Breed packs announced for the 2020 Gene Ireland programme

Get priority access to the next generation of genetics through Ireland’s progeny test programme, Gene Ireland.

Gene Ireland, which is run by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), was created to provide dairy farmers with the next generation of genetics through the progeny testing of young bulls.

These young bulls – which are supplied by a number of AI companies – are used on good data recording herds, so that the ICBF can collect information on these animals and produce high-quality genetic evaluations on these bulls.

The programme is now in its 16th year and the programme has delivered over €200 million to Irish dairy farmers through increased genetic gain.

Breed packs available

This spring the ICBF’s target is to test 70 young genomic bulls and the cost is €8.50 a straw.

The multi-breed pack is a combination of Jerseys, Holstein-Friesian x Jersey crossbreds, Norwegian and Holstein-Friesian bulls for comparative purposes.

Image source: ICBF
Image source: ICBF

Straws are available in packs of: 25 (5 bulls x 5 straws); 35 (5 bulls x 7 straws); and 50 (5 bulls x 10 straws).

Farmers involved in the programme also have the option of using straws from beef bulls suitable for use on dairy cows. These bulls are short gestation and easy calving sires.

If you are interested in finding the future genetics for the national herd get in contact with ICBF or your breeding advisor.