome estrus-detection challenges. In addition:

  • A.I. technicians were trusted employees or family members.
  • Personnel were hailed as a key to each dairy’s reproductive success.
  • The farms scheduled routine A.I. refresher courses.
  • The farms developed a compliance-assurance program.
  • They stressed cow comfort.
  • They used both close-up and fresh-cow groups.
  • They customized vaccination programs, and half had a program to identify persistently infected animals with Bovine Viral Diarrhea.