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Improvement in sexed semen technology, driving efficiency’s in beef calf production

Improvement in sexed semen technology, driving efficiency’s in beef calf production
By Millie Hendy, Calf & Youngstock Specialist 1 month ago

Sexed male beef semen, that can achieve conception rates which match those of conventional, could be a ‘game-changer’ for dairy farmers looking to make the most of everything produced on-farm.

In recent months, many farmers have been embracing advances in semen sexing technology which has enabled the development of male sexed beef semen, with double the number of semen cells per straw has put an end to the reduced conception rates often reported from using sexed products. Today, farmers can expect conception rates traditional much closer to those of conventional.

The investment from genetics companies in this development reflects a marked industry-wide shift in attitude towards beef from the dairy herd. In the past, beef was largely viewed as a by-product of dairying, with little thought given to the type of beef sires used. However, today the development of integrated supply chains and the demand for improved efficiencies within beef genetics means beef from dairy units is becoming an increasingly important part of farm businesses. Growing dairy market volatility also means income from dairy beef is an increasingly valuable source of income.

The industry is growing massively in terms of integration. Within this, male animals – whether these are entire bulls or steers – are more efficient to finish, either extensively or intensively, than heifers, making the beef supply chain more efficient.

By targeted use of male beef sexed semen, farmers can reduce the number of female beef calves produced, thus increasing their market value and overall farm returns. The extra value you get from a male beef calf, whether that is native or continental, is significant. Probably, on average, a £100 difference by producing a male beef calf, rather than a female but it can be as much as £250, depending on age and breed.

Millie Hendy

Millie Hendy

Calf & Youngstock Specialist

m: 07717 495746

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