Ireland's herd to be most fertile in world by 2020 – Teagasc
Ireland's Holstein Friesian herd will be the most fertile in the world if current trends continue, according to Teagasc geneticist Donagh Berry.
Speaking at the open day at Moorepark last week, Mr Berry said: "The huge focus on fertility over the last decade means that the herd will only be getting back to the same fertility levels that it had in 1980.
"But because we have put so much work into this, I believe that we will have the most fertile Holstein Friesian cows in the world by 2020."
The Waterford man now wants to see a new emphasis in the EBI breeding index on health traits.
"We've got the fertility sorted now I think, so the next step is to get more data on health like mastitis and lameness flowing from farms. That's a problem at the moment, though, since it is hard to incentivise farmers to go the trouble of recording all this information and get it to us.
"But we've started looking at the possibilities in the last two weeks and I'm hopeful that we can put something in place that will make this happen," added Mr Berry.