ICBF HerdPlus fees to rise with introduction of new charge per cow

The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) is set to substantially increase the Dairy/Dual HerdPlus membership fees, with the introduction of a €0.50/cow charge next week.

This is the first fee increase since the service commenced in 2006 (with an introductory offer of €60 that has lasted 12 years).

The ICBF has decided to stagger the fee increase over a two-year period. A €0.50/cow charge will be introduced along with the current €60 herd fee, which will come into effect as of February 7, 2018.

Meanwhile, from February 8, 2019, the herd fee will increase from €60/year to €100/year. The €0.50/cow charge will remain the same.

Last year, farmers earned – on average – €0.03/L over the base milk price; with much of that gain down to improvements in breeding, the ICBF has said – adding that it intends continuing the delivery of these increased returns.

According to the ICBF, the HerdPlus fee increase is specifically to fund printing, packing, software development and customer support for all dairy HerdPlus members.

Source: ICBF website

It was stressed that the rise is separate to the animal tag contribution; but, it was highlighted that this is just as important for funding of the federation’s broader breeding research and development efforts around data capture, EBI, genomics and dairy gene Ireland programme.

Future projects

ICBF is currently working on a new version of Sire Advice, which will be launched ahead of the breeding season. It is hoped that the new features will give farmers more flexibility when choosing and allocating bulls for cows.

It will also help the federation to ensure it is using the latest genomic information to help mitigate embryonic loss / genetic defects, according to the ICBF.

The company also recently launched ‘Cow’s Own Worth’ – C.O.W. –  an online tool which aids breeders in identifying under-performing cows for culling.