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Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

Estrus Synchronization Planner

Estrus management tool can help implement synchronization and AI protocols.

by Katy Kemp for Angus Journal®

STILLWATER, Okla. (Oct. 8, 2013) — The Iowa Beef Center (IBC) Estrus Synchronization Planner (ESP) simplifies choosing a synchronization protocol to fit individual needs. This estrus-management tool provides step-by-step guides for easier implementation of synchronized artificial insemination (AI).

The ESP can reduce unexpected errors and help users stay in compliance with synchronized AI protocols, Sandy Johnson, Kansas State University animal scientist, told attendees of the 2014 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) symposium hosted in Stillwater, Okla., Oct. 8-9.

Sandy JohnsonThe Excel-based Estrus Synchronization Planner features recommended protocols for cows and heifers customizable to the user’s inputs, said K-State's Sandy Johnson.

The Excel-based ESP features recommended synchronization protocols for cows and heifers customizable to the user’s inputs regarding system preferences of heat detection or fixed-time AI (FTAI), she explained. Once a user has entered their starting or ending date, along with the preferred system, the calendar view tab within the planner lists the steps needed by day to carry out the described protocol. If there are time conflicts, users can adjust the starting or ending date for better management.

Clients can input costs for an AI technician, synchronization products and semen to gain a better representation of total investment per pregnancy. According to Johnson, another useful feature is the cost analysis the ESP generates to compare estimated pregnancy costs for three different systems.

For any producer hesitant thinking this tool is too complicated, Johnson said if you are familiar with Excel, the ESP spreadsheet is user-friendly. Her survey of users demonstrate a majority find the ESP easy to use, made scheduling easier and reduced errors in implementing protocols.

Additionally, “most users found the ESP helped achieve timelier planning and preparation,” explained Johnson.

The planner is available for download from the Iowa Beef Center website ( for free. Users must register with contact information before downloading the planner. The purpose of registering is to provide a means to inform users of updates made to the planner.

The ESP is also now available on mobile and other handheld devices. EstruSynch is a collaborative effort between Southeast Cattle Advisor, Iowa Beef Center and the Beef Reproduction Task Force. It can be downloaded from Johnson said this web-based application works much like the full version, with only minor differences in features.

Johnson spoke during Wednesday’s ARSBC session focused on strategies for AI success. Visit the Newsroom at to listen to her presentation and to view her PowerPoint slides and proceedings paper.

Comprehensive coverage of the symposium is available online at Compiled by the Angus Journal editorial team, the site is made possible through sponsorship by the Beef Reproduction Task Force.

Editor's Note: This article was written under contract or by staff of the Angus Journal. To request reprint permission and guidelines, contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270.