New ear tags for dairy stock will sort out what’s genuine Angus dairy cross cattle and what’s not. The new ‘Angus X Dairy’ tag, launched in partnership between Angus New Zealand, CRV Ambreed and Allflex, allows farmers to tag and identify dairy calves which are 50% Angus, having been sired by a registered Angus or Performance Recorded Angus Cattle (PRAC) bull.
Angus breed representative Guy Sargent says the ultimate goal of the new tag is to make sure dairy farmers receive the premiums they deserve for higher value offspring. It also gives the buyer of a calf certainty around what they are purchasing. “It’s all about improving the integrity of the offspring,” says Sargent. “Angus cattle are highly sought after and the tags verify that a verified Angus sire has been used over the dairy cow.”
Using registered or PRAC recorded Angus bulls allows farmers to tag their progeny with Angus X Dairy tags. These bright green tags recognise the premium quality of the offspring, enabling the dairy farmer to attract higher premiums at the point of the sale, and further down the supply chain.
Beef semen has become a more attractive option for dairy farmers wanting to on-sell calves to the beef industry, adding greater value to their business and making sure every mating results in a saleable calf. Last year was a record year for beef semen sales for CRV Ambreed with an eight per cent jump in beef straw sales across the board. This trend is expected to continue.
The return on investment for dairy farmers is very good, with a straw of beef semen costing around $20 and quality dairy/beef bull calves selling at $150 to $300.
Grazing product manager Peter van Elzakker says dairy farmers in the past may have chosen other beef breeds over Angus because their offspring can be harder to identify among other black calves. The return on investment may not be as good if a calf cannot be verified as Angus.“I expect dairy farmers will be very pleased to hear this news. And we fully support this because Angus dairy cross calves will have greater integrity,” says van Elzakker.
Only dairy farmers using registered or PRAC Angus bulls with their herd, either via AB or natural mating are able to use the tags on their progeny.
The Angus X Dairy Allflex tags are fully compliant with NAIT regulations and can be purchased exclusively through CRV Ambreed.
They are compatible with all dairy and beef operations and are endorsed by Angus New Zealand.