There are now over 444 herds signed-up to the Dairy Gene Ireland Programme taking a total of 17,431 straws ordered to date.  There are still Dairy Gene Ireland straws available to order.  The dairy breeding programme is a key component of the Irish dairy industry with the aim of providing farmers with new genetics and increase the rate of genetic gain in EBI.

Straws are available in packs of 35 (5 bulls x 7 straws) ,49 (7 bulls x 7 straws) and 70 (7 bulls x 10 straws) and 100 (10 bulls x 7 straws), with packs made available up to a maximum of 35% of your dairy straw requirement. The cost is €12 per straw, plus technician fee, which varies by AI company. Packs are distributed to participating herds through your sales reps or AI technician.

Breed Pack Allocations and Sire Advice 2024

The allocation of breed packs will commence in Mid-March.  Once a herd has been allocated a pack of bulls, details of the bulls allocated are sent to the herd-owner via text message. 

To maximise genetic gain, use the sire advice application to match the allocated Gene Ireland bulls to the most suitable cows in their herd. This will increase herd EBI and reduce the variation between the milk and fertility sub index. A cow that has low milk sub index, it will get matched to a Gene Ireland Bull that high milk sub index. A new feature on the Sire Advice application programme will show the allocated G€N€ IR€LAND bulls on the manual enter bull screen.

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

Dairy Beef Gene Ireland Programme

Straws from beef bulls suitable for use on dairy cows are also available. These bulls have been selected for easy calving, combined with good carcass merit.  Available breeds include Angus, Aubrac, Belgian Blue, Hereford, and Limousin. Additional breeds may be added to the programme later in Spring. The cost is €7 per straw.

How to take part in the programme?

If you would like to take part in the programme, please complete one of the following:

  • Sign up online through the Gene Ireland Sign-Up screen by logging into your HerdPlus account and selecting ‘Services’ – ‘Gene Ireland Sign-up’.
  • Or Call the ICBF HerdPlus team on 023 8820452.