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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 430532
Title Improved knowledge about Conception Rates Influences the Decision to Stop Insemination in Dairy Cows
Author(s) Inchaisri, C.; Vries, A. de; Jorritsma, R.; Hogeveen, Henk
Source Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 (2012)5. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 820 - 826.
Department(s) Business Economics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) replacement policies - milk-production - economic value - cattle - yield - model - stage - 1st - pregnancy - fertility
Abstract The conception rate in dairy cows is dependent on a number of cow factors such as days in milk and insemination number. Unfortunately, some of these factors were not accounted for in optimal insemination and replacement decision models. By using wrong estimates of the conception rate, the calculated optimal insemination and replacement policy might differ from the real optimal insemination and replacement policy. The objective of this study was to evaluate different sets of conception rates with an increasing level of accuracy to determine the insemination policy. An existing dynamic program for optimal insemination and replacement was used to compare three different scenarios in the estimation of conception rates, based on the reproductive performance of Dutch dairy cattle: (i) constant conception rate throughout lactation, (ii) conception rate dependent on parity and months in milk, and (iii) conception rate dependent on parity, months in milk and insemination number. The time step of the model was 30.4 days (1 month). The discounted future cash flow of culling a cow at each time step (replace a heifer immediately) was compared with keeping that cow under optimal future decisions. The difference between immediate culling and optimal decisions is defined as the retention pay-off. The insemination value was calculated as the difference between the future cash flow between immediate insemination of a cow and waiting one time-step. The results show that the difference in the insemination values and the optimal time to stop insemination depend on parity, lactation stage and the relative milk yield. In older cows with equal milk yields and at the same months in milk, the insemination value was lower than in younger cows. Within a parity, the insemination value was higher for cows with a higher milk yield. On individual cow level, using more accurate conception rate as input in the optimal insemination and replacement model might reduce miscalculation of the economic consequences for at least of €20–€38 per cow per year. Basing insemination decisions on less accurate input of the probabilities of conception, however, did not have an economic consequence at the herd level. In conclusion, using the appropriate conception rate as input in the optimal insemination and replacement model would increase the precise decision for the optimal time to stop insemination and hence improve the reproductive management efficacy.
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