Kiwi dairymen are reversing the trend in dairy cow fertility. The number of cows with calf at 6 weeks after the voluntary waiting period increased by 3%, to 65% since 2010. DairyNZ officials estimate that increase to be worth $110 million NZD ($92 million USD). The country’s Livestock Improvement Council Corporation (LIC) used data from 7,000 herds to find the information, which they released in January.
LIC notes that, due to the country’s seasonal calving methods, natural selection pressure for better fertility keeps the country’s fertility levels higher than that of year-round calving countries like the U.S. Cows that aren’t in-calf within 6 weeks of the breeding season may not make the same window in a seasonal herd the next year.
A comparable U.S. “in-calf” rate, although the herds are typically not seasonal, would be pregnancy rate at 100 days.