Beef x Dairy: Not all bulls are created equal

newborn black beef on dairy calf

What are your goals with using beef x dairy as part of your genetic strategy? If you haven’t determined your direction, you might be missing out on what matters most to your farm’s bottom line.

In the same way you choose dairy cattle genetics, it’s important to select the right beef genetics to align with your farm’s current situation and future goals. We’ve created four different beef x dairy sire indexes so you can take the simplest approach to finding the right beef bulls to fit your needs.



Dairy farming is your primary business, and the majority of your income comes from your milk check. You know that your beef x dairy cross calves are simply a by-product of your strategic breeding plan to right-size your herd inventories.

You enjoy the premium that a black beef cross calf can bring over a Holstein or Jersey bull calf. But your primary goal with the beef bulls you use is simple and straightforward: get cows pregnant and avoid calving difficulties.

If this sounds like you, then Alta BULLSEYE Fertility Focus Sires are what you need.



Maintaining a herd of healthy, productive cows is your main focus. In addition, because of dairy market conditions in your region, you’re using beef semen on your lower end genetics, and you’re looking to get as high of a premium on those resulting crossbred calves as possible.

To get those top premiums, you know you need to create black calves with a beef look to them. And since the dairy animals in your herd are your top concern, you still want calving ease and high fertility sires.

In your case, Alta BULLSEYE Black Calf Sires will fit your goals.



Your dairy farm is your focus, but maybe you also have a side operation raising feeder calves. This includes the beef x dairy cross calves that you’ve decided to create to manage your dairy herd inventory levels.

You’re looking to create calves that grow well to 300 or 500 pounds, so your own feeder calf operation maintains maximum efficiency. You also want to offer assurance to your buyer that the calves you sell to them will continue to perform well under their care.

If this is your situation, then the Alta BULLSEYE Feeder Calf Sires will keep your operational efficiencies high.



You’ve got more than one cattle business venture. You produce milk and you also raise beef cattle through finishing. Among those beef animals are your beef x dairy crosses that result from your genetic plan and herd inventory management strategies.

Because part of your business is raising beef, you want to maintain efficient growth rates on every one of your beef x dairy cross animals. And you want to make sure your animals have the best combination of carcass yield and quality grade to earn top premiums at harvest.

When this is your business plan, Alta BULLSEYE Terminal Index Sires fit what you need. 


Don’t miss out…

Work with your trusted Alta advisor to discuss where you’re at, and where you’re going. Use your own goals to determine your targeted approach to a beef x dairy strategic plan. Learn more about Alta’s beef x dairy program. 


Want more beef x dairy resources?

Download the PDF of this article at the link below or view other Beef x Dairy articles in the Knowledge & News section of this website.

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