Management Considerations for Beef x Dairy Calves

Regardless the genetics of cattle you’re feeding, you will find value in listening to this three part webinar series.

While dairy steers have been an important part of the beef supply chain for some time, feeding half blood dairy steers sired by beef bulls has become a popular and more common practice in recent years. During the spring of 2021, Garth Ruff, Ohio State University Extension Beef Field Specialist, and Jerad Jaborek, Feedlot Systems Extension Educator at Michigan State University, hosted a three part webinar series on management considerations for beef sired calves from dairy cows that covered a variety of topics related to marketing, genetics, and management of crossbred beef x dairy cattle.

During the first session (embedded below) held on April 21 the focus was on marketing dairy beef calves and featured Larry Rose and JT Loewe of JBS as they discussed the quality of the cattle they seek to purchase, their pricing structure, and the demands they have for high quality, consistently sized and correctly finished dairy crossed beef cattle. Regardless the genetics being fed, the speakers shared a strong message for the value of consistency and proper finish the market is demanding in all fed cattle.

The second webinar session on April 28 focused on beef genetics and sire selection for use on dairy cows. Speaker for this session was Chip Kemp of the American Simmental Association who focused his presentation on the unique metrics that must be considered when mating beef bulls to dairy cows. More specifically, Mr. Kemp discussed the virtues and challenges of the four primary beef breeds presently used in the beef on dairy model including Angus, Charolais, Limousin and Simmental. Find this second session embedded below.

The third session of the three part webinar series Management Considerations for Beef x Dairy Calves was held on May 5th and focused on a compilation of management considerations involved in successfully utilizing beef sires on dairy cows. In the first half of the third webinar presentation you’ll find below, Jerad Jaborek details sire selection considerations, selecting those dairy females that should be bred to beef bulls, incorporating sexed semen into the management strategy, colostrum management for the newborn, nutritional considerations from birth through the feedlot phase, and a review of the various marketing options for beef sired dairy calves.

In the second half of the third webinar presentation found below, Garth Ruff detailed management and marketing considerations that lead to greater calf values including the benefits of vaccinations, timely dehorning and castration, valuing the cost of gain versus total calf value, utilizing added value marketing programs, the benefits to the market place in selling calves in groups, and considerations for using implants.