BDGP eligibility reports begin to arrive on farms
The purpose of this report is to define the eligibility status of animals in a herd for the BDGP replacement requirements. These requirements are:
That a herd has 20% of its reference number in eligible females in the herd on 31 October 2018.
That a herd has at least one eligible stock bull on 30 June 2019 (only applicable to herds using stock bulls).
That 80% of AI used after 30 June 2016 is from four- and five-star AI bulls (only applicable to herds using AI).
The first page of the report gives an overview of a herd’s position in relation to these three requirements, while the second page explains the requirements in more detail.
The layout of the report is very similar to the BDGP €uro-Star report, which farmers will have become familiar with since the beginning of the programme.
The one significant difference in this report is that each animal will have an eligibility status in the right-hand-most column of the page. This status will either be yes or no.
The female section focuses solely on the 2018 target, as this is the target which is of immediate concern to farmers. Females that are eligible for 2018 will be eligible for 2020, provided they are not sold or die in the meantime.
Animals that have a no and are deemed ineligible will be assigned a reason code. The last page of the report lists eight reasons why animals may be deemed ineligible.
By matching the reason code beside the animal to the corresponding reason on the last page, farmers will know exactly why each animal has been deemed ineligible.
It is important to remember that a lot of animals will be ineligible as they do not have a genomic evaluation. These animals may become eligible if they meet the four- or five-star requirement on their first genomic evaluation or genomic evaluation at the time of purchase.
Displayed €uro-Star values
The index values and star ratings displayed in the report may not be the current ones. The report is specifically intended for eligibility purposes. Therefore, the index figures displayed are based on either:
The evaluation date for each animal’s index is also displayed. In most cases, the displayed index figures and star ratings for animals will be based on a past evaluation. Therefore, it should never be used as a reference when buying or selling animals.
Herds without enough eligible females
Some farmers will find that they do not have enough females to meet the 20% target for 31 October 2018. It is too late to breed females to meet this requirement, as they will not be 16 months old on the target date. Therefore, farmers are left with three options:
1. Check to see are there four- or five-star females within the herd that have been sampled (DNA sample submitted), but have not yet had a genomic evaluation published. These females may be enough to take a herd above the 20% threshold.
2. Genotype four- or five-star females already in the herd so that they will become eligible before 31 October. This can be done via tissue tags issued as part of the BDGP, or private sampling by hair card which farmers can order from the ICBF. Samples must be submitted by 30 June 2018 to ensure females have a genomic evaluation published by 31 October.
3. Purchase females that are either already genotyped and four- or five-star at the time of purchase, or ungenotyped females that the farmer intends to sample before 30 June. Genotyped females will be immediately deemed eligible on entering a herd provided they were four- or five-star at the time of purchase. Ungenotyped females will be deemed eligible if four or five stars on their first genomic proof. Purchased females must be born between 1st Jan 2013 – 30th June 2017.
Reports are now available for all herds to access online at www.icbf.com. A facility is also available online to generate a new report. If animals are purchased for the purposes of eligibility, a new report should be generated to see how these animals have affected the herd’s BDGP targets.
Discuss with an agricultural adviser
If farmers find that they need to take action in order to meet their BDGP targets, but are unsure what the best course of action is, they should discuss the situation with their agricultural adviser.
Most advisers will be very familiar with the programme requirements.
1. What should I do if I do not have enough eligible females?
You may have animals in your herd that could become eligible once they receive a genomic proof. If not, your only alternative is to purchase females. You should discuss your herd’s position with your agricultural adviser.
2. I have purchased females and want to see if my herd is now meeting its target. How do I do this?
There is a facility available to generate a new report on the ICBF website (www.icbf.com). This will give you an up-to-date picture of where your herd stands in relation to its targets.
On course to meet BDGP targets
Name: Tom Jackson, Quitrent, Kildorerry, Co. Cork
BDGP Eligible Females: 18 (78% of Ref Number)
Stock Bull or AI: AI
Tom Jackson runs a 25 cow suckler herd in Kildorerry, Co. Cork. Tom received his BDGP Eligibility Report earlier this week and gives his first impressions of the report.
What is your farming system?
I run about 15 pedigree Limousin cows. I bought my first cow with a heifer calf at foot from the Corbally herd of Arthur O’Keeffe in 1999.
I sell 4-5 pedigree bulls every year, mainly to repeat customers.
My commercial cows are mainly Limousin X and I use Belgian Blue sires on these, selling weanlings at 10 months for the export market.
What were your impressions of the Eligibility Report?
It was very easy to understand and tells me exactly where my herd stands in relation to the targets. The first page tells you all you need to know really. I liked how the report gave reasons for the animals that are not eligible. It makes it very clear.
Are you on course to meet your targets?
My reference number is 23 cows so I will need 5 eligible females on 31st Oct.
I currently have 18 so I will comfortably meet this year’s target.
I have some good cows that are currently not eligible as they haven’t been genotyped yet.
I plan on genotyping these cows this year which should add a few more to my number of eligible females. All of my AI bred calves are sired by 4 or 5 star AI bulls so I will meet this target as well.