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Reflections on 2020

January 24, 2021 Industry News ASA
Jackie Atkins, Ph.D. | The year 2020 will be permanently branded in our minds as a year of adjusting and persevering. The list of norm-breaking disruptions include the COVID-19 global pandemic, economic strife, civil unrest, record-breaking fire season,…

2021 Golden Book Winners Recognized

January 24, 2021 Industry News ASA
By Dan Rieder | Three men, all of whom served on the ASA Board of Trustees including terms as Board Chairman, are honored with ASA’s highest award. Gordon Hodges, Hamptonville, North Carolina | Science Advocate Gordon Hodges is one of a small handful of ASA…

Milk, it does the beef industry good

Meatingplace, By Tom Johnston        |      

Advancing technology and breeding practices in dairies have produced more calves to the benefit of the beef industry in the form of more Prime and Choice grade product, a development that can be more mutually beneficial when beef and dairy producers bridge the economic, business and cultural gaps between the two industries, according to the new RaboResearch report, “Dairy Calves Get a Beef Makeover.”

The development comes as dairies increasingly breed a share of their cows with beef-breed bulls to diversify their income streams. Using genetic selection enables dairies to be much more efficient in developing desired herd replacements. Moreover, the crossbred cattle are creating high-quality carcasses desired by meat processors.

“Careful management and experience are driving success, and performance is starting to explode, as the industry improves its understanding of the best genetic matches and how to manage and feed beef-on-dairy calves,” said report author, Don Close, senior animal protein analyst with Rabo AgriFinance, in a news release. “But, the relationships between buyers and sellers will be crucial.”

The report notes existing gaps between dairy producers and cattle feeders in their opinions on breeding goals and management, as well as on pricing.
“Success will require cattle feeders and dairy producers to form relationships and communicate expectations,” Close says. “I expect the supply of beef-on-dairy calves to increase significantly in 2020 and continue to climb over the next three to five years to a level where more than 10% of cattle in U.S. feed yards will be beef-on-dairy crosses.”
The report also notes the sustainability benefits of the changes.

As Close explains, “Compared to conventional dairy calves, beef-on-dairy animals are more efficient feed converters, reach full weight three to four months earlier, and have a higher percentage of red meat yield. This system reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the cattle industry.”    



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