In 1998 Les Anderson, reproductive specialist at the University of Kentucky, implemented a field study in which estrus was synchronized for timed-insemination (CO Synch) in approximately 250 cows while the remaining 100 cows in the herd were exposed to bulls for 70 days.

Cows in each group were equal in body condition and number of days from calving. All expenses to complete the estrus synchronization and AI were determined and converted to a per-100-cow basis.

Overall pregnancy rate for the synchronized herd was 90 percent while the natural sire herd had a pregnancy rate of 81 percent. In addition, the number of cows that were bred in the first 30 days of the breeding season was 23 percent higher in the synchronization and AI herd.

With a 9 percent higher pregnancy rate in the cows that were inseminated, nine more calves on a per-100-cow basis would be expected to be available for sale at weaning. Assuming an average weaning weight of 500 pounds and an average price of 80 cents per pound, revenues are increased by approximately $3,600 for all nine calves.

Additional revenue will be generated from heavier weaning weights due to an increase in calf age. Since 23 more calves will be born in the first 30 days of the breeding season in the synchronized herd, an additional $552 of revenue will be generated (23 calves x 30 extra pounds per calf x $0.80 per pound).

If the cost of implementation per 100 cows is $2,897 as in the chart, and the estimated additional revenue is $4,152, the return on investment would be at least $1,255, or an estimated return of $12.55 per cow.