The use of dairy sexed semen has doubled in the past five years and now accounts for nearly one in three inseminations, according to AHDB’s latest survey.
Results from the survey, which is carried out in April each year, suggest a growing confidence in sexed semen mirroring the improvement in performance over the past few years, AHDB says.
If sexed semen is used on the best cows, beef semen can be used on the rest of the herd, allowing for a calf with more value for the beef market.
Data from the year ending April 2019 shows a decline in the percentage of dairy semen sold, while beef semen sales increased. However, data from more recent months indicates that beef semen use has dropped again, while the use of sorted dairy semen has continued to rise.
AHDB says this could be down to poor beef prices. With low returns for finished cattle, it is thought farmers may be reluctant to put cows in calf to a beef animal.