Researchers who focus on reproduction and allied industries that support the dairy industry have joined forces to create the Dairy Cattle Reproductive Council (DCRC). The organization’s mission is to raise the level of knowledge on issues critical to enhanced reproductive performance.

The DCRC will establish a stakeholder network and education platform to raise awareness of management techniques that can enhance reproduction on dairy operations. This effort will target dairy producers and the consultants that influence reproductive management.

“Current research indicates that reproductive performance in modern dairies is less than optimal,” explains William Thatcher, professor of animal sciences at the University of Florida. “What is even more troubling is that all signs point to this trend continuing.”

Therefore, the DCRC is sponsoring a national meeting on dairy cattle reproductive management in Denver, Colo., Nov. 6 - 8.

While several factors can lead to poor reproductive health in the herd, university researchers and industry representatives say the DCRC will promote the development of new reproductive technologies and educate the dairy industry on ways to use new and existing tools to maximize herd health.

“We need to keep in mind that we’re talking about overall cow reproductive health,” explains José Santos, associate professor at the University of California-Davis. “There is not one single magic bullet that will work with every producer. Often, it’s a combination of factors that leads to poor reproductive health. Our goal is to have a comprehensive clearinghouse of information to serve the entire dairy industry.”

A key influence on the health and productivity of a dairy herd is each individual cow’s reproductive health. And while research into genetics, nutrition, disease and reproductive physiology has been extensive, the results of this research can often be lost in translation.

“Producers and key influencers may have the results of research programs, but the limiting factor has been implementation,” Santos says.

The DCRC will serve as a major information resource for producers, influencers and industry stakeholders. In addition to disseminating research information, the Council will work to analyze the economic impact of cutting-edge research. “We must ensure that the research being conducted and the recommendations being made are economically viable for the dairy producer,” Santos says.

“We believe that the Dairy Cattle Reproductive Council is a major step forward for our industry,” Santos says. “The Council is a first step in a proactive approach to ensuring that today’s producers receive accurate information that will help them succeed.”

For more information about the Council and the November meeting go to:

Dairy Cattle Reproductive Council