Getting cows pregnant is vital to keeping the pipeline full. According to Jeremey Natzke of Wayside Dairy, a 35% plus pregnancy rate equates to an outstanding repro program and a number his dairy worked hard to achieve.
The increased cost associated with raising heifers has made producers retool their thinking. Earlier management decisions are happening on dairies, with a more dialed-in, strategic breeding philosophy being adapted.
With the cost of inflation impacting every corner of a dairy, the producer’s breeding strategy has been forced to become finetuned. More and more producers are keeping just enough replacements to fill the pipeline,.
Growing the ideal heifer is an ever-changing goal. A research team from Penn State University and the University of Florida recently explored the impact of bodyweight at first calving on milk yield and herd longevity.