Suckler farmers, Marty Lenehan, Sligo; Padraig Jinks, Sligo and Philip Keville, Leitrim, are using the maternal index as a basis for breeding replacements from within their own herds.
In a video, which was released by Teagasc in recent weeks as part of its Virtual Beef Week, they show that, when combined with visual assessment and maternal performance history, cows bred from within their herds, which are 4 and 5-stars, consistently produce high quality, U grade weanlings.
One of the farmers featured in the video is Marty Lenehan, who runs a herd with an average replacement index of €97.
Padraig Jinks, the second farmer, has an average herd replacement index of €95, while Philip Keville’s cattle have an average replacement of €106.
Teagasc outlined desirable traits in suckler cows, including one calf per cow per year, a 365-day calving interval, longevity in the herd and a high-quality weanling to maximise output.
Image and video source: Teagasc Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal / Youtube