Improve profits by using Dynescan semen tests to inform your breeding program

Sexed Semen. Improve conception rates outcomes with a Dynescan

In recent years, the use of Dairy Sexed Semen has grown rapidly from 31.9% in 2019 to 70.5% in 2022 (source: ADHB).  This will help to achieve the ambition of the AHDB and NFU’s national dairy calf strategy to eliminate calf euthanasia in 2023.

To provide more confidence to farmers using sexed semen, vets can perform Sustained Motility Lifetime (SML) tests using the Dynescan Semen Analyser.   The SML is the time at which the % progressive motility (effectively the % of ‘happy’ sperm cells) falls to one half of the original value.  Measurements on farms indicate the SML can vary widely from less than one hour to over 6 hours.  Early work carried out by vets relating the SML to on-farm outcomes suggests that the conception rate is likely to be more than 40% if the SML is longer than two hours.

As part of our studies, we came across a farm highly satisfied with its conception rates which had average 45% in 2022, respectable by any means.  A deeper look at the outcomes showed that 70% of the cows had been served by bulls producing conception rates around 50%, while 30% of the cows had been inseminated by a bull producing a conception rate of 34%.   If this poor sire had been on a par with the other bulls, our Return-on-Investment calculators show that this farm would have gained an extra £57,414 in 2022 (see Figure 1).

Financial gain to be had if the poor conception rates could be raised from 34% to 50% on a spring block calving farm. Data sourced in 2023
Figure 1: Financial gain to be had if the poor conception rates could be raised from 34% to 50% on a spring block calving farm. Data sourced in 2023

Now let us reconsider the figures if the poor sire had a conception rate of 40%, the lowest rate observed when the SML is greater than 2 hours.   In this case, the financial gain found on increasing CR from 40% to 50% is £34,788.   This indicates that if this farm could have avoided conception rates lower 40% they would have gained £22,626 (= £57,414 – £34,788).

The Dynescan offers AI technicians and farmers the opportunity to make informed choices about the way in which they use semen to help improve profitability.  Batches with a reduced SML may be better suited to fixed time AI or double insemination to maximise the chances of conception.  For a block calving system it is vital to optimise efficiency since the majority of the fertility cost derives from the loss in milk production to that oestrus.

If you would like your vet to perform Dynescan measurements, please get in touch with us and we can advise us of your closest Dynescan user, or you can recommend Dyneval Technology to your trusted vet using referral form.

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