Yes, we Murray Grey breeders here in NZ sell most of our bulls to dairy herds. Some of the bigger herds will buy 6 at a time. We never have enough!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!
Murray Greys have got the reputation for being easy calving over yearling heifers and then have a good survival rate and grow like weeds.
Their weights often deceive the buyers. We just sold 2 yearling bulls in a 'service bull sale' they were just 13 months old. Entirely grass reared and we are just coming out of a wet winter, they stay outside year round. They weighed avg 423 kgs (932lbs) over the saleyard scales. The guy on the scales asked if they were 2 year olds.
The most popular beef breed in use over dairy herds here are Herefords as the black/white faced calves fetch the highest prices in the calf sales for fattening because of their growth and early finishing before their 2nd winter.
For the dairy herds easy calving is the aim, not the production of calves for fattening once the elite heifers are picked. Although there is now more of a move to sell them to grow on, driven by the welfare lobby to eliminate the culling of week old surplus dairy calves. So they are turning to beef breeds which will produce a calf easily and will fatten quickly as well.
There is no colour prejudices in the meat works here though, the heaviest, best finished, carcase gets the best price, regardless of the colour of its hide!