AI training by Bles Dairies Genetics

Bles Dairies Genetics aims to improve the herds from farmers worldwide. This means, not only the provision of good quality bull semen, but also support, consultancy and trainings on reproduction related matters. The experienced consultants from Bles Dairies Genetics provide those trainings on several topics, such as artificial insemination.

AI courses in the Netherlands

Since five years, Bles Dairies Genetics works together with the Finnish distributor of Semex to exchange knowledge on the subject of genetics. Sari Alhainen from Semex Finland explains ‘Our clients were anxious to be able to do their own AI, but the possibilities in Finland were quite limited or did not meet our expectations, that is why we contacted Bles Dairies Genetics.’ Trainer Anne Terpstra has so far organized 27 artificial insemination trainings in the Netherlands for Finnish farmers. Small groups of +/- seven farmers follow a weekly program, during which they receive a short theoretical introduction followed by learning in practice. At the location of on beforehand selected dairy farms, the group has the possibility to gain knowledge, improve their practical skills and exchange information.

Saving money & time with DIY AI

“The first and most important reason to take part in the ‘Do It Yourself AI’ course is saving money,” says Heli Rytkönen, who participated in the AI course in March 2016 and the Ovary Diagnostics course in May 2018. Hely and her husband own a family farm in northern Savonia in Finland, where they have 200 cows, of which 75% Holstein Friesian and 25% Ayrshires. They have three Lely A4 robots and have an average milk production per cow of 10,700 kg, the ECM is 11,500 kg. According to Hely: “Taking care of the inseminations ourselves saves a lot of time and also helps preventing diseases by reducing the number of visitors, i.e. inseminators, on our farm.”

Improvement of fertility KPIs

Not only the prevention of diseases and saving money and time are relevant factors for inseminating cows yourselves. With more knowledge and skills you can also improve the fertility at your farm, as did Hanna Nivala, who has 150 cows, a milk production of 13093 kg per cow/year and 152 has land. Their Calving Interval before the AI & Ovary Diagnostics course used to be 403 days in 2014; now their actual Calving Interval is 390 days. Other KPIs such as conception rate and culling rate improved as well, from 1,99 inseminations/pregnancy in 2014 to 1,59 in 2018 and from 6% to 4% culling rate.

Professionalism

Farmers are becoming more and more professional and self-sufficient. They are eager for knowledge and skills so they are less dependent on others. “In Finland the need for training abroad is not so urgent anymore,” says Sari Alhainen, “The regulations have changed over the years and farmers can now train at their own farm, with their own herd.” This opportunity is becoming more popular, therefore Bles Dairies provides practical trainings on these locations as well. There are many different topics, such as hoof trimming, young stock rearing, preventive health care, AI, breeding….. etc. All with the goal to improve your knowledge and skills in dairy farming.

Heli Rytkönen

Hanna Nivala