Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 23 November 2017

High EBI dairy semen already selling out

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

AI companies are preparing for a dramatic surge in demand for semen from high EBI dairy bulls this year, as farmers choose the genetics they want in their herds from 2015 onwards.

The semen chosen by farmers this spring will shape the genetic make up of the heifers entering the national herd in 2015, when Irish milk production will be unleashed from the quota regime.

"The heifers produced from this year's breeding plans will come into milk in 2015, when there will be no limit on production," said Bernard Eivers, of the National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC) in Enfield, Co Meath.

Laurence Feeney, of Progressive Genetics, said the company was expecting a surge in demand for high EBI dairy bulls this year.

"Cow numbers are up this year and we are expecting an increase in dairy AI use this season," he said.

The drive for high EBI bulls has already seen stocks of some bulls sell out.

Semen straws from NFT, one of the bulls caught up in last year's IBR outbreak at NCBC, are now effectively sold out.

The bull, whose full name was Coolnasoon Fairgalt 2, was listed in last autumn's active list with an EBI of €213.

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The ill-fated bull proved to be one of the top-selling bulls in January of this year, and both Munster AI and Progressive Genetics have confirmed that their stocks of his semen are practically sold out.

Anthony Cronin, of Munster AI, added that stocks of SJI (Sunnybank Justin) were also practically sold out. This son of the ubiquitous OJI (O-Bee Manfred Justice) and full brother to SOK, who was also culled in the IBR outbreak, was ranked fourth in the autumn active list, with an EBI of €249.

Stocks of the easy calving sire PKK have also sold out, according to Progressive Genetics.

However, stocks of this year's top ranked bull, LHZ (Lauragh Evert), are in plentiful supply. With a an EBI of €254, the genomically-selected bull is also a compete outcross to OJI.

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