Dairy farmers are being called on to have their voices heard – and be rewarded with a One4All gift voucher – by taking part in a new survey on breeding and management.

The survey is a study being conducted by the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway.

Update: The survey has now closed.

It comes in the form of a short online survey and takes between 12 and 15 minutes to complete.

The study looks at Irish dairy farmer opinions on breeding choices for their herds and where they are marketing their calves.

Thoughts on farm business and animal welfare are touched on, while the topics of both the new sexed semen laboratory in Co. Cork and the use of sexed semen in general are explored.

Speaking to Agriland about the survey, NUI Galway lecturer Dr. Doris Laepple explained:

“Over the last decade we have more than one third more dairy cows than we had 10 years ago; that’s a significant change.

“We are interested in, basically, how are farmers dealing with the situation, where are they marketing their calves, have they changed their breeding choices [and] have they updated their calf facilities?”

The survey is open to all dairy farmers in the Republic of Ireland, Dr. Laepple added.

In terms of broader benefit to the sector, she said:

“What we ask specifically is of interest to farmers themselves too, and we will make sure to communicate our research findings to farmers and farm advisors – but also policy makers, and that hopefully will influence future policy positions.”

The study is a follow-up to a previous survey which was conducted on the Irish dairy industry – and saw 450 farmers take part.

Interestingly, the results revealed that 75% of farmers would be “willing to contribute a small fee” per cow to support the establishment of a sexed-semen laboratory in Ireland.

Back to the latest survey, those interested in taking part can access the NUI Galway study here.