Methods to Increase Reproductive Efficiency in Cattle
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We define our stakeholders to be dairy and beef cattle producers, the scientific community, and consumers. The proposed research addresses national priorities to sustain the dairy and beef cattle industries by increasing reproductive efficiency through applying technologies to improve production of milk and meat. To maintain a stable milk and meat supply for consumers, dairy farms and cattle ranches must be sustainable and foster environmental stewardship. Reproductive efficiency drives all revenues in cattle operations. The United Nations 2009 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) indicated that the world's agriculture will face one of the greatest challenges of all times: to produce enough food to feed the 9 billion people the earth will harbor by 2050. Without question, this will demand the concerted efforts of livestock producers, researchers, and policy makers to provide the experience and technology to achieve such an endeavor. Obviously, increasing reproductive efficiency of both beef and dairy cattle will contribute to the milk and meat supplies for future world food needs and for the U.S. to maintain a competitive advantage in production of milk and meat products.According to Farm Animal Integrated Research-2012 (Key Topic 1-4: Reproduction, FAIR-2012) "reproductive performance has a substantial effect on the overall efficiency of use of feeds in livestock production by all species, especially in cattle (italics added). Recent improvements in reproductive performance are impressive and important contributors to increases in whole herd feed efficiency. There is a need to further extend these improvements in challenging environments, including those often found in developing countries. Special opportunities now exist for improvements in reproductive areas such as semen preservation and timing of insemination."The NC-1201 committee is a long-standing group (previously known as the NC-113, NC-1006, and NC-1038 with more than 40 years of multistate cooperation since its inception in the early 1970s). It has contributed greatly to the increase in reproductive efficiency of cattle. Its long-term goal is to identify and develop strategies to improve reproductive efficiency for sustainable cattle production and is consistent with the consensus goals set forth by FAO 2009 and FAIR 2012, and consistent with the directions described by Tripps "Power and Promise" report cited previously.During the past 25 years, the NC-1201 project (including its predecessor projects NC-113, NC-1006, and NC-1038) has contributed greatly to the development of several breeding programs to maximize pregnancy rates. These successes directly address the objections or reasons given by cow-calf producers for not adopting reproductive technologies ( don't work;  cost; and  complicated procedures; NAHMS, 2007;.........