Beef AI in Irish dairy herds witnesses continued growth

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) has released data analysing the AI inseminations in the dairy herd for the 2020 breeding season and it makes for some interesting reading.

Following the year-on-year trend, 2020 has again witnessed an increase in the use of dairy AI. Firstly, dairy-on-dairy inseminations are up 7.9% in the first half of the year, with beef-on-dairy inseminations also up some 2.7%.

Looking at the inseminations in more detail, we can see some noticeable changes when we dive into the individual beef breed usage on the dairy herd.

The stand out breed has to be the Aubrac, with some 6,676 inseminations recorded in the first half of 2020 on dairy cows – representing an increase of 3,657 when compared with the same period last year.

Other honourable increases include the number of Speckled Park and Simmental inseminations – up 47% and 15% respectively.

As would be somewhat expected, Aberdeen Angus and Belgian Blue breeds have also witnessed increases – jumping 4% and 7% respectively.

Following this, Hereford and Saler usage declined in the first half of 2020 – decreasing by 7% and 27% respectively.

Additionally, Charolais usage has increased by 11% for the first six months of 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.

Number of beef inseminations recorded on dairy cows: January to June 2019 / January to June 2020

Moving to dairy inseminations on dairy cows, we can also see some changes in comparison to last year.

There are some 480,680 Holstein inseminations recorded year-to-date on dairy cows accounting for an increase of 45,236 or 9% when compared with the same period the year previous.

Furthermore, there are also breed usage increases with: Milking Shorthorn (+18%); Norwegian red (+8%); and Meuse-Rhine-Issel (+18%).

However, there has also been a decline when it comes to certain breeds in 2019 versus 2020. These include: Ayrshire (-59%); Friesian (-4%); Jersey (-10%); and Montbeliarde (-8%).

Number of dairy inseminations recorded on dairy cows: January to June 2019 / January to June 2020