Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

Southeast: Steps to successful reproductive management

Matthew Burns for Progressive Cattle Published on 24 February 2020

Reproduction is a critical aspect of any species’s life cycle and plays a major role in food animal production. Since the implementation of artificial insemination (A.I.) in the beef cattle industry, researchers have strived to improve the efficiency and utilization of this reproductive practice.

Through research, estrous synchronization protocols were developed to facilitate application of A.I. However, practical problems involving increased time and labor are associated with improved conception rates with many estrous synchronization protocols.

Over the years, research has focused on finding a balance between conception rates and time and labor costs to execute an ideal estrous synchronization protocol. To find more information and steps to implement a successful A.I. program, please visit online (

Genomic panels are fairly new technology available to producers both commercial and seedstock. You might ask: How can genomics improve reproduction? Genomics is a branch of microbiological study that deals with mapping the genome; it is being used in the beef industry to identify cattle that have genetic potential to excel in areas like reproduction.

Information provided by genomic testing can aid your operation with EPD enhancement or, with some of the newer genomic panels, stand-alone information that ranks animals in a report provided to you. Genomic tests exist to aid producers in selecting more reproductively efficient cattle (among other traits) and measure the amount of heterosis in females. Heterosis, overall, is beneficial to reproduction and longevity of a cow herd but is another topic we could spend much time discussing.

Developing an A.I. program is a process and takes extensive planning and forethought. Your local extension agent can help you with developing an A.I. program keeping your operation’s labor and time needs in mind. Numerous synchronization protocols and technologies exist to assist producers; however, it is left to each individual to determine which synchronization protocols and technologies will be a good fit for their operation. end mark

Matthew Burns
  • Matthew Burns

  • Extension Beef Specialist
  • Clemson University
  • Email Matthew Burns