The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the Beef Environmental and Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) were introduced with the objective of using genetics/genomics to address the decline in key maternal traits within the national suckler herd and in doing so improve the profitability and carbon efficiency of our livestock sector.
Speaking at the Teagasc National Beef Conference, Andrew Cromie, ICBF, said: “This has led to the current rate of genetic gain in our suckler beef herd increasing to €5 per cow per year, which is comparable with that being achieved in our national dairy herd.”
“An analysis of the first females that calved into BDGP herds showed that on average, 5-star females calved 59 days earlier than 1-star females and had a 13.6 days shorter average calving interval.”
Net gain of almost €60/animal
Andrew Cromie said: “Of the first females that calved in BDGP herds and were weighed as part of the BEEP, 5-star cows were, on average, some 16 kg lighter than 1-star cows and yet had an 8 kg heavier weanling, representing a 2 per cent gain in weanling efficiency.”
“In terms of progeny carcass performance, 5-star females were generating progeny which were slightly lighter in terms of carcass weights but were significantly younger in terms of age at slaughter - representing a net gain in profitability of almost €60/animal.”