An economic evaluation of estrous synchronization and timed artificial insemination in suckled beef cows

J. C. Rodgers, S. L. Bird, J. E. Larson, N. Dilorenzo, C. R. Dahlen, Alfredo DiCostanzo, G. C. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Partial budget analysis was used to determine the economic outcome of estrus synchronization (ES) and timed artificial insemination (TAI) in commercial cow-calf production. Suckled beef cows (n = 1,197) from 8 locations were assigned randomly within each location to 1 of 2 treatment groups: 1) cows were inseminated artificially after synchronization of ovulation using the CO-Synch + CIDR protocol, which includes a 100-μg injection of GnRH (OvaCyst; TevaAnimal Health, St. Joseph, MO) when a controlled internal drug-releasing device (CIDR; Pfizer Animal Health, New York, NY) containing 1.38 g of progesterone was inserted. The CIDR was removed 7 d later, and cows received a 25-mg injection of PGF (PGF; Lutalyse; Pfizer Animal Health), followed in 66 h with TAI and a second 100-μg injection of GnRH (TAI; n = 582), and 2) cows were exposed to natural service (NS) without estrous synchronization (Control; n = 615). Within each herd, cows from both treatments were maintained together in similar pastures and were exposed to bulls 12 h after the last cow in the TAI treatment was inseminated. Overall, the percentage of cows exposed to treatments that subsequently weaned a calf was greater (P < 0.05) for TAI (84%) than Control (78%) cows. In addition, survival analysis demonstrated that cumulative calving distribution differed (P < 0.05) between the TAI and Control treatments. Weaning weights per cow exposed to treatments were greater (P < 0.01) for cows in the TAI treatment (193.4 ± 4.3 kg) than those cows in the Control treatment (175.9 ± 4.3 kg). Overall, increased returns plus decreased costs ($82.32) minus decreased returns plus increased costs ($33.18) resulted in a $49.14 advantage per exposed cow in the TAI treatment compared with the Control treatment. Location greatly influenced weaned calf weights, which may have been a result of differing management, nutrition, genetic selection, production goals, and environments. We concluded that ES and TAI had a positive economic impact on subsequent weaning weights of exposed cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4055-4062
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2012


  • Artificial insemination
  • Beef cows
  • Economics
  • Estrus synchronization

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