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Effect of replacement rate, crossbreeding and sexed semen on the efficiency of beef production from dairy herds in Finland

Hietala, P., Bouquet, P., Juga, J.
Acta agriculturæ Scandinavica 2014 v.64 no.4 pp. 199-209
beef, beef cattle, crossing, dairy cows, dairy herds, greenhouse gas emissions, meat production, semen, Finland
In Finland, during the past 10 years, the number of dairy cows has declined considerably leading to decreased domestic beef production which is partly compensated by increased suckler beef production. However, production of meat originating from dairy herds has been shown to be economically more profitable and to produce less greenhouse gas emissions per unit of product than beef production from suckler cow systems. Therefore, when safeguarding beef self-sufficiency, the intensification of beef production from dairy herds is a more promising option to consider. In this study, the possibility of different options for increasing dairy beef production was assessed by using a deterministic simulation. Increasing the use of crossbreeding in dairy herds, especially when combined with the use of Y-sorted semen, appeared to be the most efficient strategy for increasing dairy beef production. The decrease in the replacement rate increased beef production through the potential for enhancing crossbreeding.