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ICBF and the programme partners, have recently launched the exciting new Gene Ireland panel of high replacement index beef bulls for Spring 2017. Building on the success of previous programmes, these bulls have been selected on their potential to deliver in two key areas. Firstly, to produce heifers which are fertile and will have an adequate level of milk and secondly, to produce a heifer that will deliver a calf with good beef attributes for traits such as good growth rate and conformation.

Since the inception of the Gene Ireland programme in 2007 a total of 180 beef bulls have been progeny tested. In 2012 the focus  moved to selecting bulls with more maternal traits, in response to a decline in milk and fertility in the Irish Suckler herd. This latest panel of 15 bulls is made up of 8 beef breeds and the average Replacement Index of the panel is an impressive €109. These bulls offer farmers the opportunity to avail of cutting edge genetics at the very attractive price of €5 per straw. Straws are delivered direct to a farmers DIY tank or to the AI technician of his choosing. The panel of bulls currently available is detailed in Table 1 below and all the bulls full Eurostar indexes are available on the Animal Search facility at www.icbf.com. To order straws call ICBF on 023 8820452.


Table 1. List of Bulls currently available through the Spring 2017 program

Code Name of Bull Breed Owner Repl
AU4214 Johnstown Keith AU GI €174
SI4250 Lis na Ri Gucci SI NCBC €156
SA2366 Carrentubber Pinocchio SA GI €136
SI2367 Barnattin George 2 SI GI €130
AA4089 Intelagri Matteo ET AA NCBC €122
SH4209 Stoneyroyd Halcyon Matrix P SH NCBC €112
BA2357 Terelton Isaac BA GI €110
CH4090 Jalabert CH NCBC €102
CH2363 Dolland Jefferson CH GI €92
CH4218 Woodhead Meldrew CH GI €91
LJE Lislea Hermes BA GI €90
PT4215 Leacan King PT GI €85
CH4213 Blanchefield Lester CH GI €83
PT2356 Macgowan Herd Juno PT GI €82
CH4216 Knockmahon Lucky CH GI €76
Johnstown Keith (AU4214)
Lis na Ri Gucci (SI4250)
Carrentubber Pinocchio (SA2366)
SI2367: Barnattin George
Te Mania Berkley Sire of AA4089
Stoneyroyd Halcyon Matrix P (SH4209)
Terelton Isaac (BA2357)
CH4090: Jalabert
Dolland Jefferson (CH2363)
Woodhead Meldrew (CH4218)
Lislea Hermes (LJE)
Leacan King (PT4215)
Blanchefield Lester (CH4213)
Macgowan Herd Juno (PT2356)
Knockmahon Lucky (CH4216)

G€N€ IR€LAND program proving a success.

Early results are very positive for the bulls which had semen dispatched in Spring 2014. These were the first bulls selected by the Gene Ireland breed committees and are now reaching the >50% reliability mark for Replacement Index. They are proving to have produced profitable females retained by farmers for breeding and in many cases the calves on farm performance has led to the sires indexes increasing. These sires have, at this early stage, a lot of key data collected on their progeny such as calving records and weaning weights. These bulls are good examples of how a young bull can reach a high level of reliability quickly via a structured progeny testing programme.

Table 2. Details on some bulls tested through the Gene Ireland programme that are > 50% reliability on their Replacement Index.

Code Born Replacement Index Replacement Reliability Calving Difficulty % Calving Diff Reliability % Total Progeny Weaning Weights
KTM 2012 €169 55% 3.9% 83% 158 47
LM2151 2013 €162 51% 3.6% 70% 63 0
LZZ 2012 €145 62% 6.1% 90% 350 99
YBH 2012 €121 59% 7.1% 84% 174 68
SGA 2012 €115 52% 6.4% 85% 218 51
JBS 2012 €114 53% 2.1% 81% 139 37

One such bull that has come through the programme in recent years is the Simmental bull Lisnacrann Demertios (Code: LZZ). Bred in Co Mayo by Michael Oliver this bull was identified for purchase via the Gene Ireland breed committee in Autumn 2013 and his 500 straws were distributed on the Spring 2014 programme.  This bulls index has increased as data on his progeny is coming back into the ICBF database to be compared to other bulls. All the indications are that bulls like LZZ and those listed in Table 2 will produce females that will make profitable suckler cows for commercial farmers.

LZZ: Bred by Michael Oliver, Co Mayo
LM2151: Bred by Dan O’Mahony, Co Cork
JBS: Bred by Joseph J McCormack, Co Roscommon