Published on Friday16thSeptember2016

Creed Launches Genomic Evaluations For Bdgp Participants


Pictured on the farm of Seán McSweeney, Kilbarry, Macroom Co Cork with a Speckled Park Suckler Cow at the launch of the Genomix Eurostar Indexes are Sean McSweeney with Sean Coughlan CEO ICBF and Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed TD today officially launched the first ever incorporation of the genomic evaluations into the breeding indices developed by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation. These new evaluations will now be used to provide individual herd-specific reports to each participant in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme and these reports will start to issue next week.

Speaking on a visit to the farm of Cork suckler farmer, Sean McSweeney, Minister Creed said:  

This scheme will have a permanent and cumulative effect on the Irish suckler herd by using the most up to date technology and applying it at farm level. Benefits will include increased productivity and profitability at farm level as well as contributing significantly to improving the carbon efficiency of the Irish beef herd. The ICBF are to be congratulated on having reached this stage in the development of their breeding indices.

Under the BDGP, each participant has an individual target to have a certain number of four and five star rated breeding animals on his or her farm by certain dates in the scheme. These new evaluations and the individual farm reports which they will receive in the coming weeks will assist both their breeding strategy and their compliance with the scheme.

Concluding the Minister said:

No other country has undertaken such an ambitious programme of applying the latest technology to accelerate the genetic gain of their national beef herd. This programme is another tangible example of Ireland’s climate smart approach to agriculture and food production. Correct breeding choices will deliver long-term and cumulative positive effects on the Irish suckler herd. Using the information contained in these BDGP reports, Irish suckler farmers can make the correct breeding choices to ensure the future competitiveness and sustainability of the Irish suckler herd.