Supplementary tables for Effect of reproductive management programs that prioritized AI at detected estrus or timed AI on the economic performance of primiparous Holstein cows of different genetic merit for fertility

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The objective of this randomized controlled experiment was to evaluate the effect of reproductive management programs that prioritized or AI at detected estrus (AIE) or timed AI (TAI) during the first lactation on the economic performance of dairy cows of different genomically-enhanced predicted transmitting ability for fertility. Lactating primiparous Holstein cows from six commercial farms were stratified into high, medium, and low fertility groups based on a Reproduction Index (RI) value calculated from multiple genomically enhanced predicted transmitting abilities to predict the number of days to achieve pregnancy. Within herd and fertility group, cows were randomly assigned either to a program that prioritized AIE (P-AIE; n = 1,416) and used TAI for cows not AIE for all AI services or another that prioritized TAI and had an extended VWP for first service and prioritized TAI for second and greater AI services (P-TAI; n = 1,338). Cash flow (CF) per cow accumulated for the experimental (first) and second calving interval and cash flow per slot per 28 mo after calving in the experimental lactation were calculated. Market and rearing heifer cost values were used for estimating CF. For cows in the Hi-Fert group, a positive effect of delayed pregnancy on milk income during the first lactation was observed but was insufficient to generate significant differences in CF between treatments mainly because of milk income compensation in the second lactation and minor reductions in reproductive cost and gains in calf value for the P-AIE treatment. In this regard, CF for two CI was greater for the P-TAI treatment. Similarly, CF per slot was favorable to the P-TAI treatment. For cows in the Lo-Fert group, CF was numerically in favor of the P-AIE treatment due to a pregnancy and herd exit dynamics that resulted in gains in milk IOFC during the first and second lactation. Differences in CF between cows of different genetic merit for fertility were consistent across treatment and estimation method. Of note, cows in the Lo-Fert group had greater cash flow than cows in the Hi-Fert group in all comparisons. For the Lo-Fert group, greater milk production contributed directly (milk IOFC) and indirectly (reduced culling) to increased cash flow. We concluded that genetic merit for fertility and cash flow are associated because cows of inferior genetic potential for fertility had greater cash flow than cows of superior genetic for fertility despite some increased costs and reduced revenues. Also, the magnitude of the cash flow differences observed for cows of different genetic merit for fertility managed with the P-AIE or P-TAI program may be valuable to commercial dairy farms but did not allow to conclusively support the choice of a type of reproductive management strategy for cows of different genetic merit for fertility.

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targeted reproductive management; profitability; genomics; dairy cow performance


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