Trends In Reproductive Performance In Southeastern Holstein And Jersey DHI Herds.
Published 2002 · Biology, Medicine
Trends in average days open and services per conception from 1976 to 1999 were examined in 532 Holstein and 29 Jersey herds from 10 Southeastern states. Three-year averages for eight intervals (time) were calculated (first: 1976 to 1978; eighth: 1997 to 1999). Milk, fat, fat-corrected milk, and number of cows increased across time. Herds of both breeds had linear, quadratic, and cubic effects of time on days open and services per conception. For 1976 to 1978, respective averages of days open and services per conception were 122 +/- 2.8 d and 1.91 +/- 0.08 for Jerseys, 124 +/- 0.7 d and 1.91 +/- 0.02 for Holsteins. Days open increased nonlinearly to 152 +/- 2.8 d for Jerseys and 168 +/- 0.7 d for Holsteins by 1997 to 1999, resulting in a breed x time interaction. Services per conception also increased nonlinearly, reaching 2.94 +/- 0.04 services for both breeds in 1994 to 1996, changing only slightly after 1996. Fat-corrected milk and number of cows had small but significant effects. Five subregions (one to three states) differed in mean days open and services per conception, but changes in those measures across time among subregions were similar. Days to first service increased by 16 (Holsteins) and 18 d (Jerseys) during the last five 3-yr periods, associated with increasing days open. Estrus detection rates generally declined from 1985 to 1999, associated inversely with services per conception. Reduced reproductive performance in Southeastern dairy herds is of concern. Multiple strategies are needed to attenuate further declines.