Demand soars for dairy beef

According to CRV, dairy beef sales are up 15% since last year as farmers take a more strategic approach to breeding and seek to diversify their income streams.

Historically, farmers used dairy beef primarily towards the end of the mating season, but now more of them are using it as part of a more strategic precision breeding approach to increase the genetic yield of their herds, says CRV Genetics Product Manager for the New Zealand market, Mitchell Koot.

“This includes the strategic use of dairy beef over their lowest genetic value animals, along with sexed and conventional dairy semen over their top performers. This approach helps drive genetic gain even faster, creating a healthier, more efficient herd.”

Koot says as more dairy farmers realize the added value of dairy beef calves, they are considering a range of breeds to appeal to the beef market.

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“Our Fertabull dairy cattle (Hereford, Angus and Belgian Blue) remain the most popular option within each breed to give dairy farmers the best chance of conceiving cows.

“Data from CRV-tracked herds shows that farmers using Fertabull achieve up to 4% higher return rates.”

CRV has 20 breeds of dairy beef for farmers to choose from, ranging from breeds with easily recognizable coat markings like Hereford and Belgian Blue to breeds with high growth rates that appeal to beef farmers like Charolais, Angus and Stabilizer.

Dairy Beef sires’ breeding values ​​are carefully checked for short gestation, growth rates and calving ease along with other key traits. A short gestation is important as it allows the calving pattern to match earlier mated animals in the dairy herd. CRV says it works with key dairy partners to ensure they offer customers top-quality sires whose offspring have traits that cater to the needs of both dairy and cattle breeders.

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Belgian blue

CRV offers bulls from the Belgian Blue Group (BBG) in Belgium. The size of the Belgian Blue comes from the breed’s double muscle gene, which is completely natural and the result of a focus on meat production.

BBG raises dairy semen primarily for calving ease. Gestation period is a key trait, as is fertility, growth and meat quality.

An Irish study has shown that a Belgian blue cross animal produces more meat for the same feeding time.

CRV also works with Bluestone Herefords in South Canterbury who have been supplying Hereford genetics to CRV since 2014.

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Bluestone focuses on producing a balanced Hereford bull with four main traits; low birth weight, short gestation, calving ease and homozygous polled (polled).

Hereford crossbreeds are very popular due to their easily identifiable coat color markings, with high sellability and high quality offspring.


Stabilizer is relatively new to New Zealand but is actually the result of 30 years of research and development by leading North American genetics companies. They’ve captured the best traits of four races and combined them into one composite race. Stabilizer is also a polled breed.

CRV sources its Stabilizer genetics from Focus Genetics – New Zealand’s largest independent red meat genetics company.

Stabilizer Cross calves are weaned an average of 4 days earlier and are heavier with 19% more eye muscle scanned.

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