There are a vast variety of cattle breeds present within Australia. Each breed possesses its own unique characteristic and traits that make them suited for different purposes. Some breeds are mostly used for beef, while others for milk production, there are even some breeds which can be used for both. The climate and environmental conditions of a farm will also determine which breeds are most suitable. Bos indicus cattle breeds, such as Brahman, being more suited for hot – tropical climates, whereas Bos taurus cattle breeds, typically European breeds such as Angus and Holstein Friesians, being more suited for cooler and more temperate climates.
Government estimates put the number of beef cattle breeds now in Australia at more than 100. As the country has a vastly diverse climate – ranging from tropical in the far north to the chillier plains and forests of Victoria and Tasmania, producers have increasingly looked to stocking breeds that are suitable for local areas.
Cross-breeding in recent years has helped to introduce characteristics to make beef cattle breeds more pest and disease-resistant. Crossbreeding within the herd can make better use of breed selection by combining breeds with different strengths to produce a final progeny with desired characteristics from both original breeds.