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Estrous-expression-identification tool

Estrous-expression-identification tool

“Innovative solutions for sustainable improvement of dairy cow fertility,” led by Francisco Peñagaricano, an assistant professor in the department of animal and dairy Sciences. Kent Weigel is collaborating on the research.

Project summary: Intense selection for productive traits has negatively affected dairy-cow fertility in the past half century. Poor fertility is leading to significant economic losses. Dairy farmers have been heavily relying on the use of hormonal treatments such as ovulation-synchronization protocols to mitigate poor reproductive performance. But the need to reduce pharmacological interventions is a reality for the future of Wisconsin’s dairy community.

There’s a need to improve fertility in an environmentally sustainable manner. One approach is focusing on estrous behavior. The project will involve extensive research into the estrous cycle with the goal of delivering a novel genomic-prediction tool. The tool can be used to identify, rank and select cows with improved estrous expression. Selecting cows with increased estrous expression will help increase pregnancy rates without relying on hormonal interventions.

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