Crossbreeding has long been proven that it will make commercial cow/calf operations more efficient and thereby more profitable. By crossing two pure breeds, making an F1 hybrid, an additive effect takes place to increase weaning weights by 10 to 15%. There are also other benefits that add to the bottom line including cow longevity, breed back ability and total pounds of calf weaned per cow.
Although there are definite, measureable benefits to the 3 way terminal cross system (making F1 females and breeding them to a bull of a 3rd breed) the planning and implementing of this program can be very difficult and cumbersome for the cow/calf operation. How many management groups you have to have and which breed of bull to put in what pasture with which cows to keep the 3 way cross going are just a couple of them.
Now there is a much simpler way. Documented research shows the use of two crossbred animals, or two hybrids, in a breeding program producing 2nd generation F1 calves (called F2’s in our program), to be as effective for maintaining hybrid vigor at the same level as 1st generation F1 calves (called F1’s in our program). This simply means that using Hybrid bulls on a set of crossbred or hybrid cows will generally produce as much hybrid vigor as the crossing of two straight bred animals without the complications of a 3 breed rotation system.