The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) has acknowledged that some farmers are experiencing delays in receiving genetic evaluations and cattle passports, but it maintains that the turnaround from samples being received and results sent back to farmers remain generally good.

Manager of the HerdPlus programme Kevin Downing emphasised that farmers must prioritise the twice-weekly posting of samples if they are to cut down on the time taken to get results and cards.

It is only taking an average of 12.5 days after birth for passports to land with farmers, meaning that only posting samples once every two weeks will be a major hold-up to farmers getting passports promptly, Downing told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Overall, the stats show that there is quite a quick average turnaround, but we know that there are some people waiting longer. In the week up to last Tuesday, samples only spent an average of 4.3 days on average,” he said.

“There are some delays with postage and in labs, but you have to send samples away a minimum of once a week and ideally twice a week to make sure you get the turnaround you’re looking for.

“We have told people that the [National] Genotyping Programme isn’t for you if you can’t hold on to calves for three weeks.”

Turnaround time

It is expected that the turnaround time of the past week will show up slightly longer when reported by the ICBF on Tuesday this week, but only by around half a day longer.

Numerous farmers contacted the Irish Farmers Journal over the past week expressing frustration with delays in receiving results and blue cards.

On farmers receiving passports not in the same order that calves were born and registered in, Downing stated that batches of samples may be split up and tested in separate labs once they are received, with this leaving the possibility for a couple of days discrepancy in each set of passports being sent out.

The ICBF expects its busiest period for receiving samples to be the coming two weeks, with 80,000 samples having been handled in the past week alone.

See this week's Irish Farmers Journal for more.