Crossing beef cattle with dairy cattle is nothing new; however, some new information has come to light.
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Crossing dairy cattle with beef cattle, such as these cattle in Rensselaer County, N.Y., can provide an additional revenue stream for dairy farmers. File photo by Paul Post

Joe Emenheiser, a livestock Extension educator with the University of Connecticut, presented a webinar exploring the new frontiers of beef and dairy crossbreeding.

“Even though this topic has been discussed and practiced before, we’re in a new realm in animal breeding and animal nutrition,” Emenheiser said.

“Beef x dairy” means that the sire is first and the cow is second.

“Close to 20% of beef is dairy beef — a dairy bred cow that is slaughtered,” Emenheiser said.

He added that because of volatility in fluid milk prices and the increased availability of sexed semen, “many dairy producers are able to satisfy their need for replacement heifers with fewer purebred matings.”

By crossbreeding their lower-performing dairy cows to beef bulls, producers can develop a new revenue stream.

Nominations are open for Fonterra’s board election but a repeat of the drama that rocked the vote three years ago can be ruled out.

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