Autumn Dairy Gene Ireland Programme Launched

We are delighted to present you with the latest list of dairy bulls which have been selected for the Autumn Dairy Gene Ireland programme.

This Autumn the target is to test young genomic bulls and the cost is €12 per straw. All packs will contain the 4 pedigree registered bulls. Straws are available in packs of 28 (4 bulls x 7 straws) 40 (4 bulls x 10 straws). Requirements for herds to participate in the programme involve milk recording, recording inseminations, sire, and calving ease details, using all and providing any health information as it becomes available on daughters of these bulls. All allocated straws must be used in the current season.

The genetic indexes of the bulls on the Dairy Gene Ireland Autumn programme are as follows:

Further information on the Bulls and the Breeding Programme is available Here

If interested in joining the programme this Autumn, please carry out one of the following:

  • Complete the electronic Sign-Up Form and email it to [email protected]
  • Complete the postal form and return to Gene Ireland, ICBF, Highfield House, Bandon, Co. Cork
  • Call ICBF on 023 8820452 to sign up over the phone.

Overview of the National Dairy Breeding Programme

Dairy Gene Ireland offers farmers with the highest EBI young sires through a co-ordinated progeny test program. The breeding programme has increased genetic gain for the Irish Dairy Industry through proving young bulls in Irish farming conditions. Young genomic sires are put forward to the programme by the participating AI companies. These young bulls are sourced from Irish farms and are all from high genetic merit sires and dams.

The ICBF target good data recording herds, allocate the bull teams and collect the relevant phenotypic information to produce genetic evaluations for these animals. A national progeny testing programme is essential to ensure there is a supply of top genetic bulls from a wide range of high EBI sires for farmers to choose from each year. This will allow farmers to increase profitability from breeding over time. Since the formation of the programme in 2005, it has contributed significantly to the increased rate of genetic gain in the national dairy herd.

Benefits of the programme for farmers

The main benefits for farmers include excellent value for money, only 8.50 per straw, access to the next generation of genetics and the opportunity to be involved in a programme that is delivering real benefits to for the dairy Industry.

Contribution of the next generation

Participating herds are also a source of genetics for the breeding programme. As they are the first farmers to use the highest genetic merit bulls based on genomics, these herds are of great interest to AI companies finding young animals for the breeding programme.

Why Use Gene Ireland Bulls?

From 2005-2014 Dairy G€N€ IR€LAND® bulls have delivered an estimated €203 million to the Irish dairy industry. Milk solids have increased by 54.6kg, while calving interval has reduced by 27 days and cow survival has increased by 4.6%.

Foreign sires dominated the active bull list in the early years. Over time, sires were increasingly sourced domestically. The fact that, today, over 90% of sires tested through the programme are Irish bred, is testament to the success of Dairy Gene Ireland.

The close collaboration of all industry partners will be key to maintaining and enhancing the programme in the future. Farmer participation in the programme is essential for continued progress to be made. We look forward to working with our industry partners and farmers to continue building on the gains already made.