Producers are changing beef on dairy perspectives
Photo: Taylor Klipp, Iowa State Graduate Student and Iowa State researcher Dr. Gail Carpenter
A dairy researcher says raising beef calves on the dairy farm has become an important part of many farm operations.
Dr. Gail Carpenter with Iowa State University tells Brownfield in the beginning of beef-on-dairy, producers were more focused on getting the calf on the ground and the cow back into milking, but she says that beef calf still has to meet expectations. “I think we’re seeing also some more opportunity and some more pushback from the buyers of these animals, that they’re going to need to have to have good carcass quality, good beef characteristics as well.”
Carpenter says with beef prices climbing, she’s seeing a shift in how producers manage those calves. “Dairy farmers are starting to realize these are an asset for us. These aren’t something that we just have to kind of figure out what to deal with. They’re actually something that’s important to the productivity of our operation.”
And she says those beef calves need good quality calf care just like any replacement heifer would to reach its full potential.
Carpenter says with sexed semen, producers are able to better control the number of replacement heifers, so breeding some of the cows to beef animals has created a new revenue stream while getting those cows back into milking.
Carpenter spoke to Brownfield at the Four State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference in Dubuque, Iowa.