At the end of the day, commercial breeders want to be making the most of their elite females, and Vetoquinols’ Dr Sophia Edwards presented conference delegates with the options they have with assisted reproduction.
Sophia looked at real life commercial beef producers as examples of how people are engaging elite genetics within their commercial herd.
She noted that, ‘At the end of the day you can split your female herd into elite cows, multipliers and production.’
But in order to split our cows there is a need to utilise genetic selection tools to accurately identify where your females sit in your herd.
‘You need to know what genetics you want to multiply and where you want to invest before you go looking into assisted reproduction, but artificial breeding and genetic selection go hand in hand.’
The breeding techniques highlighted included embryo transfer (ET) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which were all about maximising the genetics of the donor female and artificial insemination (AI) or fixed time AI and natural mating which are all about maximising the genetics of the bull.
Using these techniques across the female herd, breeders should be considering, ET, IVF and AI for their elite females, for their mulitpliers, AI or natural mating or even using them as recipients and for their production females natural mating or as recipients.
Looking at commercial beef herds in Queensland as an example, Sophia noted that their aim has been to get the best carcases they can.
‘They have identified the difference in them producing a carcase from out of average genetics as opposed to elite genetics is actually quite substantial in terms of value.’