A cross between a Holstein and a Bos indicus breed called the Gir was proving to be an ideal dairy breed in the tropics, Semex general manager Jim Conroy told the Herd 17 conference.
Mr Conroy said the crossbred cattle developed in Brazil, called the Girolando, were ideally suited to the tough conditions in the tropics, particularly the heat and humidity, parasitic insects and tropical diseases.
About 91 per cent of the cows in Brazil were a crossbreed and about half of these were various crosses between the Gir and the Holstein.
Mr Conroy described the breeding development of the Girolando with the breed evolving from having strong Bos indicus characteristics to be more Holstein-like with a higher udder, sharper head and without the large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck.
He said the breed also had a better temperament than purebred Bos indicus cattle.