Research Finds Cold Weather Stresses Conception Rates in Cattle
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 5, 2015 – “Weather Related Cold Stress on Conception Rates in Simmental-Angus Cattle” was the focus of research presented by a Southeast Missouri State University agribusiness major last month in Florida at a joint meeting of the American Society of Animal Science and the Association of Dairy Science in America.
“We studied the effect of temperature and wind-chill on the conception rates of cattle bred using artificial insemination,” said Jessi Stone of Jonesboro, Illinois, who is pursuing an option in animal science. “This was my first ever research project that I had to collect the data, then analyze it and draw conclusions, so putting the project together and learning the different research methods was new to me.”
Stone, a student employee at the David M. Barton Agriculture Center, said she found a positive correlation between temperature and wind chill on conception rates based on data collected over the past two years. The data indicates colder weather had an adverse effect on conception rates, she said. The study began in 2013 and is ongoing. Stone says she is looking forward to next winter to continue the study for a third year.
“Breeding season actually starts about a month ahead of the day of breeding, and working at the farm has allowed me to be hands on with the entire process,” Stone said.
Presenting the project was both exciting and nerve-racking, she said, because it was her first large research project and there were people influential in the agriculture field attending the conference in Orlando.
“I was speaking to other animal scientists who asked me engaging questions and gave me good ideas on how to improve my research,” Stone said.
She says she has fallen in love with agriculture and the power it gives her to help animals and other people. The Department of Agriculture at Southeast has played a vital role in that, and she appreciates all the opportunities the program has provided to help her grow.
“Through Southeast I have gained experiences that I would not have gained elsewhere, and I have met many people who have helped guide me along the way,” Stone said.
Stone says she hopes to attend veterinary school after she graduates, and she says the program at Southeast has prepared her well for that next step and has made her a well-rounded student. She has begun the process of applying and will find out if she gets accepted next spring.
Stone is president of Collegiate Farm Bureau, vice president of the Livestock Show Team, a member of Horticulture Club and a member of Delta Tau Alpha at Southeast.