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Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee Will Host Symposium on Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle

Livestock Update, July 2005

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech

Reproduction is the keystone of any commercial cow-calf or seed stock operation. Producers and their consultants can greatly impact the productivity and profitability of their operations by using current reproductive technologies in their operation. As the beef industry puts more emphasis on animal uniformity, known genetic potential, and predictable performance, technologies such as estrous synchronization and artificial insemination become increasingly important. In addition, reproductive success can be enhanced by a better understanding of beef cattle reproduction in general as well as the impact of nutrition and management on reproduction.

Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee Cooperative Extension in conjunction with the North Central Region Bovine Reproduction Task Force are hosting Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle in Lexington, Kentucky on November 1 & 2, 2005. Speakers include reproductive physiologists and veterinarians from across the country. "Two similar programs are being offered in Texas and Nevada. However, the Kentucky program focuses on aspects of reproduction unique to the Eastern US such as the impacts of endophyte-infected fescue, moderate herd size, and feeds common to the region," noted Dr. John Hall, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Virginia Tech.

"These meetings are for anyone interested in beef cattle reproduction and estrous synchronization, including producers, veterinarians, AI (artificial insemination) technicians and Extension specialists," said Dr. Sandy Johnson, reproductive physiologist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

The workshops are designed to improve the understanding of the physiological processes of the estrous cycle, currently available procedures to synchronize estrus and ovulation and the proper application of these systems. They will also focus on improving participants' understanding of methods to assess male fertility and how it affects the success of AI programs.

First-day topics will include information on the physiological principles underlying estrous synchronization, a detailed review of current estrous synchronization systems, costs and comparisons, nutrition and reproduction interactions, and dealing with non-cycling females, among others.

Day two sessions will include presentations on breeding soundness exams, industry application of technology in male reproduction, embryo transfer, reproductive tract scoring and the use of ultrasound for early pregnancy diagnosis and fetal sexing.

Dr. Les Anderson, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist - Reproduction (Univ. of Kentucky) indicated that an important aspect of the meeting were the panels featuring producers and practicing veterinarians. In addition, the meeting is approved for Continuing Education Credits for veterinarians.

Dr. Anderson, Dr. Dee Whittier, Extension Veterinarian (VA Tech), and Dr. Fred Hopkins, Extension Veterinarian (Univ. Tennessee) along with Dr. Hall are members of the coordination committee for the Kentucky meeting.

For more information on Applied Reproductive Strategies for Beef Cattle - East meeting in Lexington, Kentucky contact John Hall, 540-231-9153, Information on the web is available at under the link for Applied Reproductive Strategies.

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