Artificial insemination allows much faster genetic progress and concentration of the breeding and calving seasons. Despite the benefits, only about 6 percent of beef producers use artificial insemination for their herds, says Allen Williams, reproduction management specialist at Mississippi State University. Mr. Williams says the cost to synchronize estrus, buy semen and inseminate cattle is $26 to $35 per pregnancy. Using a bull costs a producer $30 to $32, so cost should not be limiting factor either.

The biggest reason for the limited use is that beef producers do not handle their animals as often as dairy producers do, so timing for artificial insemination is more difficult to observe. With improving synchronization methods, however, more producers can use artificial insemination more effectively to improve their beef herds.