Farm Ireland

Sunday 27 May 2018

Strong results from sexed semen trial

Initial results from the massive national sexed semen trial this spring showed that sexed semen, both in frozen and fresh form, performed well when compared to fresh conventional semen.

Teagasc researcher Ian Hutchinson told farmers attending the Moorepark open day that more than 15,000 cows on nearly 400 farms were involved in the trial.

While the overall conception rates were disappointing, Mr Hutchinson attributed the lower than expected averages to the exceptionally tough conditions that prevailed at farm level this spring.

Initial results showed that 46pc of cows inseminated with conventional fresh semen scanned in-calf.

This compared to 39pc and 47pc respectively for frozen and fresh sexed semen. A third sample of half-strength fresh-sexed semen resulted in the worst conception rate of 38pc.

Mr Hutchinson told farmers that the conception rate for heifers was 15pc lower than cows, but again he put this down to the fact that the tough grazing conditions in the spring had taken an even bigger toll on young cows.

Preliminary data indicated that the sexed semen will result in more than 90pc female progeny.

The data also showed that the semen from some bulls in the trial performed much worse after freezing or sexing than others.

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Mr Hutchinson said that this would be the subject of further research.

Irish Independent