Pics: ICBF announces details of 13 new Gene Ireland bulls
ICBF, through its Gene Ireland Programme, has made AI straws available from some of the countries up and coming bulls.
Farmers can avail of the straws at a cost of €5 each and according to ICBF’s Ciaran Costello, these bulls will allow farmers to breed replacements with high milk and fertility indexes.
Under the programme, farmers can choose AI straws from 13 bulls of 10 different breeds.
“If farmers want to breed more milk and better fertility into their herd, these bulls are designed to do so,” Costello, a Beef Breeding Analyst based in Tully told Agriland.
Each individual farmer needs to look at the performance of their own herd, he said, with a particular focus on milk and fertility traits, which are key to the profitability of suckler enterprises.
Having a herd of cows that go in calf without any problems, the ability to produce a good quality calf and being able to produce milk to feed that calf is vital to keep a suckler enterprise profitable.
Pics: Take a closer look at the 13 Gene Ireland bulls
For this to be achieved at farm level, he said, breeding good quality high Replacement index females is the way forward.
“A hard working cow is a profitable cow – It is the way forward.
“Genetics play a huge role, this is why we want farmers to use these straws, as it allows them to reap the benefits in terms of producing cows that will work hard,” he said.
The Gene Ireland Programme was launched in 2012. The overall aim of the programme is to achieve much greater rates of genetic improvement in the Irish suckler herd.
Costello added that this level of increased performance can be achieved through high quality data recording, progeny testing and the use of a greater number of suitable beef bulls at farm level.