What is BeefAIChoice?

  • BeefAIChoice is a spreadsheet based partial budgeting program that allows YOU to compare the expected results from the use of synchronization and artificial insemination (AI) with that of natural service for a beef herd.
  • The Partial Budget tool allows you to enter your own performance targets and costs as they best reflect what happens on your farm.
  • This tool allows you to provide a description of your beef operation (breeding size, weaning weight, bull costs, labour costs, semen costs, and pharmaceutical costs) and allows you to select a protocol from a series of 10 breeding systems for comparison.

What can BeefAIChoice do for me?

  • BeefAIChoice helps you calculate expected net income change for the relevant costs and incomes that would change as a result of implementing ten proven systems which can be categorized to three groupings based on the general requirements for estrus detection:
    1. estrus detection over a 7-8 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:

    1. Increases in productivity resulting from changes in weaning weights and weaning rates;
    2. Decreases resulting from fewer culled bulls and open cows;

    Factors Impacting costs:

    1. Bulls are a major cost factor (price and maintenance). Decreases as a result of requiring fewer bulls (feed & yardage, veterinarian costs, maintenance...); fewer replacement animals needed with improved pregnancy rates; labour requirements for heat detection
    2. Increases as a result of semen costs, AI technician, labour with handling cattle; cost of drugs and supplies for the AI treatments, AI equipment maintenance and depreciation.


  • This version uses January – February 2018 cost information and will be updated quarterly.
  • The Excel Workbook includes instruction on the use of the program, an introduction to the proposed comparisons and a description of the breeding system protocols; a worksheet that allows you to enter your breeding herd information and relevant costs and provides suggested target performance based on the selected protocol, and the partial budget analysis based on the information provided.
  • 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.
  • It is important to keep in mind that the analysis of Natural Service relative to a selected breeding system does not determine the most desirable option BUT indicates that the change will increase, decrease or not change the net income.


  • BeefAIChoice was produced by Dr. Marcos Colazo, Livestock Research Scientist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, with support of Ann Boyda, Livestock Economist, Economics Section, Economics and Competitiveness, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

Feedback and Questions

To provide feedback or if you have any questions please contact:

Ann Boyda
Livestock Economist
Economics Section, Economics and Competitiveness
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Phone: 780-422-4088

Download BeefAIChoice

Download BeefAIChoice Computer Software