With the breeding season drawing to a close, AgriLand caught up with some of the AI companies to see how the 2019 breeding season panned out on farms this year.

Figures on the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) website show an additional 63,673 serves were registered through handheld devices for this year versus last year.

For farmers, AgriLand is getting reports of the breeding season being very successful on farms – in account of the good spring – and it is expected that scan results will reflect this.

Progressive Genetics

Overall, the breeding season for Progressive Genetics “has been really positive” and it had its “sixth year of continuous growth”.

Trends for the year included the increased use of high-EBI genomic Holstein-Friesian sires along with greater use of easy calving and short gestation bulls.

In terms of beef breeds, the greatest increase was in the usage of “Belgian Blue and Limousin” on dairy herds with a slight increase in Limousin and Simmental too.

However, Angus and Hereford were still the main breeds used “by far”.

A previous uncommon breed on farms, but used more regularly this year, was the Aubrac breed and it is expected that this breed may be used more in the future.

Also noted were straw sales of Jersey, and crossbred sires were “back slightly” for the year.

Eurogene AI Services

Eurogene AI services is “quite happy” with how the 2019 breeding season has gone; with an “11% increase” in total straw use compared to the same period last year.

In relation to beef, Hereford and Angus were still the predominant breeds used; although the company did notice a particular increase in the “use of Belgian Blue and also Aubrac” on farms.

Turning to the controversial Jersey, it did see a “fall in demand for conventional Jersey semen”. However, it felt that this fall was “made up by the increase in demand for Jersey sexed semen”.

Munster Bovine

For Munster Bovine, it is “very happy” with how the year has gone with “similar growth” to last year experienced.

It also noted that submission rates were “very high for the year” and it expects conception rates will be too.

In terms of straws sold, it hasn’t noticed any major breed fluctuations; although there has been “a noticeable reduction in Jersey usage”.