ICBF given green light for progeny tests at Tully
The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) has got the green light to proceed with a progeny testing programme at the Department of Agriculture-owned test centre at Tully in Co Kildare.
The old pedigree bull performance testing programme was mothballed last November.
It has been empty for the past six months after a consultant's report found that the Tully test programme was not optimising the genetic gain for the national beef herd.
Peter Amer's report highlighted how the genetic gain within the beef herd was only increasing at a rate of €4/cow/year. This compares to €15/cow/year in the dairy herd.
However, it took months of painstaking negotiations to get many of the beef breed societies to back the new plan to use the Tully centre for testing the progeny of ICBF test AI bulls.
"The Tully programme was suffering from the fact that it wasn't able to attract enough of the top bulls," said the ICBF's Dr Andrew Cromie.
"As a result, not enough of the bulls that went through the centre were ending up in AI."
Up to 100 yearling bulls from bulls in the Gene Ireland programme will begin to arrive at the centre from the middle of July.