Genetics Research Initiative to Improve Genetic Understanding in Beef-sired Dairy Calves

NEW ZEALAND – Beef and Lamb New Zealand is investigating the effect of improving beef genetics in the red meat supply chain.
calendar icon 26 September 2013
clock icon 1 minute read

The work is expected to revolutionise beef fattening in a country which has two thirds of its beef production originating from the dairy herd.

Dr Vikki Burggraaf, an AgResearch scientist and project leader is certain that by calculating estimated breeding values for calving ease, growth and conformation of beef sires on dairy farms, higher value calves can be produced.

The research builds on two years of research carried out on a Takanui farm using Waikato ‘Ezicalve’ Hereford semen.

Results confirmed that Ezicalve genetics lead to fewer reproductive complications.

Dr Burggraaf said: “We foresee large gains that can be made across a well-managed supply chain through the use of superior beef semen or bulls.

“For dairy farmers benefits include reduced mating costs through the use of cheaper semen, less stress on staff at calving and a potentially higher value surplus calf," said Dr Burggraaf.

“Finishers are supplied with potentially faster growing and more valuable cattle and processors can benefit from higher meat yields and better quality beef. The value for calf rearers is currently being examined.”

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