The beef Gene Ireland panel for Autumn 2023 is now available and we are delighted to provide our customers with the latest panel of new AI bulls. These bulls have been selected by ICBF, AI companies and breed societies as part of a joint breeding programme between DAFM, ICBF, commercial farmers, pedigree breeders and breed societies. The beef Gene Ireland programme is becoming more and more popular every year as commercial and pedigree breeders are seeing the benefits of using these new bulls.

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Some of the most used AI bulls in the Irish suckler herd have come through the beef Gene Ireland programme. Bulls such as Intelagri Matteo (AA4089), Fiston (FSZ), Castleview Gazelle (ZAG), Curraheen Earp (SI2152), Ewdenvale Ivor (LM2014) and Moondharrig Knell (LM4217) have all graduated from the Gene Ireland programme. These bulls have gone on to be the cornerstone of many herds with a lot of their progeny being retained as breeding females and bulls.

The purpose of the beef Gene Ireland programme is to progeny test bulls for AI companies and breed societies and provide Irish suckler farmers with high index test bulls as quickly as possible. These bulls can be young Irish bulls or bulls whose semen has been imported by ICBF or an AI company. By testing these bulls, we can prove their indexes and confirm their genetic merit which allows the stakeholders of GI (breed societies, AI Companies and breeders) to optimise future breeding programmes with elite proven sires at the base.

The central database within ICBF allows data to flow from all corners of the agricultural sector (vets, meat factories, AI companies, breed societies, farmers, researchers) to the one centre where it can be analysed and used for the benefit of everyone to provide high reliability data and traceability. This allows AI companies to identify Irish bulls from herds with good data recording and high indexes for future use in the national herd after being tested by Gene Ireland.

Herdowners that use GI bulls are asked to record accurately the date of insemination, the date of calving, calving difficulty and body weights throughout the animals life. This information can then be used to accurately identify traits such as gestation length, calving difficulty, ADG, milk and fertility.

Herdowners can buy straws from ICBF for €7/straw (delivered to you or your technicians tank) with a minimum order of 10 straws (2 bulls x 5 straws). The use of these straws in the national herd is essential to the success of the programme. ICBF may also contact the owner in the future to purchase progeny from the GI sires for future testing at our progeny test centre in Tully.

The bull panel is divided into 2 categories – Replacement and Terminal. Breeders have a choice in what bulls they can order straws from, and all the bulls are 5 star on at least one of the indexes.

Currently there are 6 bulls on the Replacement Index panel:

Currently there are 12 bulls on the Terminal Index Panel.

The bull panel this year is of exceptional quality and high genetic merit. By joining the gene Ireland programme you are helping the rate of genetic gain in not only your herd but the national herd also. You could also get first access to the next ZAG or Fiston (FSZ) bull!

Contact us today to order you straws! Call us on 023-8820452 or email [email protected]