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  • Writer's pictureEddie Ablett

Developing a strategy to improve results in Artificial Breeding

SYNC Innovations Pty Ltd ACN 635 704 880 Registered 22/08/2019

SYNC was established to act on the following:

COOPERATION IN AGRICULTUAL PROBLEM SOLVING – Developing a strategy to improve results in Artificial Breeding.

Australia has a competitive advantage in the lamb and sheep meat industry as one of the world’s largest and most efficient producers of commercial lamb. This competitive advantage has been enhanced by decades of research & development aimed at improving genetic gain through Artificial Breeding (AB) programs, the key driver being the use of frozen semen in laparoscopic insemination programs.

The foundation of these sciences has changed little over time and in recent years the industry has encountered a number of problems which have impacted on its ability to drive efficiency and maintain its competitive advantage. Results of these programs, both Artificial Insemination (AI) and Embryo Transfer (ET) have seen significant decline in recent years.

It has not yet been determined what exactly has caused this “crash” in the success rate of AI in sheep, but some thoughts include the possible reduction of semen quality, pasture effects ( high clover populations appear to decrease fertility) and reduced drug quality, stability and animal tolerance.

In dairy cattle, there is substantial evidence that fertility has decreased with increased milk yield. High production has increased the number of silent heats, disrupted hormonal equilibrium reducing oestrus intensity and decreased ovulation reliability. Compounding high production achievements in stud sheep breeding may therefore be effecting conception in frozen semen laparoscopic insemination programs.

A collaborative approach between artificial breeding companies, (Advanced Breeding Services and Tatiara Artificial Breeders) and stud sheep breeders (Australis White Dorper Stud, Genelink Dorper Stud, Glen Park Ultra White Stud and Detpa Grove and Anden White Suffolk Studs) have focused on Timed Ovulation Technology – directed at the predictable induction of ovulation within a relatively narrow “window” of time in sheep in their oestrus phase and inseminating with frozen semen within that window.

Over the past two years the above sheep studs have used experimental protocols in their AB programs designed to laparoscopically inseminate ewes as close to ovulation as possible to maximise fertilisation.

Results have been encouraging: • Experimental frozen semen laparoscopic insemination programs have achieved conception rates from 75 – 95% compared to control groups with conception rates from 45 – 60 %. • Experimental frozen semen laparoscopic insemination programs during ET have routinely produced fertilisation rates above 95% Our team is committed to providing the resources to refine the timed ovulation technology with the aim of establishing protocols that give uniform results over the breeding season with both maiden and adult sheep.

Our Progress to Date: An Australian Innovation Patent certified on 24/02/2021 METHOD FOR ENHANCING ASSISTED BREEDING TECHNIQUES

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