Dr. Brad Heins, an Associate Professor of Dairy Management at the University of Minnesota's West Central Research Center in Morris, Minnesota, discussed crossbreeding dairy cattle with beef bulls during the March 15, 2019.
During his presentation Dr. Heins weighed the pros and cons of beef breeds crossing with dairy cattle.
When raising dairy beef or selecting beef bulls for reproduction on dairy cows know the market, provide excellent calf care and identification, and conduct a genetic audit of the herd. More dairy beef calves means that buyers will become more selective. When considering genetics, low genetic animals do not need to contribute offspring. A genetic audit of the herd will reduce poor herd genetics.
Key points to consider when selecting beef bulls for dairy cattle include 1) consider your goals, 2) shifts in the beef market will happen - how does this affect how many heifers you need, 3) don't just use "cheap" bulls, and 4) keep track of your economics and data.