Beef use increases by 25% while Jersey use falls by 20%

There has been a large increase in beef AI usage on the national dairy herd, for this year, according to figures from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).

To date, the number of beef inseminations is up 25% when compared to the same period last year.

The number of beef and dairy straws used. Source: ICBF

A total of 79,760 beef inseminations on the dairy herd has been recorded by the ICBF for 2019; while in comparison a total of 63,675 were recorded in 2018. This is an increase of 16,085 or 25%.

The ICBF has noted that these figures are based on all technician serves up until May 24.

Looking at dairy inseminations, the figures also show a 9% increase in dairy inseminations, with dairy and beef inseminations combined up 11%.

Breed by breed breakdown. Source: ICBF

These figures are a clear indication of the increase in: AI usage; and beef crossing on the national dairy herd.

In terms of individual breeds, the greatest drop has been witnessed in the use of Jersey. The use of Jersey genetics has dropped by a massive 20% – from 28,000 to 22,308 straws when compared to 2018 usage.

A further drop has been witnessed with British Friesian use, which has dropped by 3,000 or 10%. In addition, the top used dairy breed, by a long shot, is Holstein Friesian (up 12%) followed by British Friesian.

Early maturing breeds – Hereford and Angus – are the top beef breeds used – at 25,020 and 24,988 respectively.

The ICBF figures reveal that Belgian Blue have recorded the largest percentage increase – up 42% to 13,251 inseminations, along with Limousin up 26% to 8,849 – on the same period last year.