Creed launches genomic evaluations for BDGP participants

The first ever incorporation of the genomic evaluations into the breeding indices developed by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) took place today.

These new evaluations will now be used to provide individual herd-specific reports to each participant in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and these reports will start to issue next week.

Under the BDGP, each participant has an individual target to have a certain number of four and five star rated breeding animals on his or her farm by certain dates in the scheme.

These new evaluations and the individual farm reports which they will receive in the coming weeks will assist both their breeding strategy and their compliance with the scheme.

The incorporation of these evaluations also provides a new layer of reliability on these evaluations on which farmers can make breeding decisions.

Speaking today on a visit to the farm of Cork suckler farmer, Sean McSweeney, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the move marks a significant milestone for Irish cattle breeding and indeed for the progress in the €300m BDGP scheme.

“I am delighted to launch these BDGP reports which will contain new genomic evaluations for those animals that have been genotyped as part of the BDGP scheme,” he said.

Speaking at the launch Sean Coughlan, CEO of the ICBF commented that the official publication of Genomic Evaluations for the suckler herd is a very important development in the on-going battle to ensure we have a sustainable and profitable suckler sector.

“Genomic evaluations are another key tool which suckler farmers can use in order to maximise the profitability on their farms.

“The level of interest and demand from suckler farmers over the last few months, in anticipation of getting their genomic evaluation reports, shows that a large number of suckler farmers are ready, willing and able to adopt the most up to date technologies as they look to secure a profitable and sustainable farming future,” he said.

On compliance with the BDGP, Minister Creed also reminded participants of the requirement to complete their Carbon Navigator by October 31, 2016 in order to receive their payment in full for this year.