Strategies to reduce the environmental footprint of dairy production by utilizing the dairy beef integration
|In the coming decades, there is expected to be a significant increase in the need for animal protein throughout the world. With this growing demand, both the dairy and beef industries will need strategies in place that are adaptable and consider economic efficiency balanced with environmental impacts, animal welfare outcomes and social perceptions. There is a compelling economic case for pasture-based dairy farm businesses to invest in genetics to reduce animal wastage due to reproductive failure, mastitis, and surplus calf wastage. The utilization of genomic selection, sex-sorted semen, and potential dual-purpose breeds can improve growth rates compared to traditional dairy cattle while maintaining similar milk solid production, fertility, and cow size. Currently, it is estimated over two million surplus calves from the dairy industry are slaughtered at four days of age in New Zealand annually. Targeted incorporation of sex-sorted semen to reduce surplus male calves, and the use of double-muscled terminal sires to increase carcass yields in the remaining calves. This reduction of animal wastage is an effective way to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in both the dairy and the beef industry. This review aims to present strategic breeding objectives and solutions including sex-sorted semen, genomics selection, using dual purpose and double muscled terminal sire and slaughtering beef animals at a younger age to maximise genetic gain reducing surplus calf wastage.
|Proceedings of the Australian Dairy Science Symposium 2022
|© The Authors
|Australian Dairy Science Symposium 2022
|Strategies to reduce the environmental footprint of dairy production by utilizing the dairy beef integration
|Conference Contribution - published
|Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences
|Department of Agricultural Sciences
|Free to download from https://australasiandairyscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Proceedings-of-the-Australasian-Dairy-Science-Symposium-2022.pdf Conference Theme- “A changing climate for dairy science"