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Saturday 3 December 2016

Cork herd tops the EBI charts for a record fifth successive time

Published 27/01/2016 | 02:30

A Co Cork dairy herd has retained the title of the leading EBI herd in the country for a record fifth time in a row.

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Patrick Flynn, Kilworth, Co Cork has remained in pole position in the top 200 EBI herds from the ICBF, with an average herd EBI of €235, including €24 coming from the milk sub-index and €180 coming from the fertility sub-index.

The herd EBI is unchanged from the previous ranking in the 200 league.

The top 200 herds for EBI show no major changes with the top five herds remaining the same position, according to the ICBF.

Kieran Hearne, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Waterford remains in second position with an EBI of €232, including €63 coming from the milk sub-index and €137 coming from the fertility sub-index. Martin Kinane also remains in the third position on the list with an EBI of €229, with €70 coming from the milk sub-index and €128 coming from the fertility sub-index. The ICBF has said that this is now the third consecutive evaluation run where there has been no change to the top three herds. Liam O'Leary, Conna, Co Cork has retained fourth position with an EBI of €228, with €72 coming from the milk sub-index and €124 coming from the fertility sub-index, while Jim Delahunt, Carrig, Co Tipperary remains in fifth position with an EBI of €226, including €51 coming from the milk sub-index and €140 coming from the fertility sub-index.

The biggest jump for this evaluation was recorded by John Ahern, Glanmire, Co Cork. His average EBI has risen from €188 to €199, an average jump of €11. This puts John in 67th position on the list, a massive 112 places better than the previous evaluation.

Genotyping

"I took part in health genotyping of the herd - that's all" said John Ahern whose 160 cow dairy herd achieved the biggest improvement in the ICBF 200 top EBI herds.

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"I got back the results for 50 cows - about one third of the herd - and they all showed a big improvement. "One of the cows went up from 210 to 340 and generally they were up 80-90 points," he added explaining that the herd were basically unchanged.

There are now 63 herds with an EBI of €200 or more; an increase of nine herds from the previous evaluation, the ICBF report has revealed.

On a county basis, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford dominate, with an aggregrate of 114 of the top 200 places. Cork is the clear leader with 66 herds qualifying, followed by Tipperary with 28 herds and Waterford with 20 herds. They are followed by Kerry (13), Clare (12) and Limerick (11), Meath (11), Kilkenny (9) and Laois (5). Cavan, Offaly and Wexford have four each and Donegal and Westmeath have three each.

International studies indicates that genotyping cows with reliable phenotypes is feasible to speed up the availability of genomic estimated breeding values for direct health traits.

"The gain in genotyping cows for traits with medium to high heritability is more than for direct health traits with low heritability," the US Journal of Dairy Science reported in an outline of a study of Fleckvieh carried out in Austria.

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