'If there are failings with BDGP, lets resolve it' Minister Creed

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. Picture: Damien Eagers
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. Picture: Damien Eagers
Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said he is open to discussing possible “failings” within the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and issues farmers have with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).

At the Beef Summit in Ballinasloe last night farmers on the floor voiced their concerns that there was too much corporate governance within the ICBF, with many stating that the BDGP hasn’t led to price improvements.

Minister Creed said he was open to discussion on issues farmers had with BDGP as he knows farmers are not “enamoured with it” but he acknowledged that they would be “worse off” without it.

“It is time to look at BDGP, but improving the genetic merit is the right thing to do. If there are failings in that system we can resolve them together but the journey toward genetic improvements serve the beef industry and if this system doesn’t work, let’s make it work because a lot of progress has been made,” he explained.

“I appreciate there is tension between pedigree breeders and the ICBF and BDGP, lets work them out.”

The Minister added that the ICBF is a co-op made up of farmer board members and not a state agency. He pointed out that farmers need to engage with them and not abandon best practice genetic policy.

“Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater, if there are issues that you want to engage ICBF on, lets have it. We can’t the approach of slash and burn everything that is standing, in terms of what is working and can be improved.”

Andrew Cromie of ICBF told Irish Farmer’s Journal led event that the level of genetic gain from the BDGP has been worth €7 per calf bred heifer per year.

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“In 2015 maternal traits were declining and terminal traits were increasing. There was no gain and that has turned around because of BDGP. There’s a real appetite there amongst the participants in BDGP. Genetic gain has started,” said Mr Cromie.

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