Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

Coveney opens Munster AI's new stud

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Munster AI's new €2m bull stud in Mallow was officially opened last Friday by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.

The new state-of-the-art stud will house 72 beef and dairy sires in two new purpose-built units, providing the optimum animal welfare and handling conditions to ensure a stress-free environment and enhanced performance.

As one of the two joint venture owners of the National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC), Munster's new stud will complement its sister stud in Enfield, providing the additional capacity needed to scale up the NCBC's breeding programme.

The separate Mallow facility will also mean that NCBC will now have four separate bio-secure barns, mitigating the risk posed by a possible IBR outbreak.

The decision to develop the centre in Mallow followed a devastating IBR outbreak at the Enfield stud in February 2011.

Close to 60 of NCBC's top bulls had to be slaughtered as a result, including SOK and KOZ, the two top-ranked dairy bulls in the ICBF's spring 2011 sire list.

Speaking at the opening on Friday, Mr Coveney said the investment in the new stud illustrated the growing confidence in the livestock sector.

"Ireland is a recognised world leader in cattle breeding with an excellent track record in improving the quality of our breeding stock. Scientific cattle breeding is critical to achieving the Food Harvest 2020 growth targets for both dairy and beef," Mr Coveney said.

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Pat Mulvihill, CEO of Munster Cattle Breeding Group, said it was an exciting time for the cattle breeding industry.

"The Food Harvest 2020 strategy has recognised that genetics and cattle breeding services will be critical to reaching the targets set out for beef and dairying," Mr Mulvihill said.

"The proposed expansion in dairy production will require the dairy herd to grow from 1.1m cows today to approximately 1.4m by 2020.

"Dairy farmers will need to exploit the full genetic potential of the herd to realise the benefits in higher milk solids and better fertility."

Irish Independent

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