Sexed semen scheme proves success

31 Jul, 2009 02:00 AM
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Busselton dairy farmer Barry Oates (left), with Rod Brasher from Westside AB at the recent WAFarmers Annual Dairy Conference.
Busselton dairy farmer Barry Oates (left), with Rod Brasher from Westside AB at the recent WAFarmers Annual Dairy Conference.

THE introduction of of sexed sorted semen in cattle breeding has been one of the most sought after technologies, and through extensive research experts have found many advantages linked to artificial breeding.

Rod Brasher from Westside AB, who has over 30 years experience in the dairy industry, spoke at the recent WAFarmers Annual Dairy Conference about the this growing technology and the role it may play in the industry.

He said a recent survey of 18 dairy producers from WA and three from Victoria exposed the common benefits or problems concerned with this technology.

"We found varying results with conception rates in the field," Mr Brasher said.

"Most surveyed had been using sexed semen for at least three years and were milking progeny of these sires.

"Producers are happy with the heifer/bull ratio claiming 90 per cent or better, which is consistent with the science."

Mr Brasher said the calving difficulties were minimal and on average there were no real differences in conception from natural heats as opposed to synchronisation.

"Some producers are weighing up the advantages and disadvantages because of the lower conception rates," he said.

There are currently 70 machines in service that produce 218 doses each in a 24 hour period.

Early in 2006 there were 18,000 units being produced per month and in late 2008 there were close to 300,000 units being produced.

The cost of sexed semen ranges from $50 to $110.

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