What has the EBI delivered in monetary terms?
The Economic Breeding Index (EBI) has delivered €750 million of additional value to the dairy sector over the last 20 years, according to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).
Outlining the breeding programme’s progress, it states that the trends in EBI continue to advance on both the milk and fertility indexes – making a significant contribution to profitability at farm level over the years.
Touching on some of the more recent updates to the breeding index, the ICBF said: “The average EBI of dairy-bred females increased by €21 in 2017.
This increase would not have happened were it not for the ICBF board decision to update dairy AI proofs last spring after a technical error was identified in the spring 2017 genomic evaluations.
The organisation also claims that there’s further potential to be exploited.
“If we could move the entire dairy industry to the levels of the Next Generation Herd, there are significant further gains to be realised.”
It states that an additional €400 million could be captured by moving from the current average performance to the top 1% as demonstrated by the elite animals in the Next Generation Herd.
“Our goal for the dairy herd is to continuously enhance the accuracy and relevance of the EBI as a guide for breeding dairy replacements.
“We are also seeking to continuously improve genetic evaluations for all the current traits and introduce new traits as the research allows,” the ICBF outlined.