DAIRY FARMING :
YPERIOS 95 crossbred calves for profitability
Sylvia and Mathieu Durand have been running a herd of selected Prim’Holsteins for over twenty years. These pure dairy farmers also produce YPERIOS 95 crossbred calves, a new source of income.
In Puylaurens, in the Tarn region of France, the partners of GAEC DE LA BOURDETTE don’t just see life in black and white. These Prim’Holstein breeders have integrated YPERIOS INRA 95 crossbred calves with sandy or brown coats into their breeding program! These animals, destined for slaughter, enable them to finance their milking installation.
“It’s simple: the sale of our YPERIOS 95 crossbred calves over the course of the year pays for all the annual payments on our two robots,” Sylvia Durand sums up. “In 2016, when we launched the project, we clearly saw that selling black bulls for €50 was not viable for our farm. We’ve invested a lot in recent years,” continues the breeder. At the same time, demand on the heifer market is weakening. “Crossbred calves were therefore the only way for the bank to finance milking robots. Generally speaking, YPERIOS INRA 95 crossbred bull calves fetch at least €150 more than a Prim Holstein calf for similar rearing costs.
A local outlet
With INRA 95 crossbred calves, GAEC DE LA BOURDETTE is responding to the market. “We put on Blanc Bleu, but the animals weren’t selling,” says Mathieu Durand. The farmers have set up a partnership with their neighbor, who sells the meat directly from the animals or at the local supermarket. The couple supply him with a calf every week. Calves leave the farm at 3 weeks old.
Genetics and crossbreeding profitability are compatible
These breeders crossbreed while preserving the genetics of their 95-strong Prim’Holstein breeding operation. Thirty heifers are inseminated with sexed semen to ensure the renewal of the herd. “We’re a family farm. We’ve been working on our genetics for twenty years. The last thing we want is to lose it and have to buy heifers from outside. So genetic selection and cross-breeding are not contradictory!
With INRA 95, “rapid development without getting in over my head”.
Sylvia and Mathieu Durand define themselves above all as “true dairy farmers”. While the couple focuses on the choice of Prim’Holstein bulls, they prefer to delegate crossbreeding. “I have the INRA 95 catalog in my office, but we have total confidence in our inseminator. He knows our herd very well,” explains Sylvie. With their Auriva technician, the breeders simply insisted on one essential criterion: ease of calving. “We don’t want our animals to look bad – we love them! I also want to develop quickly, without getting in over my head,” insists the breeder. While diversifying their income, Sylvia and Mathieu Durand can now focus on their primary objective: “Fill the tank!
BREEDING IDENTITY CARD
GAEC DE LA BOURDETTE – PUYLAUENS (81)
- 2 associates
- 98 dairy cows
- 60 INRA 95 crossbred calves per year
- 130 ha of UAA