Economics of pregnancy diagnostic tests

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A major goal of a dairy’s reproductive program is to establish pregnancy as soon as possible after the voluntary waiting period and identify nonpregnant cows as early as possible to allow for rapid reinsemination. One tool producers are using to identify nonpregnant cows earlier is blood pregnancy tests, says Dr. Victor Cabrera with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Cabrera addressed the financial impact of the chemical tests in a resynchronization program.

Commercially available blood pregnancy tests allow for determination of pregnancy with good accuracy as early as 28 days after breeding. One of the major advantages of a chemical test is the identification of nonpregnant cows sooner after breeding, which allows for the implementation of an aggressive resynchronization protocol earlier.

From a financial perspective, the major impact of using a chemical test for pregnancy testing in lactating dairy cows was the potential of shortening the interval from an open diagnosis to rebreeding. However, when the potential inaccuracy of the chemical test was included in the analysis, smaller economic differences were observed when comparing the chemical test versus palpation or ultrasound one week later.

While the results presented at the DCRC meeting may not apply to every farm and reproductive management program, the scenarios demonstrate a solid framework that could be perfected to perform economic assessments of using different testing methods as reproductive management programs for dairy cattle continue to evolve.

To access the 2011 DCRC Annual Meeting proceedings and presentations, CLICK HERE. (You must be a registered user to view.)

Source: Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council, January 2012 e-Newsletter



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