Farmers reap from artificial insemination

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July 28, 2017
Contributed Dairy farmer Derrick Walker

Artificial insemination (AI) is a common practice of breeding livestock, and is much more common in dairy than beef production. The practice is gaining ground in beef-breeding herds due to increased access and marketing of favourably proven sires.

Locally, dairy farmers are reaping results from utilising artificial insemination, which is sold through Nutramix, a brand of the CB Group's Newport Mills Division.

The success of local farmers is paramount for Nutramix. They acknowledge the importance of artificial insemination for farmers to achieve a high success rate in cattle breeding herds where owning a herd bull is not always profitable.

Apart from offering free technical expertise to dairy farmers, Nutramix provides additional benefits through use of the artificial insemination.

Dr Gabrielle Young, technical support manager of Newport Mills, noted that artificial insemination has several benefits, including increased profitability through strategic herd management; availability of sires with improved production and carcass characteristics; ability to obtain at least a 50 per cent improvement on the herd (within the first cycle of calving); and fastest, cost-effective way of improving your herd.

IMPROVING GENETICS

And farmers have been reaping from the practice.

"I have been utilising artificial insemination since 2016. It is a matter of improving your genetics, which, over a protracted period, you will see increased milk production," said Derrick Walker, a 48-year veteran, whose dairy farm is in Rhymesbury, Clarendon.

Charles Learmond, a former mayor of May Pen, has been in dairy farming since 1982, and he has benefited from artificial insemination.

"I had my own service bull, and my son sold it last year. I was introduced to AI in November last year and all my 35 milking cows have been artificially inseminated. So far, I have received 16 calves, including two jerseys one bull and one heifer - which are high in milk production," he said.

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