Sexed dairy semen extended its dominance as the preferred choice for breeding on dairy farms according to a recent AHDB survey of breeding companies.
In the 12 months to March 2022, sales of sexed semen made up over 70 percent of all dairy semen sales, up from over 63 percent in 2021.
Sales were highest for Holsteins, where sexed semen made up 76% of all dairy purchases, followed by Jerseys at 71% and averaged 50% for other breeds.
Marco Winters, AHDB head of animal genetics, said the figures reflected the higher confidence farmers had when choosing sexed semen.
"Sales have risen almost fivefold since 2017 when they made up just 17.9% of the total and I can only see this trend continuing.”
The survey also showed beef semen sales to the dairy herd had risen to 48 per cent, up from 45.3% of total sales in 2021.
Mr Winters added: “We’re seeing a similar knock-on effect on sales of beef semen, as fewer replacements are needed so more cows are being served for beef.
“Sexed semen is a great option for farmers looking to breed replacements from their best females and lift overall herd performance and profitability.”
The results are welcome news for AHDB and NFU’s national dairy calf strategy, which aims to eliminate calf euthanasia by 2023 and increase the number of male calves entering the beef supply chain.
Nic Parsons, AHDB head of dairy engagement said: “The continued rise in the use of sexed dairy and beef semen is hugely encouraging and shows the industry’s commitment to addressing the bull calf issue.”