Beef production in New South Wales covers a range of climatic zones — from subtropical through temperate to mediterranean. Superimposed on the climatic variability are differences in pasture quality and quantity.
Crossbreeding is now extensively used to increase productivity of cattle. Currently, 50%–60% of cattle turned off are crossbred. In subtropical and some temperate areas, cattle with a proportion of Bos indicus breeding are used.
This Agfact is intended as a guide to assist cattle producers in deciding which Bos indicus / Bos taurus crosses are best suited to their particular management, pasture and environmental conditions, based on pre-weaning and post-weaning growth.
Several years of research on Bos indicus / Bos taurus straightbreds and crosses have been conducted at various locations throughout New South Wales including the Agricultural Research and Advisory Station, Grafton. From the results, equations were developed (taking into account hybrid vigour and breed effects) to predict growth performance of different Bos indicus / Bos taurus crosses under various pasture and environmental conditions. These equations were used in predicting growth rates of the different crosses presented in this Agfact.
|Breed/cross of calf*||Pasture quality|
|B × H (Fl)||468||773||884|
|H × B (Fl)||738||780||872|
|B × Fl||716||848||858|
|H × Fl||734||847||880|
|Fl × B||698||747||821|
|Fl × H||446||739||855|
|Fl × Fl||725||848||869|
* Sire breed × dam breed
The same principles used for pre-weaning growth apply.
|Breed/cross of steer*||Pasture quality|
|B × H (Fl)||168||321||584|
|H × B (Fl)||182||282||639|
|B × Fl||124||210||440|
|H × Fl||89||188||493|
|Fl × B||159||247||546|
|Fl × H||110||263||544|
|Fl × Fl||106||199||467|
*Sire breed × dam breed
Arthur, PF, Hearnshaw, H, Kohun, PJ & Barlow, R 1994, ‘Evaluation of Bos indicus and Bos taurus straightbreds and crosses: direct and maternal genetic effects on growth traits’, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research; 45:807–818.
Arthur, PF, Hearnshaw, H, Kohun, PJ & Barlow, R 1994, ‘Evaluation of Bos indicus and Bos taurus straightbreds and crosses: postweaning growth of steers in different environments’, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research; 45:783–794.
Exton, SC ‘Post weaning growth and carcase characteristics of crossbred cattle’ (results from part of the crossbreeding program at the Agricultural Research and Advisory Station, Grafton), Animal Production Report No. 6.
Hearnshaw H, Arthur, PF, Barlow, R, Kohun, PJ & Darnell, RE 1994, ‘Evaluation of Bos indicus and Bos taurus straightbreds and crosses: postweaning growth, puberty and pelvic size of heifers’, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research; 45:795–805.