17 August 2001

Pregnancy rates at all-time low

DAIRY cow pregnancy rates, diagnosed at routine vet visits, are the lowest they have ever been thanks to the effects of foot-and-mouth.

Suckler beef pregnancy rates are following the same downward trend, adds independent vet consultant Tony Andrews.

According to National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) figures, dairy cow pregnancy rates are running at 73.5%, compared with average figures between 76-84%. "This means that over a quarter of animals that producers believe to be pregnant are not. This indicates problems ahead," says Dr Andrews.

"Herds should be routinely PDd to find out which dairy cows are not in calf, as every week over the normal three-week return period is costing £21/dairy cow due to lost production, longer calving intervals and dry periods." &#42