CRV Ambreed’s recommendation to dairy farmers to use easy calving beef genetics at the tail-end of the mating season has been backed by an independent study led by AgResearch.
Preliminary results of the five-year study released on September 13 found dairy farmers could produce high value calves with minimal calving problems by breeding their dairy cows with semen from proven beef sires.
CRV Ambreed is helping dairy farmers beef up their bottom lines with the option of using dairy beef genetics for tail-end mating.
Farmers using CRV Ambreed’s short gestation Hereford semen, Fertabull, create another income stream by earning between $150 and $200 more per calf when they sell them to beef farmers at four days old.
Bluestone Stud, 30km from Timaru in the South Island, is the CRV Ambreed’s supplier for Fertabull short gestation Hereford dairy beef genetics.
Ben Lee, who has operated the stud with his wife Yvonne for nine years, said dairy beef had changed from being virtually unheard of three years ago to a rapidly growing market today.
“There’s been a massive increase in uptake of farmers wanting dairy beef genetics, because it’s very clear that it considerably increases the value of the resulting calf,” Mr Lee said.
“High-end Hereford beef is in huge demand at the moment and there’s a shortage of such animals in New Zealand. The CRV Ambreed Fertabull product provides semen from registered easy calving Herefords breeding calves meeting that demand.”
CRV Ambreed Marketing and Sales Manager Mathew Macfie said the genetics coming out of Bluestone Stud have got farmers talking about the benefits. He said this positive word-of-mouth has helped to boost demand for the company’s Fertabull genetics.
“Each Fertabull straw contains semen from multiple sires, giving the cow a greater chance of getting in-calf which is so important for dairy farmers,” Mr Macfie said.
“The short gestation of the product gives farmers four or five extra days of milking per cow because the calf arrives earlier.
“Farmers like this feature as it means the cow’s return rate improves because she’s calved earlier, giving her body time to recover before insemination.
“When you couple this with the fact that these genetics calve easier and produce excellent meat growth quality, it’s no surprise we’ve seen a huge increase in the demand for this product,” Mr Macfie said.
“More milk in the vat equals more dollars.”
Mr Macfie said when it comes to the tail-end of mating, farmers need to remember they have several options.
“At the end of the day, farmers have a range of genetic options they can consider at the tail-end of mating. Easy calving beef genetics is just one of them – one that’s been very popular this season.
“What we’re saying is that if you’ve decided dairy beef genetics are the right option for your business, it’s worth the investment into a superior product like Fertabull as you’ll get a much better financial return.”