Had an interesting discussion with a retired dairy farmer from central valley of Cal.

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Peace

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Retired dairy farmer that works on and off for the person he sold to. Not a big herd, milk about 600 head and they have him come in and help out with stuff. Anyhow, the person that bought him out also sells semen in the area to other dairys. He told me that they are selling more Angus semen to the dairys than Holstein. He stated they get way more money for them than what they can buy replacement heifer calves for, tend to have less issues with them and are way easier to raise for 120 days and then just sell them.

I'm out of the loop from dairy for 30+ years and was wondering if this has been going on for a while or is the "flavor of the month" type thing with cattle being higher for the moment?
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Retired dairy farmer that works on and off for the person he sold to. Not a big herd, milk about 600 head and they have him come in and help out with stuff. Anyhow, the person that bought him out also sells semen in the area to other dairys. He told me that they are selling more Angus semen to the dairys than Holstein. He stated they get way more money for them than what they can buy replacement heifer calves for, tend to have less issues with them and are way easier to raise for 120 days and then just sell them.

I'm out of the loop from dairy for 30+ years and was wondering if this has been going on for a while or is the "flavor of the month" type thing with cattle being higher for the moment?
Sounds like a smart move to me.
 
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Peace

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I should add in that they're using sexed semen on their better cows and angus on the rest. I'm sure it's not all of them, but those buying semen from them that's the trend
 

Buck Randall

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Retired dairy farmer that works on and off for the person he sold to. Not a big herd, milk about 600 head and they have him come in and help out with stuff. Anyhow, the person that bought him out also sells semen in the area to other dairys. He told me that they are selling more Angus semen to the dairys than Holstein. He stated they get way more money for them than what they can buy replacement heifer calves for, tend to have less issues with them and are way easier to raise for 120 days and then just sell them.

I'm out of the loop from dairy for 30+ years and was wondering if this has been going on for a while or is the "flavor of the month" type thing with cattle being higher for the moment?
It's been going on for a few years now. Dairies know roughly how many replacement heifers they need to produce. They'll use sexed semen to get them out of their best animals, and breed everything else to beef. Some are even breeding all of their animals to beef and buying replacements. It's cheaper to buy springing Holstein heifers than to raise them.
 

GoWyo

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Been watching bull sale results and last few years Grimmius out of California has paid big money for extreme frame size, carcass EPD bulls. I believe they are a big dairy.
 

Lucky_P

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While it's always been out there in the beef herds, there is no doubt in my mind that many beef seedstock operations introduced Johne's Disease into their herds when ET came into vogue in the late 1970s-early 1980s, when folks were sticking embryos into Holstein heifers and cull dairy cows.
25% or more of calves born to Johne's-infected cows may be infected in utero, and as those cows shed the bacterium in their colostrum, milk, and feces, calves are continually exposed while at their most vulnerable time.
Even if they were 'testing' for Johne's before using those early ET recip cows, the tests available back in that day were pretty poor, and even today's improved tests won't detect many infected cows until just before they start shedding the organism in her feces &/or breaks with clinical disease.
 

Rafter S

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Thirty or forty years ago a few dairies around here were using Brahman semen with Holstein cows. I had a few of those cross cows, and they raised good calves. I expect they just about had to give the bull calves away, but I don't know that for sure.
 

TwoByrdsMG

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We have been seeing a similar thing here in Oregon and its been going on for at least the last 8-10 years.

They get more for drop calves if they are beef x and some of the weaning age heifers are selling for more than pure beef cattle.

Saw a Jersey x Brahman heifer sell in Eugene/Junction City auction for $850 and she was 2 weeks old! The following week similar crosses were still $600-700 for beef x bottle calves. Some locals will snatch up every beef x jersey bull calf since they say the meat is really good.

I also know that the jersey x angus and holstein x angus cows make really good ET receips.

