CATTLE AI RESEARCH HAPPENING IN STREETER - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

CATTLE AI RESEARCH HAPPENING IN STREETER

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 Every Rancher knows that working cattle is hard work.
One research expert is trying to reduce the number of round ups?? involved when artificially inseminating, better known as AI'ing cattle.
Ag Reporter Sarah Heinrich takes you on an early morning shoot inside a cattle barn near Streeter. 

(Carl Dahlen / NDSU Beef Cattle Specialist) "We just look at our watch and say, alright it's 6 o'clock this morning we are going to start breeding this group of cows." 
AI..it's a practice not every rancher chooses because of the extra work added to the already heavy workload. 
(Carl Dahlen / NDSU Beef Cattle Specialist) "One of the biggest issues is the time and labor that it takes to gather these cattle up." 
Carl Dahlen is a Beef Cattle Specialist at NDSU.
This summer Dahlen is researching if there is an easier way to AI cattle.
(Carl Dahlen / NDSU Beef Cattle Specialist) "One group stays on pasture and we gather them 3 times. The other group we put them in the pen we need to  gather them once, we feed them stored feed, we feed them hay for that 10 day duration. When it comes time to wake up in the morning and work the cows, it's real easy, we just open a gate and we are working cattle." 
While option 2 may sound easier, it might not be better.
(Carl Dahlen / NDSU Beef Cattle Specialist) "Number one are we going to impact our pregnancy rates? We are changing nutrient status, we are bringing these cows off lush green grass. Here we are mid July we have very powerful beautiful grass, out there and so we are bringing those cows back into the lot and feeding stored feed, is it going impact our pregnancy rates or reproductive efficiency. The 2nd key component is are we going to impact our calf weights and in our calf growth."
(Brian Neville / Central Grasslands Research Director) "In our herd we have been using AI for the last few years and we have seen a great improvement in our calf performance, so being able to find ways to help producers who may not have used AI before, be able to incorporate it into their operations, we feel is a very beneficial thing."
Dahlen says it took a few days for the cattle to adjust and increase their feed intake. 
He says they are also collecting blood samples to monitor the cow's nutrient status, hormones and stress.
(Carl Dahlen / NDSU Beef Cattle Specialist) "We gotta balance here. If we are going to impact our weaning weights on the calf side and we sacrifice that for a few extra percentage points of pregnancy on the cow side, we need to consider both of those numbers." 
Comparing the pros and cons...in hopes of making a rancher's job a little easier.


Some of the research findings will be known in 35 days, when the cattle are ultra sounded on pasture. 

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