As the spring breeding season is underway in many parts of the country, producers are evaluating costs associated with natural service and artificial insemination (AI). The "Breeding Cost Cow-Q-Lator" spreadsheet, developed by the University of Nebraska Extension, can be used to calculate breeding costs. This Excel® spreadsheet also allows for comparing natural service to AI. The spreadsheet and a video explaining each spreadsheet segment are available on the "Understanding and Using the Breeding Costs Cow-Q-Lator" page.
As the price of bulls increase and pregnancy rates in fixed-time AI protocols become competitive with artificial insemination on detected heat, more producers are considering the option of utilizing AI. This spreadsheet provides a layout in which to compare these two options. As breeding expenses are evaluated, the question that many producers are asking is, "What value is received for the dollars spent?" This spreadsheet can help producers answer that question.
Whether you utilize natural service, AI only or AI with natural service, knowing costs involved with each option and evaluating them against one another can give insight into ways to improve profitability.
For additional information related to applied reproductive strategies for beef cattle see the Beef Reproduction Task Force website.