Shrinking dairy and beef herds across the U.S. have spurred a rising beef-on-dairy trend. It’s estimated that almost 23% of the total number of fed steers and heifers are coming from dairies. Cargill Beef Innovation Lead Aimee Halfa says there are many reasons for the explosive growth.

Possibly the biggest reason is the severe drought that caused many beef herds to liquidate, leading to drastically higher feeder calf prices. This triggered a supply and demand issue between the beef industry and feedlots and an opportunity for dairies to fill the pipeline and turn a profit. Halfa says beef-on-dairy cross animals work well for the beef industry because they’re uniform in quality. This has created positive consumer sentiment.

Read more on beef-on-dairy crossing here.