The Irish genotyping story that effectively started in 2009, some 14 years ago, got a shot in the arm this week with the announcement of funding for a large scale national cattle genotyping programme.

The launch is similar in stature to when Ireland became a world leader for traceability from farm to fork, with the Cattle Movement Monitoring System (CMMS) in 1996.

The move then required all farmers to apply identification tags to each calf at birth and register their number in the database.

As science has evolved and cost of new technologies dropped, it is allowing initiatives such as this genotyping scheme to become a reality.

The move will increase the accuracy of the various indexes ICBF generate, allow selection of superior genetics quicker and deliver 100% parentage checks on all animals.

The move could see the fast-track of new selection tools such as animals with lower methane production coming quicker into sire testing programmes.

The days of calf rearers buying a black calf, and assuming it to be Angus or maybe even a Limousin from a dairy cow will disappear.

Speaking to some suckler farmers, they are aggrieved that they effectively pioneered this science through the various suckler schemes. However, now it seems the dairy herd will get the large scale advantage of this new subsidised scheme.

The new scheme is drawing down funding from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve and further industry and Department funding to subsidise the cost of the new DNA tagging scheme.