Farmscape for November 20, 2020
Research aimed at sorting the sex of sperm in an effort to increase the female to male ratio of piglets born per litter is proving successful.
"Recent Advancements in Reproduction and Sex Sorted Sperm" was among the topics discussed yesterday as part of the weekly online session of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2020.
Dr. Brad Belstra, the Reproductive Services Manager with Fast Genetics, says the main goal of using sex sorted sperm is to produce liters with lots of gilts but very few boars.
Clip-Dr. Brad Belstra-Fast Genetics:
Skewing the sex ratio of liters with sex sorted semen works.
It closely matches the purity of the sample you use so there's no question about that piece.
Advances to increase quality and quantity of sorted sperm are being made through software and hardware advances in sorting.
Surgical delivery of sex sorted sperm requires a much smaller dose.
The improvements there are reducing the labor and making the process faster so we can do more animals and not require a large team to do that.
That's one of our current objectives.
The other one is to continue to push for uterine delivery of sex sorted sperm, which would be more similar to what people are used to today with conventional AI.
The keys there are using boar fertility to our advantage, precision delivery with ovulation and also the site that we place it at may help us reduce sperm dose further.
As we make those discoveries and improvements, those could also be applied to non-sorted sperm and improve the genetic efficiency of conventional AI as well so that would be good for the whole industry, not just for sex sorted sperm.
Dr. Belstra says the future is bright for pork and for protein products in general but, with a growing population and a shrinking land base for farming, the production of protein needs to become more efficient.
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