Winter 2019: What Beef Gene Ireland bulls are available?
The Gene Ireland Maternal Beef Breeding Programme was launched in autumn 2012 and was established by the ICBF (Irish Cattle Breeding Federation) in conjunction with industry partners.
The breeding programme was established to improve breeding efficiency at farm level through boosting calving intervals and the number of calves produced per cow per year.
It aims to improve genetic information in Irish beef production by recording high-quality data and by testing more progeny from suitable bulls.
In 2012, bulls with more maternal traits were selected. This was in a response to a decline in milk production and a decrease in the fertility levels throughout the suckler herd here in Ireland.
Therefore, the bulls were selected on their potential to deliver on fertility and milk production; they were also selected on their growth rate and conformation traits.
The ICBF recently launched a new Gene Ireland panel of high replacement index beef bulls for winter 2019.
The breeds included are: Aberdeen Angus; Aubrac; Charolais; Hereford; Limousin; Parthenaise; Piedmontese; Shorthorn; and Simmental.
Additional breeds may be added to the programme during the year. Moreover, straws will be charged at €5/straw and farmers can choose single or mixed breeds.