News & Advice

“I’m putting one less cow up a day during AB, but that’s okay isn’t it?”

Sep 26, 2019 | Dairy, Dairy Farm Reproduction

Let’s do the sums. 

We all know that the target 3-week submission rate is 90%. To achieve target 3 and 6 week in-calf rates (54% and 78% respectively), this submission rate is not negotiable. Herds that achieve these in-calf targets are all achieving a 3-week submission rate of 90%. That said, the national average for the 3-week submission rate is only 80%, which means 75% of herds are not achieving the 90% target.

To achieve a 90% 3-week submission rate, we need to submit 4.3% of the herd every day for the 21 days. For a 300-cow herd, that equals 13 cows per day. If we only submit 12 cows per day over this period, then by the end of week 3 we have only hit 84%, which is certainly below optimal.

Trying to monitor this daily is more difficult, as we won’t get even numbers every day. We also have factors such as CIDRs and synchrony programmes that will also upset the daily pattern. There are some useful tools available on Minda Web and on the Minda mating Apps to help monitor your daily submission rate. The graph below, which is updated daily, can easily demonstrate if you are dropping below the target line. The herd below used CIDRs on day one for non-cyclers and used a prostaglandin synchrony programme in the cycling cows as well, which is the second big jump in the second week, and then things flatten off in week three.

If you do not use the graph to monitor your performance, you can do a quick calculation: number of cows to be mated minus the number of cows CIDR’d multiplied by 90% and divided by 21 days. This will be the number of cows daily (e.g. 300 cows – 30 CIDRs = 270 cows * 90% = 244 cows/21days = 11.6/day. So, if 30 CIDRs are used in a 300 cow herd at the beginning or before PSM, then we need 12 cows daily not the original 13.

Graph 1 – Shows a herd using early non-cycler treatment and a Why Wait – Pg program. They are above target (dotted blue line) submission rate for the entire first 3 weeks. 

Graph 2 – On this farm, it is clear from early in mating that the target submission rate (the dotted line) would not be reached without some intervention. Treating the non-cyclers after the first week would have helped here. 

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