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Angus Journal
Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

Product Availability and Selection

Challenges to selection of products to implement breeding management protocols include expensive approval process.

by Troy Smith, field editor

DAVIS, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2015) — Once they have decided to embrace synchronized artificial insemination (AI), cattle breeders must select a fitting estrus-synchronization protocol and make appropriate selections from among the commercial products used to manage estrus synchronization. According to Jim Lauderdale, a Michigan-based reproductive physiologist and consultant, the multi-state Beef Reproduction Task Force aids breeders by providing science-based recommendations for the application of reproductive technologies, including a yearly update of the synchronization protocols for beef cows and heifers.

Jim LauderdaleJim Lauderdale, Michigan-based reproductive physiologist and consultant

In a presentation delivered during the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) symposium hosted Aug. 17-18 in Davis, Calif., Lauderdale said the Task Force reviews new research to determine if any new protocols should be added to those it recommends. Currently, protocols range from that involving heat detection following a single injection of prostaglandin product, to a more extensive protocol using an intravaginal progesterone release device (CIDR®) plus injections of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRh) and prostaglandin to facilitate fixed-time AI (FTAI) without heat detection.

Lauderdale said the protocols are the result of thorough testing, and the pharmaceuticals used to manage synchronization are approved by the Food & Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine after years of extensive and expensive research.

“It generally takes 10 to 15 years to gain approval for a new product, at a cost of up to $40 million for testing to assure product purity and potency, as well as its efficacy when used at the proper dosage. Toxicology studies determine product safety with regard to animals, humans and the environment,” explained Lauderdale.

Also discussed were the availability of various synchronization management products. Lauderdale said the progestogen melengestrol acetate (MGA) and CIDR devices are available over the counter without a prescription. Prostaglandin (PGF) products and gonadotropins (GnRH) products are available only by veterinary prescription.

Breeders can have confidence in the products.

“They work,” said Lauderdale, when used correctly in accordance with specific synchronization protocols. He advised adherence to correct timing of administration, at the correct dosage.

Lauderdale spoke during Monday’s ARSBC session focused on the basics of reproduction. For more information, visit the Newsroom at to view his PowerPoint, read the proceedings or listen to the 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.