Gene Ireland Dairy Beef Program – Achieving more accurate evaluations for dairy beef traits

ICBF and Teagasc expects that beef AI usage in the dairy herd will grow significantly over the next number of years, due to an expanding dairy herd, demand for more beef from the dairy herd, and potential application of sexed semen technology.

Irish dairy farmers are very risk averse in relation to using beef AI on the dairy herd. Unless they are confident that the bull is easy calving and short gestation bulls, they will not make the switch to beef AI.

The Gene Ireland Dairy Beef Program seeks to ensure more accurate genetic evaluations for beef traits related to the dairy herd, most notably calving difficulty (%), gestation length and calf quality and to help AI partners & breeders identify new beef bloodlines that will be suitable for the dairy herd.

To date there is 173 herds taking a total of 7,382 beef straws. There are currently 15 beef bulls on the program. All bulls are selected for their short gestation and easy calving indexes.

Teagasc/ABP R&D purchase a percentage of the calves born for subsequent growth, carcass and meat eating quality analysis. Some health and disease data is also be collected on these purchased animals. A proportion of these calves also enter ICBF Tully performance test station for feed efficiency analysis.

Bulls available on the program

Code Name Terminal Index
AA4375 CARRIGROE NATIONWIDE 1450 €77
AA4323 TREE BRIDGE POWYS S589 €84
AA4357 MCKEAGUE NODDY €97
AA4603 DUNARD NAVIGATOR €112
AU4309 DEERPARK KEVIN €162
BB4492 KILCONNELLY KODALINE €182
BB4324 BOROSIDE JAGERBOMB ET €133
BB4369 COOLBANAGHER KING €119
HE4291 ALLOWDALE ADVANCE 573 ET €80
HE4292 ALLOWDALE RORY 594 €103
HE4310 TRILLICK EMMET €70
HE4537 SOLPOLL 1 POUNDER €79
LM4360 AHERLA K 7 P €119
LM4358 MONTCLARE LOPEZ €133
SH2360 DOON GIORGIO (W)(P) €92
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BB4324 BOROSIDE JAGERBOMB ET
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The semen is priced at €6/straw, with this money collected by the AI service provider that is dropping the semen to the farmer.

Terminal Index

Calving Difficulty

Gestation

Average

€109 4.80% 0.31

Farmers are offered four pack options:

(i) AA Pack

(ii) HE Pack

(iii) Continental Pack

(iv) Multi-Breed Pack

If you would like to order straws, please call ICBF on 023 882 0452