As the calving season winds down on many farms, attention now shifts to the breeding season and the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) has outlined to farmers the importance of recording insemination data.

Insemination data is significant for the purpose of genetic evaluations for fertility and gestation lengths. This includes whether the cow repeats or holds to that service.

It also gives the farmer expected calving dates as well as accurate fertility reports which are extremely useful for management purposes.

Heats that are observed outside of the breeding season can also be recorded.

Recording insemination data

There are several methods of recording inseminations:
  1. ICBF mobile app – ‘On the go’ recording via the ICBF mobile app allows you to quickly record serves as they happen;
  2. Online recording through ICBF website – log-on using your username and password. Go to ‘Record Events’ → ‘Heat & AI/Serve’ and enter details accordingly;
  3. Farm computer packages – Serves recorded via farm software packages will go straight into the ICBF database;
  4. Technician AI handhelds – If your AI technician has a handheld device, the serves will be automatically sent to the ICBF database. (If your technician does not have a handheld device, you will need to ensure that insemination data is sent to ICBF via one of the other methods).

Calf registration

The week ending April 16, saw some 83,828 calves being registered, which is a decrease compared to last year’s figure for the same time period, when 86,027 calves were registered.

The latest figures from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) show that there has been a 5% increase on last year’s figure – with 1,200,921 head of dairy calves born so far compared to 1,138,966 head for the same period in 2020.

In total some 1,531,299 calves have been registered so far this year, seeing an increase of 57,086 compared to the same period last year.

Calf health dairy beef production

Weekly Breakdown

Taking a closer look at the figures, we can see that 47,923 dairy calves were registered during the week ending April 12, 2021 – a decrease of 1,025 head on the corresponding week in 2020.

Looking at suckler calf registrations in more detail, during the week ending April 9, 2021, some 35,905 beef calves were registered – a decrease of 1,174 head on the same week in 2020.

The total number of suckler calves registered so far this year stands at 330,378 head. During the same period in 2020, some 335,247 beef calves were registered.

When combined, total calf registrations – for both suckler and dairy – are still running ahead of last year’s levels.

During the week ending April 12, 2021, a tally amounting to 76,198 head of calves had been registered – a decrease of 27,151 head when compared to the same period in 2020.

  • Beef births: head (284,605);
  • Dairy births: head (1,145,769);
  • Total births: head (1,430,374).