The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) has utilised its database to identify most popular AI dairy sires of 2019.
It noted that total number of serves recorded in 2019 was 855,859 which is approximately 6% ahead of 2018.
The list, which contains ten sires, make up 33% of all dairy serves, according to the federation.
“Their level of usage suggests that farmers are opting for high-EBI when selecting bulls for the breeding season and using the index to drive genetic gain, thus maximising profitability through genetics.”
- FR2460 – (IG) NEXTGEN PHC EIMER 557 – 42,703 serves (4.99%);
- FR2239 – (IG) DIAMOND ANTON – 42,561 serves (4.97%);
- FR2298 – (IG) OLDCASTLETOWN RONALD – 38,246 serves (4.47%);
- FR4338 – (IG) CRAIGSTOWN TORNADO – 35,484 serves (4.15%);
- FR4337 – (IG) GABRIEL ZORO – 33,069 serves (3.86%);
- FR4513 – (IG) BALLYGOWN ALBERT – 25,572 serves (2.99%);
- FR4481 – (IG) MONABROGUE EBONY – 25,293 serves (2.96%);
- FR2385 – (IG) NEXTGEN YKG CANDY 593 – 14,437 serves (1.69%);
- FR4600 – (IG) CLORANE DANDYMAN – 14,362 serves (1.68%);
- FR4532 – (IG) CAHERAGH MAYSON – 12,687 serves (1.48%).
Average EBI of €250
The ICBF outlined that as a team, the bulls have an average EBI of €250 between them, with an average milk sub-index of €87.
On the fertility sub-index, they have a team average of €105. “As a team, they have a good balance between milk and fertility.”
On the maintenance sub-index, they have an average of €12. “These bulls with a positive maintenance figure tend to have better feed efficiency and have lower live weights.” the federation added.
“As a result, they require less feed to meet their maintenance requirement for energy.”
The health sub-index, which includes lameness, SCC and mastitis, for this group, is positive also with an average index of €4. “This sub-index is important, as having a herd with reduced instances of lameness and mastitis, should reduce instances of culling.”
“To maximise profitability per cow, cows need to achieve 5.5 lactations while currently, they are only lasting 4.4 lactations on average in herds.”
High-EBI daughter-proven bulls and genomic sires
“Based on the top 10 bulls used, farmers are opting for both high-EBI daughter-proven bulls and genomic sires. Some farmers are concerned about using genomic sires due to their lower reliabilities.”
“When farmers select a team of bulls, they can spread some of the risk associated with using genomic sires.”
“It is important to use the bulls evenly when farmers select their bulls to minimise the risk as much as possible. Both genomic and daughter-proven bulls can increase or decrease on the EBI.
The genomic sires have higher-EBIs compared to well-proven sires which means that when used as part of a bull team the risk can be minimised while maximising genetic gain.”
“Selecting these high-EBI young bulls can help drive profitability as every €1 increase in EBI can result in an increase of €2 in profit, based on Teagasc research.” the ICBF concluded.