Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Thematic Section: 36th Annual Meeting of the Association of Embryo Technology in Europe (AETE)

A review of simulation analyses of economics and genetics for the use of in-vitro produced embryos and artificial insemination in dairy herds

Albert De Vries; Karun Kaniyamattam

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Abstract: The use of in-vitro produced (IVP) embryo transfer (ET) in dairy herds is growing fast. Much of this growth is on dairy farms where the focus is on milk production and not on selling breeding stock. The value of implementing IVP-ET in a dairy herd arises from a higher genetic merit of the IVP-embryo, but the cost to produce a pregnancy with an IVP embryo is greater than the cost of artificial insemination (AI). The first objective of this study was to review estimates of the net benefit of using IVP-ET over AI in dairy herds using existing literature. Another objective was to show how much IVP-ET use in a herd is optimal. Most of the literature is based on simulation modeling, including our own work that focuses on the dairy industry in the USA. We found that the most profitable use of AI and IVP-ET is often a combination of the two. More IVP-ET should be used when the value of surplus calves is greater and the cost of IVP-ET is lower, among many other factors. In the future, use of IVP-ET will be further improved by more accurately identifying superior donors and recipients, reducing the generation interval, and achieving greater efficiency in embryo production.


embryo transfer, dairy, profitability, genetic lag


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