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Tips to Boost Milk Production Efficiency, Profits

September 27, 2017
POSTED BY: Ken Learmont | DVM | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Here are four tips to help maximize milk production and improve efficiency:  

  1. Get cows pregnant more efficiently in early lactation. It’s as simple as that.

    • Use a high-conception fertility synchronization program to help increase the number of cows that become pregnant at first service with timed artificial insemination (TAI).
    • Implement intensive heat detection to efficiently find open cows and expeditiously re-inseminate them.
    • Follow with high fertility resynchronization protocols on open cows detected during pregnancy checks.
  2. Prevent unnecessary culling.

    • Evaluate culling reasons and focus efforts on preventing culls, especially in fresh cow pens where disease risk is higher and losses are greater.
    • Monitor animals for clinical signs of disease, such as mastitis and metritis, for earlier treatment to increase probability of success and quicker return to production.
    • Help stabilize transition cow health to improve production following freshening through tighter management practices. Incorporate genomic testing for longer-term improvement with genetic selection for wellness traits.
  3. Calve in the right replacement heifers for your dairy as efficiently as possible by focusing on improving heifer pregnancy rates and genetics.

    • Improve the speed and efficiency of getting heifers pregnant.
      • Move heifers into breeding pens weekly and synchronize heats to help maximize first service insemination efforts.
      • Perform weekly pregnancy checks to identify open heifers to resynchronize as soon as possible.
    • Strategically utilize genomics to select and raise only the best group of heifers that are needed and best suited for your dairy. It’s important to manage and monitor heifer inventories closely in relation to the adult cow population in your herd to ensure there’s both a sufficient number of replacements to avoid milk production gaps, but also balance this with minimizing/keeping replacement numbers in check so as to not add excess cost.

4. Incorporate genomic testing strategies to create and select for more profitable, trouble-free heifers.

    • Garner long-term success by genomic testing with CLARIFIDE® Plus to identify females with the greatest potential to help reach herd health and profitability goals.
    • Select for production, reproductive efficiency and wellness traits to help build a healthier, more productive herd. The Dairy Wellness Profit Index® (DWP$®) provides the best balance of these goals to create the most profitability.
    • Increase use of sex-sorted semen for the opportunity to prioritize having more heifer calves born from the best group of heifers in your herd. With more heifer calves you can be more choosy in the ones you keep in the next generation, making each generation better and more profitable than the last.

Contact your Zoetis representative to explore opportunities to improve efficient milk production. Or visit to learn how producers are relying on genomic testing with CLARIFIDE Plus to achieve operational goals.



  • Calve heifers early for profitable returns
  • Save money on heifer reproduction
  • Predict future health and profitability of Holstein heifers


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