Which herds are eligible to apply?

Both dairy and suckler herds can apply for the programme.

Do I need HerdPlus membership?

Participating herd owners will need to be members of HerdPlus.

Dairy HerdPlus membership is charged at a rate of €100 base price and 50c for every cow calved (calculated off the year previous).

For example, a 100-cow dairy herd will be charged €150 for HerdPlus membership.

Beef members will be charged €60 per year.

What will the scheme cost me?

In addition to Herdplus membership, every calf born on the farm must be genotyped for four years at a cost of €6/calf.

Do I need to genotype empty cows I will cull this year?

No, 2023’s cull cows or empty heifers that will not enter the milking or suckling herd do not need to be genotyped.

How will I get the tags for year one of the scheme?

Button tags will be issued free of charge to farmers accepted into the programme in year one of the scheme, which will focus on cows, replacement heifers and bulls.

When will I receive a genomic evaluation for my cows genotyped in year one?

You will receive a genomic evaluation no earlier than 31 December 2023.

What happens if I tag a cow in year one but the sample I send back is of low quality?

The ICBF will issue hair cards free of charge for any animals genotyped in phase one which returned with low quality.

What happens if I plan on buying in replacement heifers or cows next spring?

These replacements will need to be genotyped at the standard cost once in the herd.

How often should I send away samples once calves start hitting the ground?

The ICBF advises that DNA samples are sent off to the lab at least twice per week at peak calving. As calving slows down, it said that it may be sufficient for samples to be sent just once a week.

How will I know which sample is BVD and which is DNA?

The samples will be colour coded when the tags arrive. DNA samples will always be pink.

When do I pay for genotyping?

A direct debit for the genotyping fee for any calves born will be charged once tags are ordered for calves in participating herds from your tag provider.

DNA samples should be sent away around twice a week during calving. / Philip Doyle

The ICBF expects it will collect any fees due within approximately a month of the order being made.

What do I do if I have already bought my tags for calving 2024?

Separate single-button tissue tags can be ordered if you have single tissue tags bought or left over from calving 2023.

Do I have to genotype dairy bull calves?

All calves must be sampled, regardless of sex or breed.

What if I lose a calf before I tag it?

If a calf dies before it is registered, you still need to tag and sample the calf before it is collected by the knackery.

The samples should still be sent off the same as they are for all other calves.

Read more

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