It’s been a busy year so far for farmers, with all sorts of political and weather changes, schemes, stars and figures affecting their everyday decisions and, indeed, plans for the future.
One major decision that lies in the hands of farmers when it comes to breeding season is their choice of sires.
This choice has become more and more important now that farmers are looking to avail of easy-calving sires, while having to meet €uro-Star requirements for various schemes.
Based on the analysis of insemination data collected from AI technicians, linked to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) database through their AI handheld systems, the ICBF has released an interesting list of the most popular choices from the first six months of this year.
The list states the top 10 most popular beef bulls that have been used on beef cows, based on the total AI handheld serves over the past six months.
Looking at the figures in Table 1, the Charolais bull Lapon is coming in as the most used beef bull in suckler herds in Ireland so far this year, with a total of 6,035 serves.
Lapon is a three-star replacement, five-star terminal bull, with a replacement index of €91 and a terminal index of €161. The second most commonly used bull in suckler herds is Powerful Proper, a four-star, three-star Limousin bull, with a replacement index of €118 and a terminal index €108.
It is worthwhile to mention that nine out of the top 10 bulls on this list were tested through the Beef Gene Ireland Breeding Programme.