The potential for use of surplus dairy herd reproductive capacity for beef production

Y. Q. Tian, D. G. McCall, W. H. McMillian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A quantitative analysis of the potential benefits of using in vitro-produced embryos and embryo transfer (IVP and ET) technologies for beef production from spring-calving dairy herds is presented. The study was conducted using computer simulation. Additional profit was assessed from the production of high quality 4-day-old calves for the beef industry, which are derived from surplus dairy industry breeding capacity. Twelve IVP and ET scenarios were investigated for comparison with artificial insemination (AI) methods. These IVP and ET scenarios were combinations of sex-controlled or sex-uncontrolled embryos with conception rates ranging from 35% to 60%. The study demonstrates that sex-controlled embryo technology is able to capitalise on the significant beef production potential from dairy herds. Profit opportunities for the dairy farmer will be significant if beef IVP and ET costs are no more than AI costs and conception rates for the embryo transfer technology are at least 50%, otherwise oestrus synchronisation technology is required to maintain annual calving patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-414
Number of pages10
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Calf production
  • Embryo technology
  • Oestrus synchronisation
  • Reproductive management


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