Survey of the use of beef semen in dairy herds in Pennsylvania and nearby states

T. L. Felix, J. C. Emenheiser, K. E. Govoni, S. A. Zinn, S. A. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Because dairies across the United States have rapidly adopted breeding to beef breed sires, the use of beef semen has increased dramatically in recent years. The objective of this survey was to gather information about the use of beef semen by dairy producers in the Northeast United States to generate beef × dairy cattle for beef markets. The survey was conducted using the services of the Center for Survey Research at the Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg campus. Respondents had two options for returning their responses: 1) mail the paper survey to CSR in the postage-paid business-reply envelope included in the mailing, or 2) complete the survey online via an open-access web survey link. A total of 669 surveys were received and a final number of 617 surveys were included in the responses based on completeness and validity of the responses. Because of the broad electronic distribution, a true response rate cannot be calculated. Of these, 463 (75.0%) were completed via returned paper survey, and 154 (25.0%) were completed via web, between November 9, 2021 and February 16, 2022. Of the 617 respondents, 539 were from Pennsylvania. Due to the large variations in returned survey copies by state, results are reported without state separation. Across all respondents, 69.7% reported milking 100 or fewer cows and over 90% of collected responses reported Holsteins as the predominant dairy breed in the Northeast. Only 18.8% of the respondents did not currently, nor plan to, breed with beef semen. Deciding which beef bulls to use on Northeast dairy farms was primarily based on the recommendation of the semen sales representative (54.5%) and the price of the semen purchased (42.3%). In addition, 89.7% of respondents cited using Angus genetics in their beef bull selections. However, there was no difference in reported profitability of crossbreeding between respondents who indicated using other beef breeds vs. those who indicated just using Angus (P ≥ 0.19). In conclusion, using beef sires on dairy females, regardless of the breed of beef sire, adds value to the resulting progeny from dairy farms in the Northeast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbertxad038
JournalTranslational Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary

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