ICBF is making a change to the Dairy/Dual HerdPlus membership fees. This is the first fee increase since the service commenced in 2006 (with an introductory offer of €60 that has lasted 12 years). In that time, farmers have reaped excellent value in terms of breeding and performance information, which has enabled better management and improved financial returns. The increase in genetic gain achieved over the last 20 years has been worth more than €600 million to Irish dairy farmers and these gains continue to accumulate. Last year, farmers earned on average, €0.03/litre over the base milk price, with much of that gain down to improvements in breeding. We intend continuing the delivery of these increased returns.
From EBI, Calving & Fertility reports to Pocket Notebooks and Breeding Charts, Co-op Performance reports and Discussion Group reports, the HerdPlus service has continued to improve and grow over the years. We recently launched ‘Cow’s Own Worth’ (C.O.W), an online tool which aids breeders in identifying under-performing cows for culling, on which we have received very positive feedback.
ICBF are also currently working on a new version of Sire Advice, which will be launched ahead of the breeding season. The new features will give farmers more flexibility when choosing and allocating bulls for cows. It will also help us to ensure we are using the latest genomic information to help mitigate embryonic loss/genetic defects. The HerdPlus Mobile App, launched at the end of 2016, and which is free to all members, is another example of our continued drive to provide added value for farmers.
The HerdPlus fee increase is specifically to fund printing, packing, software development and customer support for all our dairy HerdPlus members. This is not to be confused with your animal tag contribution, which is separate, but just as important for funding of our broader breeding research and development efforts around data capture, EBI’s, genomics and dairy gene Ireland programme.
To continue evolving the HerdPlus services and delivering the best possible product to you the farmer, it is necessary for us to adjust the fees. We have decided to stagger this change over two years.
To ensure fairness in the context of herd size, we will be introducing a €0.50 per cow charge along with the current €60 herd fee. This change will see a more equitable charging structure between small and large herd owners which has always been a concern. These changes will take place from 7th February 2018
From 8th February 2019, the herd fee will increase from €60 to €100/year. The €0.50 per cow charge will remain the same.
Ready Reckoner – New HerdPlus Fees for €60 Electronic Membership
Ready Reckoner – New HerdPlus Fees for €120 Postal Membership