Beef on dairy breeding continues to grow in popularity in U.S. dairy herds. The trend has been fueled by multiple factors, including low value for dairy bull calves; limited packer interest for dairy fed cattle; large dairy heifer inventories; high costs for raising replacement dairy heifers with comparatively low market values; and more targeted sorting of dairy herds for breeding and genetic advancement strategies.
However, building a successful beef on dairy program takes more than just selecting black bulls. Many of today’s producers aim for black animals so they can qualify for Certified Angus Beef premiums, but “black” is not the only goal in beef on dairy breeding.
Unfortunately, plenty of today’s dairy-beef crosses are simply “black Holsteins,” with similar frame characteristics to full-blood dairy animals. These tall, black crossbreds are hard to market and are often the least profitable. Instead, beef sires should be carefully selected and mated with dams based on pre-established criteria, such as genomic testing results, parity or genetic merit – with the overall quality and yield of a finished market animal in mind.
To learn how to better choose beef semen to produce high-quality crossbred calves while also minding profitability, sign up for our FREE “How to Breed Dairy Cows for Profitable Beef” webinar, that occurs this Friday, July 17th, at 11 a.m. CDT.
Hear from leading experts Victor Cabrera, an extension specialist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Cheryl Ann Fairbairn, a beef cattle management specialist for Penn State University, as they discuss what it takes to be competitive and profitable in the dairy-on-beef sector.
For more beef on dairy content, check out:
- Selecting Beef Bulls for Dairy-Beef Crosses Not Easy
- The Secret to Raising Dairy Beef Profitably
- Beef-on-Dairy Decisions, Opportunities
- Stabilizing Jersey Calf Prices for Beef Market with Crossbreeding
- “Black” is Not the Only Goal in Beef-on-Dairy Breeding
- Opportunity in Value-Added Dairy-Beef Calves
- The Rapidly Evolving Beef-on-Dairy Segment