Multi-state Beef Reproduction Task Force provides science-based recommendations for the application of reproductive technologies
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Since its formation, the Beef Reproduction Task Force (BRTF) has worked to enhance productivity and profitability of US beef herds by integrating research and extension efforts with the intent of more effectively transferring the use of reproductive technologies to the field. A key early step was to coordinate efforts in identifying effective breeding management protocols for beef cattle and to clarify their associated acronyms. A short list of recommended protocols and their acronyms for synchronization of estrus and ovulation in beef cattle was developed based on results from peer-reviewed, published research and a comprehensive review of data collected from the field. The list of recommended protocols was developed by the BRTF in cooperation with veterinarians and cattle AI industries. These protocols and their acronyms are presented uniformly in all of the major AI sire directories and are available online at http://www.beefrepro.info. Protocol updates are made annually to incorporate the most recent research findings related to estrous cycle control in beef cattle. The Estrus Synchronization Planner, a software program developed in cooperation with the Iowa Beef Center, now reflects these same recommendations. Beginning in 2002, the BRTF hosted and presented 11 educational workshops to more than 1,900 attendees in key cow-calf states. These Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle workshops targeted beef producers, AI industry personnel, veterinarians, allied industry representatives, and academicians. A national media sponsor provided online coverage of the last 3 workshops at http://www.appliedreprostrategies.com. A postmeeting evaluation, developed to assess application of information from 2 recent workshops, was returned by 55% of those contacted (n = 150). Attendees averaged 16 (± 13.4 SD) yr of AI experience, and 80% of respondents represented more than 100 cows. Respondents were asked to estimate the value of AI-sired calves compared with natural-service-sired calves to their operation on a per-animal-marketed basis, and 17 and 31% responded $50 to $100 per animal and more than $100 per animal, respectively. As a result of what was learned at these conferences, 78% of respondents were better able to troubleshoot management-related issues, 60% made alterations to a protocol they had been using, and 35% of the respondents indicated they changed to a different estrus synchronization protocol.
author list (cited authors)
Johnson, S. K., Funston, R. N., Hall, J. B., Kesler, D. J., Lamb, G. C., Lauderdale, J. W., ... Strohbehn, D. R.