With this in mind, the Dakins started looking for outcross bloodlines and considered their options. 'We were not sure whether to go straight into crossing the herd, so instead, we thought “Let’s try a wagon-full and see if we like them,” says Matt.
After some deliberation, they approached Best of Breed Livestock Managing Director Owen Daley, who suggested the family look at ProCROSS. This three-breed rotational crossbreeding system, ideal for intensive systems, combines VikingHolstein, VikingRed, and Montbéliarde.
“Owen felt ProCROSS cows would give us the milk quality, health, and fertility we were seeking without any loss of production. So, we opted to travel to Sweden with him to see how they looked in real life,” tells Matt.
After joining a group of farmers visiting ProCROSS herds in Sweden in February 2018, the Dakins were impressed by the easy-to-manage, high-producing cows – especially with their fat and protein percentages. "The average across the farms we visited was more than 11,500 litres, with about 4.5% fat and 3.5% protein,” he recalls.