Preparing Your Beef x Dairy Program for an Unpredictable Future

beef x dairy calf with holstein cow

Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with coining the phrase, “change is the only constant thing in life.” This phrase is especially true for dairy farmers who constantly face changes that affect their bottom line. With constantly fluctuating milk prices, the current high demand for beef x dairy calves has proven to be one change that dairy farmers can get behind. But, will it last, and how do you prepare yourself for when it doesn’t?


Why have beef x dairy calves been in such high demand?

Consolidation in the dairy industry has increasingly made beef x dairy calves more desirable to cattle buyers. Greater volume
has helped facilitate and streamline logistics where buyers are able to pick up large numbers of calves every several days and
manage them more effectively in the feedlot. 

While improved logistics from consolidation will remain, the supply of cattle for meat will continue to evolve. The U.S. beef
cattle inventory has officially reached a 73-year low in 2024, down 2% or about 700,000 head from 2023 according to the USDA. This extreme decline has pushed more cattle buyers to look to the dairy industry to help fill the void left by the beef industry.

Will high demand last, and what happens if it doesn’t?

Prices have reached near record highs recently, but it’s important to remember that they are being driven by the limited supply of feeder cattle in the market and other factors like current lower corn prices. It is inevitable that the supply of feeder cattle and corn prices will eventually rebound, causing these high prices to lower.

Fed beef prices are expected to reach a cyclical high in the next three to four years. This means that calves created from matings in the in the next 24 months will likely see a sideways trend in calf prices followed by a downward trend. Now is the time for dairy farmers to re-evaluate their beef x dairy strategy and select a program that will provide stability into the future.


How can FeedWise™ ONYX™ protect my beef x dairy enterprise?

As the industry’s first full-circle beef x dairy program, Alta Genetics’ FeedWise™ ONYX™ program is the complete solution that is
built to eliminate these risks and add dollars back into your operation.

beef x dairy graphic

Guaranteed Buyer: Every qualified FeedWise™ ONYX™ calf is guaranteed to have a buyer and receive fair market value at the
time of purchase, plus a premium above that price. Never worry risking revenue with your beef x dairy program ever again.

beef x dairy graphic

High-Quality Semen: According to New Mexico State University, dairy farmers lose $2-5/cow/day when cows are open beyond 90 days. This means one unsuccessful breeding can turn into losing more than $100/cow/year. FeedWise™ ONYX™ Stabilizer semen is selected to provide high fertility and a two-day reduction in gestation length, helping you avoid these excessive days open costs and get your cows back to the milking parlor faster.

beef x dairy grpahic

Elite Calf Performance: Stabilizer genetics help produce ideal birthweight calves that are vigorous at birth. With average birthweights approximately 70-80 pounds, they’re not only healthy, but also easy on your cows and your maternity pen team.


The Bottom Line

Despite recent high demand and prices for beef x dairy calves, change is inevitable, and it is critical to protect this valuable
secondary revenue stream for your farm. Prepare and protect your beef x dairy program for the future by guaranteeing
profitability with the FeedWise™ ONYX™ program.


For more information on FeedWise™ ONYX™, click here. 

Ready to get started and learn how FeedWise™ ONYX™ is the ideal solution for maximizing profitability in your beef x dairy program? Fill out the form here and an Alta Advisor will be in touch with you.

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