21 July 1995

AIservices improve to drum up trade

US AI services are expanding the service they offer in an attempt to ensnare more business.

It is now common for fieldsmen to sell milk replacer, heat detectors and probiotics when on-farm pushing their companies genetics.

"The future of the AI business is based on an improved and fuller service," says Roger Ripley, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin-based Accelerated Genetics. "Loyalties to specific organisations are very strong so by diversifying there is a chance to get a foot in the door with a new customer."

Four years ago Accelerated diversified into ancillary products. In 1994 the co-op sold £15.7m of products, of which £2.5m was farm products. Beef AI sales stood at £1.8m, with the balance in dairy AI. Total cattle semen sales by Accelerated were £6.9m in 1984.

"The genetic service offered these days is outstanding, but there is little difference in the quality offered by the various companies. The amount of business done between a producer and any organisation now comes down to the level of service offered," says Mr Ripley.

&#8226 Current average milk price ranges from 11p/litre in California to 18.9p/litre in south-east states.

&#8226 California, which is responsible for 16% of total milk production, is the only state with a milk quota system.

&#8226 A total of 9.5m dairy cows in US are divided into an average herd size of 54 cows, although California levels at 500 head.

&#8226 Average annual yield 7330kg.

&#8226 Total US milk production 69.7bn kg in 1994.

&#8226 Herds in wesf US are four and a half times bigger, compared with other states, and total annual production a herd nearly six time greater.

&#8226 Over 90% dairy producers have Holstein Friesians. Jerseys are the next most popular breed.

&#8226 US exported 469,079 units of semen to GB last year to the tune of £4,395,370.

Roger Ripley, president and chief executive officer of Accelerated Genetics, based in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Americas dairy land.