Beef Reproduction Task Force
The Beef Reproduction Task Force came together as a group in 2000, arising from the need for extension personnel to effectively communicate to beef producers the latest information related to reproductive technologies.
At the time, research in the area of estrous-cycle control in cattle expanded to more precise methods of control that included treatment with progestins, manipulation of follicular waves, and control of the lifespan of the corpus luteum. The rapid development of new systems to synchronize estrus and their associated acronyms created confusion in the industry, which resulted in the apparent need to embark on a coordinated effort to provide clarity.
The Beef Reproduction Task Force hosted the first “Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle” Symposium (ARSBC) in 2002 at Manhattan, Kan. Since that time, symposia have been conducted at seven locations across the U.S.
Representatives from the veterinary, artificial insemination (AI) and pharmaceutical industries were invited to meet with members of the Beef Reproduction Task Force at the 2004 symposium in North Platte, Neb., and together formed the Beef Reproduction Leadership Team.
At that time a common mission was established: “To optimize the productivity and improve the profitability of cow-calf operations by facilitating the adoption of cost-effective, applied reproductive technologies.”
The Beef Reproduction Leadership Team is dedicated to educate beef cattle producers on sustainable reproductive management systems to maintain U.S. leadership and competitiveness in the world beef market.
A major outcome stemming from the newly formed group was the development of standardized nomenclature for the various estrous-synchronization protocols. Collectively, the group established a short list of recommended protocols for beef heifers and cows, which now appears in catalogs of the major AI companies. The lists of recommended protocols are updated annually based on current research.
The Beef Reproduction Leadership Team along with the Beef Reproduction Task Force work together in hosting the ARSBC symposia, planning future symposia based on program content and location, in addition to identifying future research needs.
The Beef Reproduction Task Force and Leadership Team partnered with the Iowa Beef Center (IBC) to incorporate the lists of recommended protocols into the Estrus Synchronization Planner, a spreadsheet tool that provides scheduling and cost estimates for a variety of estrous synchronization protocols.
Finally, the goals of the Beef Reproduction Leadership Team are outlined below. These goals provide insight to objectives of the ARSBC symposia and a roadmap to educational programming stemming from the Beef Reproduction Task Force.
- Promote wider adoption of reproductive technologies among cow-calf producers.
- Educate cow-calf producers in management considerations that will increase the likelihood of successful AI breeding.
- Educate producers in marketing options to capture benefits that result from use of improved reproductive technologies.