Gene Ireland Dairy Beef Program

The Teagasc/ABP dairy beef programme is directly linked with the ICBF Gene Ireland dairy beef programme. Dairy farmers involved with the Gene Ireland Dairy Programme have the option, if interested, of using straws from beef bulls suitable for use in dairy cows.

What are the Objectives of the G€N€ IR€LAND® Dairy Programme?

The objective of the Gene Ireland Dairy programme is to test 60-70 bulls each year and that each bull would have 100 heifer replacements recorded in 100 herds, by year 4 of the programme.

Gene Ireland Dairy is focused on three key areas:

  1. The selection of high EBI young bulls.
  2. Progeny testing the young bulls on a “Targeted” set of herds.
  3. Elite bulls are returned to AI.

More information can be found on

Where does the Gene Ireland Dairy Beef Programme come in?

In 2016, there were approximately 650 dairy farmers involved in the Gene Ireland Dairy Programme. Of these, 250 dairy farmers showed interest in being involved in the Gene Ireland Dairy Beef Programme.

For the Dairy Beef programme, suitable bulls are identified by the participating AI companies; NCBC, Eurogene AI and ICBF. These are unproven, short gestation, easy calving sires, i.e. sires that are typically chosen for use on dairy cows.

The test straws are sent out to the dairy farmers in packs of 35 straws (5 bulls x 7 straws). The allocation of bulls per pack is chosen at random, herd-owners do not get a choice of individual test bulls. There is no particular requirement on how these straws are used (i.e. at what point they are used during the breeding season), this is up to the discretion of the herd-owner.

2015 Programme 2016 Programme
2750 straws (purchased by 108 farmers) 5,666 straws distributed
12 bulls;

6 Angus, 4 Hereford and 2 Limousin

14 bulls;

Angus, Hereford, Limousin and Shorthorn

1400 recorded inseminations 3,760 inseminations
51% recorded inseminations 66% recorded inseminations


Of the calves born, 600 are bought back by Teagasc/ABP at 2 to 3 weeks of age for the Teagasc/ABP Dairy Beef Programme; 250 are sent to Johnstown castle and 350 to the ABP Trial Farm. The rest of the calves are reared commercially.

Details of the Teagasc/ABP Dairy Beef Programme are available here.

Dairy Beef Programme Application form and Terms and Conditions

To receive more information on Dairy/Beef Programme please contact Ciaran Costello on 045 520 796.