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Angus Journal
Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

Planning Assistance

Improving protocol compliance with Estrus Synchronization Planner

Story & photo by Troy Smith, field editor

DAVIS, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2015) — Choosing and executing a program for synchronized artificial insemination (AI) can be easier with a tool called the Estrus Synchronization Planner (ESP). Speaking during the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Symposium (ARSBC) in Davis, Calif., Kansas State University animal scientist Sandy Johnson said a majority of ESP tool adopters have called it a user-friendly way to plan and schedule implementation of estrus synchronization protocols.

The computer program was developed by Iowa State University and includes a list of recommended synchronization protocols. According to Johnson, even computer-challenged users can navigate their way through a process of selecting an appropriate synchronization protocol for cows or heifers, utilizing heat detection, fixed-time AI or a combination.

When users enter the day and time they want to begin breeding, the planner calculates the precise day and hour that each protocol treatment, including correct dosages of products, should be administered. The information is then placed on a printable calendar.

Johnson said up to three different protocols can be compared for cost analysis at a time. A cost per synchronized female for each system is based on expected conception and estrous response rates.

“Along with other costs, it will estimate the number of labor hours required, based on the protocol you select, which is useful if you are breeding females for others and need to calculate appropriate charges,” added Johnson.

The planner can be downloaded, free of charge, from the Iowa Beef Center website,

“Users are asked to register so they can receive notices of updates to the program,” explained Johnson.

The ESP has also been adapted for use with mobile hand-held devices. The mobile version is not downloadable but can be used online wherever cell service is available. The mobile version includes the most critical features, but lacks a few aspects of the full version, such as the printable calendar.

“Producers tell me that ESP is easy-to-use. It helped direct them to the most appropriate protocols and reduced errors in implementation,” added Johnson.

Johnson spoke during Monday’s ARSBC session focused on the basics of reproduction. Visit the Newsroom at to view her PowerPoint, read the proceedings or listen to her presentation.

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.