Research has found that having semen from three bulls in one straw can increase dairy farmers’ average 56-day Non-Return Rate (NRR) by 4.2 per cent.
The research was carried out in The Netherlands by CRV in partnership with the Belgian Blue Group. Initial trial results are based on NRR data from over 1,000 inseminations using CRV Fertabull Belgian Blue.
For every 100 inseminations, at least four more cows will get in calf using CRV’s Fertabull when compared with average conventional straws.
Fertabull straws contain semen from multiple sires, lengthening the life of the semen in the straws and giving cows a greater chance to get in calf.
CRV Genetics Product Manager (NZ Market) Mitchell Koot says the research findings are good news for dairy farmers looking to tighten up calving patterns, reduce bobby calf numbers and breed higher-value dairy beef calves from their lowest genetic merit cows.
“This large-scale trial backs up the results that CRV’s New Zealand farmers have been experiencing since the introduction of CRV Fertabull more than 20 years ago,” he says.
“Our Fertabull Dairy beef options give dairy farmers the opportunity to maximise their mating performance, resulting in more days in milk and greater revenue.”
The trial compared the NRRs of herds when inseminated with a single Belgian Blue bull, and when they were inseminated using CRV’s Fertabull Belgian Blue straws, containing semen from three different Belgian Blue sires. The trial used 2,800 straws of CRV Fertabull Belgian Blue.
“Sperm cells remain viable for a limited period after insemination,” explains Mitchell. “However, the length of this period varies from bull to bull. As a result, there is variation between bulls in the availability of viable sperm cells at different times in the cow's fertility cycle. Therefore, mixing semen from different bulls increases the chance that sufficient sperm cells will be available at the right time for fertilisation. This increases the chance of pregnancy.”