Team of 11 bulls deployed for sexed semen trial
A team of 11 bulls will be used in a new sexed semen trial to assess its fertility compared with conventional straws during the new breeding season.
Sexed semen has already been flagged as having a potential role in reducing unwanted bull calves off crossbred dairy herds.
Teagasc researcher Dr Stephen Butler explained that it is aiming for around 200 farmers who will be identified as suitable through ICBF and invited to take part in the trial starting next month.
The farmers taking part will be using 60 straws, including 30 of conventional semen and 30 sexed semen.
Dr Butler said that the sexed semen product has evolved since its last trial over four years ago.
He pointed out it would be "more attractive" for crossbreeding herds but it also has "values" such as using the best dams to deliver herd replacements and reducing calving difficulties.
"Sexed semen, if it is a high fertility product, is a win for the dairy industry," he said, adding that if the fertility was good then farmers should be using it.
He pointed out it was a product best suited to high fertility herds.