We were going to buy and import semen for New Zealand for Murray Grey semen (didn't quite work out) and the breeder said his largest semen buyers are dairies. He even buys back some calves and finishes them at his place. Not a bad deal!
 

damengineer

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Angus cows with 1/4 holstein and 1/4 longhorn have no calving issues and give plenty of milk and raise a calf as big as they are in 9 months.
 

OBAX

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If the dairymen sell those beef crossed calves, mostly angus, some charolais, when they are still calves they get more money. If they wait too long and they start maturing, the buyers can spot the dairy in them easily and they take a big hit. That’s the story locally anyway.
It’s just playing the game and passing the loss on to the next guy. Some of those dairy cross heifers can make good momma cows, but have to watch got the ones that give too much milk, and cull them off. Cross Holstein with Brahman and in my experience you get cows you cannot control.
 

WFfarm

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Our area is a pretty large dairy region. With the advent of sexed semen, the dairies can be flexible with what they bread the "rest of the herd" to, so they cross a lot with Angus. They are going to sell the bull calves off anyway and they will get a lot more for a sold black calf. They used to get $100-120 for a Holstein bull calf, now they get $5-20. I heard of a local dairy that sent 3 Holstein few day old bull calves to the auction and ended up with a bill after trucking and commission.
 

SBMF 2015

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While it's always been out there in the beef herds, there is no doubt in my mind that many beef seedstock operations introduced Johne's Disease into their herds when ET came into vogue in the late 1970s-early 1980s, when folks were sticking embryos into Holstein heifers and cull dairy cows.
25% or more of calves born to Johne's-infected cows may be infected in utero, and as those cows shed the bacterium in their colostrum, milk, and feces, calves are continually exposed while at their most vulnerable time.
Even if they were 'testing' for Johne's before using those early ET recip cows, the tests available back in that day were pretty poor, and even today's improved tests won't detect many infected cows until just before they start shedding the organism in her feces &/or breaks with clinical disease.
I don't think I would recommend seed stock for the exact reasons you mentioned.
I was listening to an interview with someone in the high up at the world dairy expo. He said they are using sexed embryos and the premium they are getting for pb Angus strs over pb or half blood Holsteins strs more than paid for the embryo.
So in theory if the ET calves are all going to be fed out and dead by 24mos Johnes is less of a concern.
 

SBMF 2015

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Our area is a pretty large dairy region. With the advent of sexed semen, the dairies can be flexible with what they bread the "rest of the herd" to, so they cross a lot with Angus. They are going to sell the bull calves off anyway and they will get a lot more for a sold black calf. They used to get $100-120 for a Holstein bull calf, now they get $5-20. I heard of a local dairy that sent 3 Holstein few day old bull calves to the auction and ended up with a bill after trucking and commission.
A guy that milked 800 Jersey cows and is part of a 20,000 hd co-op told me that bull calves are so worthless that every one born they just hit in the head. He said they use only hfr sexed Semen.
 

Rafter S

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If the dairymen sell those beef crossed calves, mostly angus, some charolais, when they are still calves they get more money. If they wait too long and they start maturing, the buyers can spot the dairy in them easily and they take a big hit. That’s the story locally anyway.
It’s just playing the game and passing the loss on to the next guy. Some of those dairy cross heifers can make good momma cows, but have to watch got the ones that give too much milk, and cull them off. Cross Holstein with Brahman and in my experience you get cows you cannot control.

The ones I had were fine, but they were also raised on a bottle, and never handled rough. I could rattle an empty feed sack and they'd follow me anywhere.
 

Dave

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When the sexed semen first came out the dairy farmers used it on all the cows. Dairy heifers soon became a dime a dozen. They wised up and started using it on just their best cows. The rest get Angus because those calves bring more than a straight Holstein.
A few years ago one of the dairy farmers I was working with had a little pen of Holstein bulls out by the road with a sign that said free calves. One evening he went to bed there was 6 calves in the pen. In the morning there was 9 calves there.
 

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