Over the past few years, Beef on Dairy has been steadily building steam across our industry and shows no sign of slowing down.
There has been a steady push within dairy farms to improve the value of the calves out of the mid- and lower-tier cow within a milking herd. For those upper-end cows, there has always been a clear and profitable path: use high end semen from the world’s top dairy bulls and generate replacements to replenish the female base.
Many progressive minded dairy producers started looking for alternatives to make the mid- to lower- level cows more profitable and increase their efficiency in the resulting calves. Enter – beef on dairy.
Why Beef on Dairy?
Many dairy producers are finding they can increase profit margins by artificially inseminating a portion of their herd to beef bulls and directing the crossbred offspring into the food chain.
And, here’s where BRC fits into the equation. Brahmans are proven to be one of the most efficient beef breeds. But, few, if any operations can boast the combination of carcass quality AND efficiency that BRC AI sires offer.
Here at BRC, we always strive to stay ahead of the curve and saw an important place for Brahman use in a beef on dairy production system. To aid our Beef on Dairy clients, we created the $BD index in 2021 to help support their decisions of sire selection.
Why Brahman for Beef on Dairy?
In a typical beef on dairy system, producers want to use bulls who supply natural growth on a moderate frame, increase rib-eye area without sacrificing marbling, and most importantly offer calving ease.
As the old adage goes, “Heterosis is the only free thing in the cattle business.” Brahman is the #1 beef breed for heterosis.
When you take this unrivaled boost of hybrid vigor from Brahman sired calves – you create explosive early growth and a much thriftier, healthier calf crop. While health and thriftiness is important to every producer, it’s even more important in dairies who use early weaning.
And, as an added bonus – you get the power of a Brahman-influence female. These 1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Holstein or 1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Dairy females would have a solid market as embryo recipients for many operations in the southern United States.
In summary, the benefits of using Brahman bulls in a Beef on Dairy system are:
- Increased heterosis
- Increased health and thriftiness of calves
- Ability to market the 1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Dairy females as recip cows to beef producers
- Ability to market steers with acceptable ribeyes and marbling
Using the BRC $BD Index
The BRC $BD index makes it easy for dairy producers to choose sires to make their calf crop the most profitable.
Calving ease is the most heavily weighted, with an adjustment factor to select for added growth at both age intervals without increasing hip height because of Holsteins already elevated frame size and still less impressive average daily gain.
Next, we factored in a heavy Rib Eye Area adjustment to compliment the traditional dairy cow body type and still maintain the marbling that dairy cattle have been historically good at.
From there, we made one last modification to ensure we weren’t taking away too much milking ability to produce the top end recipient females demanded.
All in all, the BRC $BD index is a very useful selection tool to navigate through our bull battery to find the perfect choice for dairy producers. Listed below are BRC’s top indexing bulls for $BD:
|1||Mr. V8 306/7||+37.95|
|2||Mr. V8 139/7||+34.10|
|3||Mr. V8 259/7||+31.96|
|4||Mr. V8 750/7||+30.33|
|5||Mr. V8 641/8 Peanut||+29.35|
Please contact Keaton Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about BRC Beef on Dairy.