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Reproductive, productive and economic performance of dairy heifers derived from in vitro produced embryos allocated in herds of small producers in the state of São Paulo

Grant number: 23/12479-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2023 - November 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Reproduction
Principal Investigator:Rafael Herrera Alvarez
Grantee:Rafael Herrera Alvarez
Host Institution: APTA Regional. Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Raquel Castellucci Caruso Sachs

Abstract

In the state of São Paulo, as in the rest of the country, the performance indexes of dairy herds from smallholders are extremely deficient, despite the high cost of land and the proximity to public research and extension institutions. Therefore, it is urgent to find viable strategies that allow changing this situation, to prevent the producer from moving away from the activity. In this sense, embryo transfer (ET), associated with good zootechnical management practices, seems to be a good alternative to be used by this segment of producers, since this technology has an exceptional capacity to generate transformations in livestock production systems due to the rapid transfer to herds of superior genetic characters of high economic expression. However, there is a gap in information about the potential impact of ET on the production and reproductive rates of dairy herds in this category of producers. Therefore, the present proposal aims to evaluate the performance and economic viability of Girolando heifers derived from in vitro produced embryos allocated in herds of smallholders of the state of São Paulo. The experimental design consists of evaluating the reproductive characteristics (age at first calving, calving-conception interval and calving interval), productive characteristics (lactation duration and milk production during lactation) and the production costs of high genetic value heifers arising from in vitro embryos compared to contemporary conventional genetics heifers. Differences between groups of heifers will be assessed using generalized linear mixed models (GLMM), while the operational cost of production will be estimated using the SAA Institute of Agricultural Economics methodology. In addition to the scientific technical aspect of using TE to increase milk production and profitability, it is expected that the information obtained, if favorable, can serve as a subsidy for both milk producers and public managers to outline public policies aimed at encouraging this technology, aiming to keep smallholders in the activity. The project has the participation of researchers from APTA Regional and technicians from ITESP, and is expected to last 2 years. (AU)

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