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Gene Ireland unveil beef bulls suitable for dairy cows

Some 1,265 dairy farmers are this week receiving their information packs outlining the bulls available through the ICBF's Gene Ireland programme.

The panel consists of 54 Holstein Friesians, four pure Friesians, six Jerseys and four crossbreds.

For the first time, beef bulls suitable for use in dairy cows will be available to interested herds.

The average EBI of the Holstein Friesians is €327, with the top ranked bull showing an EBI of €377. The average for the Friesians was €230, and €241 for the Jerseys and crossbreds.

The reliability of the bulls is low at 44pc, but this is to be expected with genomically-proven young sires.

Participating farmers will be charged €8.50 per straw, with packs of 49, 35 and 25 straws available, with the latter only available to herds signed up to a Teagasc discussion group.

From 2016 on herds participating in the Gene Ireland programme will be able to avail of discounted genotyping on their newborn females.

However, participants are expected to record data such as inseminations, milk recording, fertility, health and disease events.

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