The Gene Ireland Maternal Beef Breeding Programme was launched in autumn 2012 and was established by the ICBF (Irish Cattle Breeding Federation) in conjunction with industry partners.
The breeding programme was established to improve breeding efficiency at farm level through boosting calving intervals and the number of calves produced per cow per year. It aims to improve genetic information in Irish beef production by recording high-quality data and by testing more progeny from suitable beef bulls.
In 2012, bulls with more maternal traits were selected. This was in a response to a decline in milk production and a decrease in the fertility levels throughout the suckler herd here in Ireland.
This year, the ICBF has announced the availability of semen from 16 Gene Ireland bulls at a cost of €5/straw. Again, the bulls have been selected on their potential to deliver on fertility and milk production. They have also been selected on their growth rate and conformation traits.
The bulls on offer
Furthermore, the ICBF and the programme partners are now selling five Gene Ireland AI beef bulls that have met the targeted semen requirement. These bulls were primarily selected on their replacement index.
Farmers interested in purchasing one of these bulls should contact the ICBF’s Ciaran Costello.