Abstract #T156

# T156
Reproductive performance in dairy farms throughout Illinois: A Dairy Focus Team approach.
Maria I. Rivelli*1, Tonja Egan1, Diego A. Velasco Acosta1,2, Katie J. Haerr1, Sarah Y. Morrison1, Saige A. Sulzberger1, Cassandra S. Skenandore1, Felipe C. Cardoso1, 1University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 2Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil.

The ultimate goal of this project is to improve Illinois dairy farms through education. This is accomplished through the science-based innovation of the University of Illinois research and extension, and also gives students hands-on experience evaluating commercial dairy farms. Fertility in dairy cows has been declining in recent years. Therefore, the specific aim of this study was to survey the association between milk yield and reproductive status of dairy cows in selected dairy farms in Illinois. Twenty dairy farms in Illinois located in the central (C), north (N), and south (S) regions were visited. During the visits, a questionnaire, DHI records along with the individual farm data set (PCDART or DAIRYCOMP305) were collected and a final data set with the combined information was built in Excel for analysis. Yearly pregnancy rates (PR), first service conception rate (FSC), and services per conception (SC) were assessed on cows and heifers from 12 farms. Statistical analysis was performed using the UNIVARIATE procedure in SAS (v9.4). Heifer’s PR average overall was 14 ± 8.4%, and cow’s PR was 16.7 ± 4.9%. As expected, FSC was higher for heifers (56.5 ± 16.5%) than cows (40.8 ± 9.0%). Heifer’s SC was 2.2 ± 1.4, and cow’s was 2.6 ± 0.6, and average milk yield per cow/d was 35.3 ± 6.1kg. In Northern Illinois, heifer’s PR was higher (20.2 ± 4.3%) than Central Illinois (13.5 ± 8%). Furthermore, in Northern Illinois cow’s PR was higher (19.2 ± 4.9%) than Central Illinois (17.7 ± 2.6%). Moreover, similar differences were found for FSC, and SC. Average milk yield per cow/d was 38.0 ± 6.6 kg for N; 32.9 ± 5.6 kg for C; and 36.2 ± 6.4 kg for S. In conclusion, there were differences for PR, FSC, and SC percentages between and within regions. These results collectively, although limited in sample size, suggest that geographical aspects may play a role in reproductive success in Illinois dairy farms. The results of this study would imply customized recommendations to each farm to improve its reproductive status.

Key Words: reproductive success, Illinois, pregnancy rate