Expected Value of Crossbred Dairy Cattle Artificial Insemination Breeding Strategies in Virgin Heifers and Lactating Cows

Jorge Armando Barrientos Blanco, Purdue University


Overall, dairy market conditions, in addition to an individual farm’s climate conditions and reproductive program will determine dairy producers’ desire to incorporate sexed semen artificial insemination (AI) in their farm-breeding program. The objective of this research was to evaluate and compare the expected net present value of implementing sexed and conventional semen AI in the reproductive program of dairy farms using different breeding strategies. The net present value (NPV) was estimated for twenty-four dairy reproductive program scenarios, including three breeds (Holstein, Jersey x Holstein [1/2 x 1/2], and Girolando [3/8 Holstein x 5/8 Gyr]), two dam ages (virgin heifers and lactating cows), and four breeding strategies (pure conventional semen, pure sexed semen, one sexed semen insemination followed by conventional semen, and two sexed semen inseminations followed by conventional semen). The assumed cost per AI service was $40 and $25 for Holstein, $30 and $15 for Jersey x Holstein, and $35 and $20 for Girolando for sexed and conventional semen AI, respectively. Sex ratios were assumed at 49.2% female for conventional semen and 90% female for sexed semen AI. Results indicate that virgin heifers consistently generated higher NPV than lactating cows across all of the evaluated breeds. A few of the scenarios evaluating lactating cows in our analysis generated NPV > 0, which has generally not been the case in previous research. However, these NPV results are sensitive to the input prices required in the NPV model, especially when the cumulative pregnancy rates are low. In addition, conventional semen and one sexed semen service followed by conventional semen AI consistently produced the highest NPVs across the evaluated breeds. The most relevant factors influencing the net present value results were conception rate, cull market value of the dairy dam, and artificial insemination cost. The highest NPV’s were for Girolando, followed by Jersey x Holstein crossbreed, and the lowest NPV’s were for Holstein, across the different evaluated dam ages. The reproductive performance, climate conditions, and breeding strategy of a specific farm will determine which AI strategy a farmer uses in their dairy farm reproduction program.




Thompson, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Genetics|Animal sciences|Agricultural economics

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