The Certified Irish Angus Producer Group based in Virginia, Co Cavan, has partnered with Dovea Genetics to launch an elite breeding programme aimed at improving the quality of stock bulls being used in dairy herds and in turn improve the quality of Aberdeen Angus-sired cattle bred from dairy cows.
The producer group purchased the Aberdeen Angus pedigree bull, Drumcrow Tribesman, last December for €6,400.
The bull comes with an impressive set of figures, with a €70 dairy beef index and a €76 terminal index coupled with a figure of 11.9kg for carcase weight and a 3.8% calving figure on dairy cows.
The bull was then sent to the Dovea Genetics AI stud in Tipperary where semen was taken for AI use and will be available for use for pedigree breeders in autumn 2022.
The bull will be marketed by Dovea Genetics and all orders for semen should be made through Dovea Genetics.
The group is aiming to use the bull to breed genetically superior stock bulls for use in the dairy herd.
The group went the stock bull route to have maximum impact on numbers of progeny generated by the genetics.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Catherine Smyth, technical manager with the Certified Irish Angus Producer Group, said: “We are delighted to be in a position to offer this elite breeding programme to farmers.
“We feel there are benefits for everybody along the supply chain but, most importantly, the primary producer will get rewarded for breeding superior stock.
“We would hope that Drumcrow Tribesman-sired progeny will have increased weight for age that reduced emissions per kilo of beef produced.”
What’s in it for the pedigree breeder?
What’s in it for the dairy farmer?
What’s in it for beef farmers?
The move by the Certified Irish Angus Producer Group into providing genetics to generate superior progeny should be welcomed across the industry.
While pedigree breed societies have been vocal in extolling the attributes of individual breeds, little leadership has been shown when it comes to improving the genetics that have been used to breed pedigree stock bulls.
Dairy farmers required bulls that were easy calving with short gestation and pedigree breeders followed the money breeding bulls that were in demand paying very little regard to carcase weight or carcase quality sub-indexes.
If the move is successful, we could see a lot more of this in the future.