Cattle pregnancy testing can boost a producer’s bottom line, but it must be accurate, says the Australian Cattle Veterinarians Association.
President of the ACVA, Dr Enoch Bergman, said many producers underestimated the return on investment of accurate pregnancy testing.
“Pregnancy diagnosis isn’t just about measuring the success of the bulls, predicting the next calf crop, or injecting cash flow into a producer’s enterprise. Pregnancy testing is about ensuring that every cow on a property is working as hard as the producers that own them,” he said.
“Beef producers really can’t afford not to routinely test for pregnancy. The return on investment for accurate pregnancy diagnosis in cattle is tenfold,” he said.
“But accuracy is critical to get a good return on your investment. For example, if you incorrectly diagnose a cow and put it back in the field believing it’s pregnant when it’s not, that’s an extra year’s worth of feed. Inaccuracy costs the producer money,” he said.
“For example, every cow believed to be pregnant may cost upwards of $400 a year in feed and other care. Errors as low as 1pc over the entire heard in diagnosing a non-pregnant cow as pregnant can result in significant wasted feed costs. And every pregnant cow incorrectly diagnosed as not pregnant and then culled means the producer misses out on the sale of that calf.”
To meet industry demand for quality assurance in pregnancy diagnosis, the ACVA has developed the only accredited and audited cattle pregnancy testing scheme in Australia, the National Cattle Pregnancy Diagnosis (NCPD) scheme.
This world-leading scheme provides farmers with peace of mind and accountability for the work undertaken.
“Under our scheme, only accredited vets are able to apply tags, so when you buy or sell a cow or heifer you know it’s been tested by a National Cattle Pregnancy Diagnosis vet,” Dr Bergman said.
In order to become accredited as an NCPD veterinarian, the ACVA member must demonstrate accuracy both in pregnancy diagnosis and in the ability to estimate the expected calving dates of animals confirmed as pregnant.
“The NCPD scheme is one of the most stringent pregnancy diagnosis schemes globally,” Dr Bergman said.
“We’re very proud to support the profitability and sustainability of the Australian beef and dairy industries with this scheme.”
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