The Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF) has said that 448,123 calves have been genotyped to date under the National Genotyping Programme (NGP).

The programme, administered by ICBF, is based on a cost-sharing model between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the beef and dairy industry and participating farmers.

The NGP, which is now in week 13, is a collaborative initiative enabling Ireland to take the first step in achieving a fully genotyped national herd.


The latest update from the ICBF, covering up to Tuesday March 26, shows that a further 35,659 samples were received in the lab in the last week.

There were 33,753 calf samples were processed in that period with the average turnaround time from birth to passport being issued now standing at 12.8 days.

This is down from the average turnaround time of 13.1 days in the previous week.

Commenting on the data, the ICBF said today (Thursday, March 28): “As we head toward the final leg of the 2024 spring calving season, farmers are sending off samples less regularly than at the peak”.

The average time from birth to a sample being received in the lab was 8.6 days, while the average time a sample spent in the lab last week was 4.2 days.

The ICBF said that in total 461,675 calf samples have been received in the lab, with 438,392 passports issued for NGP calves to date.

The first year of the NGP programme involved genotyping all cows and replacement females in participating herds.

In years two to five – 2024 to 2027 – requires participants to genotype all calves born on the farm each year. The estimated total cost of the 5-year programme is €83 million.

The total funding allocation for year one (2023) was €23 million which was fully exchequer funded through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) Fund.

There is a funding estimate of €15 million for each of the subsequent years and this will be funded based on the cost sharing model.