Date of this Version
Range Beef Cow Symposium XXIII, December 3-5, 2013, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD.
Gender selected or sexed semen has been commercially available to the dairy industry for almost a decade. However, sexed semen from beef bulls became commercially available only recently. The availability of sexed semen from beef bulls along with concerns about success of the technology at the ranch level has limited the use of sexed semen in purebred and commercial beef operations. Recent changes in semen availability combined with current studies with sexed beef semen are providing insights to the uses, limitations, opportunities, and challenges of this technology. Increased sorting capacity allowed the number of beef bulls with gender selected semen available to increase exponentially over the last five years. For the major US AI studs, the number of beef bulls with gender sorted semen available increased from 0 to 70 from 2008 to 2011 (Hall, 2011). Sexing Technologies, the major semen sexing company, lists 28 sires with sexed semen in their catalog. In addition to sex sorting operations at all major bull studs in the US and several other countries, Sexing Technologies now has custom semen sexing operations in five locations across the US. However, the number and genetic diversity of beef bulls with sexed semen available is limited compared to the offering of AI beef bulls with conventional semen. While not an overwhelming selection of bulls and genetics, there are now sufficient numbers of beef bulls with sexed semen to begin to meet the needs of the seedstock sector, and address the wanted traits for the commercial producer.