This modelling program helps producers compare artificial insemination options against using natural service bulls for cow-calf operations.


BeefAIChoice is an Excel spreadsheet-based partial budgeting program that allows you to compare the expected results from the use of synchronization and artificial insemination (AI) with those of natural service for a beef herd.

Use this partial budget tool to enter your own performance targets and costs as they best reflect what happens on your farm.

You can also enter a description of your beef operation – breeding size, weaning weight, and bull, labour, semen and pharmaceutical costs – and select a protocol from a series of 10 breeding systems for comparison.

What you get

BeefAIChoice helps you calculate expected net income change for the relevant costs and incomes. These would change as a result of implementing 10 proven systems that can be categorized into 3 groupings based on the general requirements for estrus detection:

  1. Estrus detection over a 7 to 8 day period following synchronization treatment (4 options).
  2. Estrus detection over a 3 day period with timed AI of all remaining animals not previously detected in estrus – clean-up timed AI (3 options).
  3. Strict fixed-time AI following the prescribed hormonal treatment (3 options).

The results look at key input factors required under natural service and how these may change:

Factors that impact revenue

  • increases in productivity resulting from changes in weaning weights and weaning rates
  • decreases resulting from fewer culled bulls and open cows

Factors that impact costs

Bulls are a major cost factor (price and maintenance). Cost decreases can result from:

  • requiring fewer bulls (feed and yardage, veterinarian costs, maintenance, etc.)
  • fewer replacement animals needed with improved pregnancy rates
  • labour requirements for heat detection

Conversely, cost increases can result from:

  • semen costs
  • AI technician
  • labour with handling cattle
  • cost of drugs and supplies for the AI treatments
  • AI equipment maintenance and depreciation


BeefAIChoice was developed by Dr. Marcos Colazo, Livestock Research Scientist, Alberta Agriculture, in cooperation with the Livestock Economist, Economics Section, Economics and Competitiveness.


The Excel Workbook includes:

  • instruction on the use of the program
  • introduction to the proposed comparisons
  • description of the breeding system protocols
  • a worksheet that:
    • allows you to enter your breeding herd information and relevant costs
    • provides suggested target performance based on the selected protocol
    • provides partial budget analysis based on the information you enter
    • presents the gains (increased revenue and decreased costs from the proposed change) and losses (decreased revenue and increased costs from the proposed change), and expected net income


The modelling program and any written materials that might accompany the electronic version of BeefAIChoice ("written materials") are proprietary to and all rights except those expressly given herein remain with His Majesty the King in right of Alberta ("Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation").

In no event will Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation be liable to you for any claims, costs, losses or damages, including without limitation, lost profits or lost data arising out of the use or inability to use the modelling program or any data or any advice supplied therein.

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Download program

Step 1.

Check system requirements.

The estimated BeefAIChoice file size is 1.1 MB. To use the modelling program you will need:

  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 10
  • Microsoft Exel

Step 2.

Download the software:

  • Click the button below to download the file to your computer.
  • You will be prompted to Save the application file. You can save it either to your desktop for easy access, or to a location on your computer where you store management tools.

Download software

Step 3.

Run the BeefAI modelling program in Excel:

  • Double-click the "BeefAIChoice.xlsm' file in the location where you saved it.
  • Remember to remove old versions of BeefAI from your computer.


Connect with the Economics Section:

Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Phone: 780-422-4088
Email: [email protected]