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Sound Reproduction or and High Production?



By Michael W. Overton, D.V.M., M.P.V.M, Elanco Animal Health

With 2018 now in full swing, dairy producers are looking toward the year ahead with profitability top of mind.

The profit equation can be expressed simply. Revenue – cost = profit. Achieving greater profit is where it becomes a bit trickier. The key strategies for generating additional or incremental profit, include:

  1. Increasing revenue and decreasing costs
  2. Increasing revenue by more than cost increases
  3. Decreasing revenue by less than the cost decrease

Of course, what works best will depend on your situation, and oftentimes, it will be a combination of profit-generating approaches.

Regardless of the strategy or strategies chosen to achieve greater profit, it is universally acknowledged that consistently getting cows pregnant in a timely and efficient way is one of the most profitable moves a dairy can make. Another proven way to enhance production, and ultimately, profit is use of tools and technologies, such as Posilac® bovine somatotropin.

But, can sound reproduction and high production coexist? The answer is yes. Here’s how:

Greater Production and Lower Cost: For a small additional investment, Posilac contributes to greater production while reducing the cost of production via an increase in revenue (milk) that is greater than the cost (Posilac, additional feed, and labor). Ultimately, use of the technology results in a reduced cost per cwt – leading to greater margins.

Comparable Response Among High-Producing Herds: When you look at Posilac relative to its impact on reproduction, studies have shown there may be a decrease in heat detection,1,2 a decrease in duration of estrus,3 and an increase in days open4. However, these are similar responses to those that may be seen in high-producing cows and herds in general. Any potential impact of Posilac on reproduction appears to be mediated through increased milk production and decreased heat expression – we have more reproduction management tools today to mitigate this impact.

No Impact on Conception Risk (CR): Studies have shown Posilac supplementation results in no negative impact on CR at timed artificial insemination ,5,6,7 (TAI), as well as no impact on CR at estrus detected-based AI5. Additionally, Posilac has shown no negative effect on progesterone levels or embryonic development8,9.

Research and practical experience with Posilac for nearly 25 years reveals it is a valuable technology to increase profitability, particularly when you consider it need not compromise reproductive performance.

Learn more about how you can put Posilac® to work in your herd. Contact the Elanco Customer Care Center at 1-800-233-2999 or PosilacSupport@elanco.com to place your order today!

1Santos, et al. (2004) Effect of bST and Reproductive Management on Reproductive Performance of Holstein Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 87(4):868-881.
2Kirby, et al. (1997) Response of Dairy Cows Treated with Bovine Somatotropin to a Luteolytic Dose of Prostaglandin F2α. Journal of Dairy Science, 80(2):286-294.
3Rivera, et al. (2010) Effect of bovine somatotropin (500 mg) administered at ten-day intervals on ovulatory responses, expression of estrus, and fertility in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 93(4):1500-1510.
4Cole, et al. (1991) Effect of recombinantly-derived bovine somatotropin on reproductive performance of dairy cattle. Theriogenology, 36(4):573-595.
5Santos, et al. (2004) Effect of bST and Reproductive Management on Reproductive Performance of Holstein Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 87(4):868-881.
6Moreira, et al. (2000) Use of Bovine Somatotropin in Lactating Dairy Cows Receiving Timed Artificial Insemination. Journal of Dairy Science, 83(6):1237-1247.
7Moreira, et al. (2001) Effects of Presynchronization and Bovine Somatotropin on Pregnancy Rates to a Timed Artificial Insemination Protocol in Lactating Dairy Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 84(7):1646-1659.
8Moreira, et al. (2002) Effects of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I on development of in vitro derived bovine embryos. Theriogenology, 57(2):895-907.
9Lucy, et al. (1994) Extended function of the corpus luteum and earlier development of the second follicular wave in heifers treated with bovine somatotropin. Theriogenology, 41(2):561-572.

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