July 8, 2021
Cargill collaboration explores benefits of dairy-beef crossbreeding
The Dairy Beef Accelerator, a three-year collaboration of Cargill and beef industry partners, is revealing new insights into environmental benefits of dairy-beef crossbreeding, or 'beef on dairy,' a practice that started with producers, MEAT+POULTRY reported.
The programme aims to advance research and support beef and dairy producers in better understanding the opportunities of beef on dairy.
Research conducted by Texas Tech University in Lubbock has provided key insights into the sustainability impact of dairy-beef crossbreeding: compared to purebred dairy calves, 'beef on dairy' calves can provide higher-quality beef products without impacting current milk production efficiencies; 'Beef on dairy' calves show greater feed efficiency, reducing the environmental footprint associated with their production; cross-breeding delivers increased volumes of higher-grade beef carcasses, providing feedyard operators greater access to value-based marketing opportunities.
"Producers are at the forefront of leading the industry as whole, advancing both the efficiency and resilience of the food system," said Dale Woerner, PhD, Texas Tech University. "The beef and dairy industries have the opportunity to work together to produce even more efficient beef animals. Crossbreeding dairy cows to complementary beef sires can advance sustainability by reducing the environmental impact and improving profitability."
"Connectivity across the beef and dairy supply chains is critical to further understanding the potential impact of beef-on-dairy crossbreeding," said Heather Tansey, sustainability director, Protein & Salt and Animal Nutrition & Health, Cargill. "We have a role to advance understanding of the practice by investing in research, while providing support to remove barriers for interested producers."