Research after research from around the world is beginning to show a consistent message: Sires from LIC New Zealand out compete any Euro Red breeds tried in crossbreeding trials. Beyond that, there is a recent study from Switzerland, in which pure “Holstein” (75% New Zealand Friesian x 25% North American Holstein) heifers from Ireland were raised and milked in Switzerland, competing with their native Fleckveih, Montbeliarde and Braunveih cattle. New Zealand Friesians produced more milk and milk solids yields per acre, and reproductive rates were better.
I visit many herds in which Swedish Red and Montbeliarde sires have been tried, in an attempt to gain on health and reproductive traits (compared to Holstein contemporaries). While some feel the traits they desired were acquired, the inconsistent milk yields have been disappointing—and in many cases, bad disposition issues increased. Based on the visual type, I do not see long-term udder traits either.
I think anyone who has tried crossbreeding needs to consider the LIC New Zealand Friesian option – sires chosen from a larger sampling pool and evaluated both by Genomics and large progeny data sets.
NZ Friesian sires compete and succeed on “Net Merit” directly against the US Holstein base, and their semen is more competitively priced.