The Irish Shorthorn Society has announced that it is offering free AI straws from some of its top bulls as part of a ‘breed a roan’ scheme.
The project will see the Shorthorn society distribute an as-yet unknown quantity of straws from a panel of five beef Shorthorn sires, including bulls Doon Giorgio, Doon Jupiter, Doon Jeremiah, Glann Jenson and Craigfaddock Parnassus.
The straws are available to commercial suckler and dairy farmers, as well as pedigree breeders, and each farmer can apply to receive five free straws in total.
The Shorthorn AI straws will be provided free of charge to successful farmer applications, on a first-come, first-served basis. The straws will be delivered to a farmer’s AI technician or farm flask.
The society said that “more and more” farmers are becoming aware of the benefits of Shorthorn genetics in their herds, from their “super maternal qualities to the much sought-after roan colouring”.
“Shorthorn cattle have made huge progress in the last number of years in showcasing their commercial attributes. Shorthorn-sired animals are also eligible for bonus payments under the Shorthorn marketing company's beef scheme,” it said.
Interested farmers can apply for the free straws by contacting breed secretary Joanne Bowers on 086-046 1442 or Jude Benson on 087-271 1326.
“With demand expected to be high, farmers are asked to get their names in as quickly as possible,” the society said.
The ‘breed a roan’ scheme is only available in the Republic of Ireland, but exceptions will be made for fully paid members in Northern Ireland.
The Shorthorn straws must be used this breeding season and breeders will be asked for follow-up information once calves are on the ground next year.