130,000 BDGP tissue tag samples returned to date

Some 130,000 Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) tissue tag samples have been returned to date the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) recently confirmed.

The return rate for tissue samples from herds participating in the BDGP so far this year was described as “excellent” by the federation.

Over the past six to eight weeks, just over 300,000 tissue tags in total have been issued to herds on a phased basis.

This means that the number of returned samples equates to a return rate of 42%, the ICBF added.

In a statement, the federation said: “Farmers will receive a text message acknowledging receipt of tissue samples by the lab as soon as they are processed.

Due to the large volume of samples currently being received, it may be 10 to 14 days before samples are ‘scanned in’ by the lab and a text message can be sent.

“Farmers are encouraged to try and return samples within 28 days of receiving them. This is to try and ensure that as many genotypes as possible will be in the database for the next evaluation (September 2018).

“The cut-off date for data and genotypes for the September evaluation is July 27. To ensure that genotypes make it to the database in time, samples should be returned no later than June 30,” the statement explained.

More details on the upcoming evaluation publication dates are available online.

BDGP under scrutiny

Meanwhile, the BDGP is set to go under the microscope tomorrow evening (Tuesday, May 22) during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Commenting on the meeting, the chair of the committee – Fine Gael TD Pat Deering – said: “The genomics programme aims to boost the breeding and calf-rearing efficiency of suckler cattle and, in turn, reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of herds.

This is a multi-year project with exciting potential to help Ireland meet its carbon targets and boost farmers’ livelihoods.

The committee meeting is scheduled to get underway at 3:00pm tomorrow, with discussions around the BDGP taking place during the second and third segments of the meeting. Proceedings can be viewed live online.