The number of HerdPlus members that used the Sire Advice application has increased from 2,654 herds in 2019 to 3,095 herds in 2020, an increase of 17% (see table below). This incorporates matings for almost 362,000 dairy cows and heifers. Of these, 312,663 (86%) received a mating to a Holstein Friesian AI bull, which is up 9% on last year and 17,746 (5%) received a Jersey AI bull, which represents an 8% drop on last years usage. There are also 16,636 animals marked to receive a beef insemination, which represents an 89% increase from 2019.
These trends are extremely positive and shows that dairy farmers are responding to best practice advice of using teams of high EBI AI bulls when breeding dairy replacements and targeting lower EBI cows to be bred to beef AI. A listing of the top 20 most used AI bulls is displayed below and it shows that farmers are using high genomic selected bulls with an average EBI of €317.
We would encourage herds that have not yet ran the sire advice to do so ahead of their breeding season. The advised matings can be sent to a technician’s handheld or printed on a breeding chart. Also, when using Beef AI, choose bulls with the highest Dairy Beef Index (DBI). The top 75 bulls on DBI can be found here.
If you require any assistance in running sire advice, please contact the HerdPlus office on 023-8820452.