You've reached the Virginia Cooperative Extension Newsletter Archive. These files cover more than ten years of newsletters posted on our old website (through April/May 2009), and are provided for historical purposes only. As such, they may contain out-of-date references and broken links.

To see our latest newsletters and current information, visit our website at

Newsletter Archive index:

Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Who's Your Cow's Daddy?

Dairy Pipeline: July 2008

M. Chase Scott, Extension Agent, Southwest Virginia
(276) 223-6040;

As temperatures rise and field work takes us away from our cows, herd reproduction may suffer and pregnancy rates may decline. Rising feed costs along with milk prices dictate that we manage days in milk to maximize feed efficiency. Every year after corn silage harvest I receive many calls saying, “I am way behind on my breeding, do you know where I can find a good bull?” This year consider evaluating your bull breeding program before too many of your cows are open.

Even though artificial insemination can offer a greater opportunity for a herd’s genetic advancement, the use of natural service bulls is still prevalent in Virginia. If you are going to use bulls in your dairy herd they must be managed properly and safely. Just like a straw of semen or the success of an artificial inseminator, bulls are in control of the future production and offspring of your herd. Following are a few management strategies that you should use.

Visit Virginia Cooperative Extension