A Tampa artificial insemination technician is busy helping ranchers boost their fall herd calving.
Don Mueller, Tampa, said December breeding is to produce calves in September. Cows usually produce one calf per year, Mueller said.
The purpose of using artificial insemination is both to improve the quality of the herd and to boost the number of calves produced, Mueller said.
Using sperm from a bull with characteristics better than the farmer already has in his herd produces a herd with those qualities, Mueller said.
He purchases frozen bull sperm from a supplier who ships it to him.
The artificial insemination process also ensures sperm is deposited into the uterus, so fertilization is more likely to happen, he said.
He learned the technique 35 years ago at Kansas Artificial Breeding Service Unit, part of Kansas State University.
Demand for his services has risen and fallen slightly in recent years, Mueller said.
“I’ll breed several hundred,” Mueller said of this month’s workload.
Mueller said most dairy operations use artificial insemination as a means of breeding cows, and most beef operations use natural insemination.
The former dairy operator still maintains a small herd of cows.
“I still show dairy animals,” Mueller said. “Holsteins at dairy shows.”