AI & Semen Handling

Above: This study describes on-farm DIY AI practices that may reduce conception rates on 112 farms in southeastern Australia

Fast Facts


Client: NHIA & Dairy Australia
Location: WA, NSW, Victoria
When: 2012-2013

Responsibilities: To develop and pilot a service for artificial breeding businesses to offer to dairy clients that do their own herd inseminations

Project description

The need:  Artificial Insemination enables semen from genetically superior sires to be used across all cows in dairy herds. It is the main route to market for the industry’s sizeable investment in technology to increase genetic gain in the Australian dairy herd. Many of the cows on Australian dairy farms are artificially inseminated by Do It Yourself operators. DIY inseminators tend to achieve lower conception rates than professional technicians. Conception rates can often be improved by small changes in methods of semen storage and handling, operator technique and farm insemination protocols. This research tested a potential new service for enhancing the outcomes for DIY operators.

What we did:  The Harris Park Group conducted a study of 8 businesses servicing 112 farms across three states. Dr Barry Zimmermann coordinated the field work, interacted with the project stakeholders (the National Herd Improvement Association and Artificial Breeding centres) and provided expert input to the on-farm resources. The new service showed much promise with 95% of participating farmers saying they’d be interested in having another refresher session on their farm.