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CLIENT NEWS: CRV Ambreed boosting skills for AI technicians ahead of busy season

CRV Ambreed has been meeting with its technicians responsible for Artificial Insemination (AI) ahead of a busy season.

Technicians met recently in Te Awamutu to ensure a smooth-running season for farmers using the CRV Ambreed AI technician service. CRV Ambreed has a team of about 200 AI technicians who service farms across New Zealand. In an average season, they’ll inseminate about 500,000 straws.

The company’s AI Services Manager Cara O’Connor says new staff have been brought on board for what is expected to be a busy AI season. “We’ve recruited and trained some excellent new people in our 200-person team. It’s really important we have top technicians as they are integral to the success of our farmers’ businesses.”

O’Connor says topics being covered at AI seminars around the country include the latest Health and Safety aspects and bio-security requirements. “Obviously we’re working closely with the Ministry for Primary Industries after the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak down south, and we’re playing our part in bringing additional bio-security aspects to our work. Our technicians move between farms so they’ll have extra hygiene practices this season.”

The herd improvement company is about to head into the AI season and is reminding farmers about the part they can play in getting ready for the technicians to arrive on farm. O’Connor says farmers can help make the process work as smoothly as possible by ensuring they have clean and safe insemination areas; having herd records up to date; having on-heat cows drafted separately; and monitoring the liquid nitrogen banks the frozen straws of semen are stored in.

CRV Ambreed technicians capture all the relevant data on PortaBull. Technicians use the device to record the cow number, the bull used, and the date of insemination and it provides information to monitor conception rates and the technician’s performance through the return or repeat matings of animals.

PortaBull can also directly transfer data to a farmer’s herd recording programme, saving them time. It captures other important data such as mating reports, vet focus reports and calving reports and helps manage risk of inbreeding or recessive genes. “It’s a great device that allows us to help manage all this information for the farmer,” O’Connor says.

Straws of semen ordered by farmers are being dispatched by CRV Ambreed in September, ahead of the start of the AI season in October.

Image below: CRV Ambreed AI technician Don Shaw, left, who has been an AI technician for more than 60 years, with Brayden Simmons, CRV’s top performing trainee in 2016. They were at the CRV Ambreed meeting for AI technicians in Te Awamutu in early September.