Dairy Beef Progeny Test: Latest results
Monday 23rd September 2019
The latest results reinforce that there are excellent dairy-friendly beef bull options available to dairy farmers – and dollars to be made. Since 2016, 86 bulls have been assessed through the progeny test. The bulls are suited to mating with dairy cows – based on their birth weight and gestation length – while also producing calves suitable for beef finishing.
Limestone Downs (Cohort 1 and 2)
The first cohort at Limestone Downs was processed last spring/summer and the second cohort will be ready for processing in the coming spring/summer. These cattle have demonstrated a good relationship between Breedplan EBVs and progeny performance for Gestation Length, Birth Weight, 400-Day Weight and 600-Day Weight. Carcase trait EBVs will be explored once Cohort 2 are processed, and sire carcase performance for Cohorts 1 & 2 will also be reported once Cohort 2 are processed. This is because most sires have progeny spread over both cohorts.
We acknowledge the superb efforts of the team at Limestone Downs to keep animals in their contemporary groups, and still getting 96% of cattle processed in the P grade.
Renown (Cohort 3)
The first calves born at Renown are now a year old and will shortly have a 400-Day Weight recorded. In the meantime, a “yearling” weight has been calculated for these cattle based on their June live weight. This weight will be updated once they reach 400 days of age, but we are distributing this yearling weight ranking now, to allow breeders to make decisions prior to the 2019 mating.
Sires from the 2018 mating are not yet included in the list. The 2019 calving is winding down at Renown, with just a few calves still to come. Damien, the farm manager reports that calving has been very successful with few assists, and some fantastic looking calves born. The bull calves are being reared at Top Notch Calves and the heifers on farm at Renown. All calves have been DNA sampled at birth and parentage analysis will be conducted as soon as the last calves are born. These bulls will be incorporated into the analysis once DNA parentage is assigned.