Dairy: Jury still out on the benefits of crossbreeding purebred dairy cows

Some dairy farmers are enthusiastic about the results of crossbreeding Holsteins with Norwegian cattle. Others see purebreds as more attractive


Up and coming dairyman Martin Buhler loves the 40 or so Red Norwegian-cross-Holstein cows in the 200-cow milking string on his family’s farm near Crysler in eastern Ontario.

Buhler, who is 23, says the crossbreds cycle 10 days after calving and conceive 90 days after giving birth, compared to 120-130 days for Holsteins in the herd. They produce more components, if not as much milk, and are smaller and better tempered than their purebred Holstein counterparts.

Better Farming - November 2009