There has been a “large increase” in beef AI usage in the national dairy herd, with the number of beef inseminations for the year-to-date, up 25% compared with the same period last year, according to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).
Figures based on technician serves up until May 24th, show a totalof 79,760 beef inseminations in the dairy herd for 2019 compared to 63,675 in 2018.
There has been a 9% increase in dairy inseminations with the combined total for dairy and beef up 11%.
“These are very positive figures from a breeding perspective, given that AI genetics are far superior than those of the average stock bull.” the ICBF said.
“It also shows that farmers are taking Teagasc advice on board, to maximise the use of beef crossing in the dairy herd so as to increase the potential value of the resulting calves.”
Friesian, Jersey and Belgian Blue AI usage
While dairy inseminations have increased by over 36,000 (+9%), Friesian and Jersey AI usage is back on the 2018 figures, the ICBF outlined.
“Friesian is back by almost 3,000 or 10% and Jersey is well back, with the number of inseminations falling by 5,692 from 28,000 to 22,308 - a 20% drop on 2018 usage.” the ICBF added.
Belgian Blues show the largest percentage increase - up 42% to 13,251 inseminations, followed by Limousin - showing a 26% increase.