The Irish Shorthorn Society is to launch a new Dairy Shorthorn Scheme at the Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare, this week.
Aimed at commercial dairy farmers who have used dairy Shorthorn semen in their herds in recent years, the society can provide certification for these animals with all their ancestry, milk yields and EBI available.
AI stations have noted an increase in usage of dairy Shorthorn semen in recent years, particularly on high-yielding cows with fertility issues, according to the society.
This week's Shorthorn Society display will feature the best stock from the summer show circuit, including the All-Ireland champions from classes held at Mullingar, Tullamore, Limerick and Strokestown shows.
The past year has also seen a surge of interest in the beef-type Shorthorn, on foot of the extremely successful beef breeding programme run in Greenmount College in Northern Ireland. Beef Shorthorn crosses have been very successful, resulting in low maintenance, medium-sized cows with good fertility and milk.
The Western Breeders' Suckler Exhibition, organised by Teagasc in Elphin Mart last month, focused on functional productive cows.
The positive attributes of the beef Shorthorn, when crossed with Continentals, were noted, with excellent temperament, milk and fertility evident.
Meanwhile, the second Premier Beef Sale will take place in Roscommon Mart on October 15. Other upcoming regional sales include the Shannonside Club Sale in Ennis Mart on October 1, Moyside and Croghan Club Sale in Castlerea Mart on October 22 and Mount Leinster Club Sale in Carlow Mart.
For the first time, the latter sale will include a commercial crossed class, with quality Continental/Shorthorn heifers available on the day.
For more information, go to www.irishshorthorns.com or phone 086 046 1442.