Teagasc Breeding Week, which kicks off on Monday (March 20, 2023), is set to focus on the current genetic and technical issues facing Irish dairy farmers.
The week-long programme will consist of a mixture of online content as well as on-farm events.
As the breeding season on Irish dairy farms has become increasingly concentrated between late April and June, Teagasc said that it is aiming to provide timely advice to farmers.
The programme includes a ‘how to series’ in conjunction with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).
The webinars, which will take place at 1:00p.m daily during the week, will feature staff from ICBF.
On Monday, Kevin Downing will advise farmers on how to review economic breeding index (EBI) and herd management reports to identify breeding goals in their herd.
On Tuesday, Dan O’ Riordan will explore identifying cows for dairy and beef artificial insemination (AI) and sexed semen.
The following day the discussion hosted by Siobhan Ring will turn to the use of dairy beef index (DBI) sires to generate better commercial beef value (CBV) calves.
On Thursday, Dan O’Riordan will return to the webinar to advise farmers on how to chose a team of dairy and beef bulls to improve or achieve breeding goals.
On Friday, it will be the turn of Bryan Kingston who will discuss recording heat and AI serves and monitoring performance during the breeding season.
Teagasc Breeding Week will also feature an in-person seminar on Monday evening at Feericks Hotel, Rathowen, Co. Westmeath focused on adding value to herds this breeding season.
The seminar will be repeated in the Errigal Hotel, Cootehill, Co. Cavan on Tuesday, with both seminars commencing at 7:30p.m.
The programme includes a series of farm walks beginning on the lands of Brendan McDonnell near Ballina, Co. Mayo on Monday morning, followed by Teagasc’s Kildalton College in Co. Kilkenny on Wednesday.
The third farm walk will take place on Friday on the farm of Philip Donohoe, Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny. All of the farm walks will begin at 11:00a.m.
On Thursday night at 7:30p.m, Stuart Childs, Teagasc dairy specialist, will host a webinar entitled ‘Meeting future challenges by breeding better cows’.
The panellists, Donagh Berry (Teagasc), Margaret Kelleher (ICBF) and dairy farmer Philip Donohue will discuss the impact of EBI on the Irish dairy industry and the future of breeding.
For further information and to register for the webinars farmers can log onto the Teagasc website.