Kepak-Glanbia to genotype 10pc of calf-to-beef animals in bid to exclude Jersey stock
Jersey stock excluded from the Twenty20 dairy-calf-to-beef initiative
Around 10pc of the calves involved in the Kepak-Glanbia dairy-calf-to-beef programme will be genotyped to ensure that they meet with the guidelines of the initiative.
The 'Twenty20 Beef Club' pilot programme, which was launched last week, aims to finish around 6,000 calves from Glanbia milk suppliers.
However, Jersey calves, and Jersey crosses are excluded from the programme.
A Glanbia spokesman said the genotyping will be part of the initiative's validation process and will be paid for by the sponsors.
Jersey bull calves have been very difficult to sell this spring, with as low as €5/hd being offered for them in the marts.
Glanbia officials also insisted that using bulls with a high Dairy Beef Index will help farmers to breed calves that are capable of finishing at higher weights and that grade under the QPS.
Producing stock that finish at an R grade or better has been a major challenge for farmers operating dairy-calf-to-beef systems. Cattle grading O and P from these units face cuts of 18-24c/kg off the QPS base price.
However, Glanbia officials maintained that the correct sire choice and management can ensure that stock finished under this system can get onto the grid.