The use of sexed semen in conjunction with heifer synchrony provides a lot of opportunities to breed replacements from your top animals whilst increasing the number of beef cross calves born, increasing the average calf sale value in your herd significantly.
With live export coming to an end next year, there is a risk of the market becoming flooded with dairy beef (e.g. white face calves, Angus cross calves etc).
Many farmers are starting to look at alternative beef sires available through their semen companies such as Wagyu, Belgian Blue, Charolais, Simmental sires etc.
Whilst there can be as much variation in size of progeny within a breed (i.e. easy calving sires may throw significantly smaller calves than the breed average) as there is between breeds, and there is a big potential opportunity here, we strongly advise caution when selecting sires that you have no experience of.
Do your homework with the semen company first. Speak to other farmers who have used some of these sires to learn from their experiences. Try a small number of straws and only breed your biggest framed cows to these new sires in the first season of trialling new options.
Zero bobbies may be an unachievable target but reducing bobbies and increasing calf sale value is a win-win for most farms. Now is a great time to be planning your strategy for next season!
Dr Jason Fayers BVM&S CertCHP (Cattle Health & Productivity)