FarmLand – Season 2 Episode 7

On tonight’s episode of FarmLand – the last episode of season two – Siobhan Ring geneticist at the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) will give the inside track on the recently developed Dairy Beef Index (DBI) and its potential for both dairy and beef farmers.

After outlining that approximately 400,000 extra dairy cows are calving on Irish farms since 2010 and that about 300,000 extra beef calves are being born from the dairy herd, Ring says that she believes there is “ample opportunity” for dairy herds to increase their use of beef sires.

“Traditionally, dairy farmers have been concerned with selecting beef bulls for use in the dairy herd that are easy calving and short gestation.

But, I suppose, having learned our lesson from pre-EBI [Economic Breeding Index] times where we selected in dairy cows for higher milk yield and higher milk constituents and we ignored fertility, cow fertility declined.

“So here we are trying to negate potential negative effects on carcass merit and overall efficiency of the dairy-by-beef cross – so that’s why we have introduced this Dairy Beef Index,” she said.

Although it has been just a few months since the DBI active bull list was launched, Ring will also outline what the response has been like on the ground so far.

Meanwhile, AgriLand‘s Niall Claffey visits dairy farmer Hughie Egan – who’s milking 85 Kiwi-cross cows under a spring-calving system in Doon, Co. Offaly – to discuss his plans for the 2019 breeding season.

BPS Applications

Plus, with just shy of 50,000 online applications already submitted for the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine official Brian Alcock is in studio to talk about the department’s initiative of online clinics that are taking place across the country.

Alcock will outline the main challenges and pitfalls that farmers need to look out for when applying online and he suggests how to get around any broadband issues for farmers in remote areas.