Creed Launches Genomic Evaluations for BDGP Participants
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today officially launched the first ever incorporation of the genomic evaluations into the breeding indices developed by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF). These new evaluations will now be used to provide individual herd-specific reports to each participant in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and these reports will start to issue next week.
Speaking today on a visit to the farm of Cork suckler farmer, Sean McSweeney, Minister Creed said: “Today marks a significant milestone for Irish cattle breeding and indeed for the progress in the €300m BDGP scheme. I am delighted to launch these BDGP reports which will contain new genomic evaluations for those animals that have been genotyped as part of the BDGP scheme.”
The Minister continued, “This scheme will have a permanent and cumulative effect on the Irish suckler herd by using the most up to date technology and applying it at farm level. Benefits will include increased productivity and profitability at farm level as well as contributing significantly to improving the carbon efficiency of the Irish beef herd. The ICBF are to be congratulated on having reached this stage in the development of their breeding indices”.
Under the BDGP, each participant has an individual target to have a certain number of four and five star rated breeding animals on his or her farm by certain dates in the scheme. These new evaluations and the individual farm reports which they will receive in the coming weeks will assist both their breeding strategy and their compliance with the scheme. The incorporation of these evaluations also provides a new layer of reliability on these evaluations on which farmers can make breeding decisions. On compliance with the BDGP, Minister Creed also reminded participants of the requirement to complete their Carbon Navigator by 31st October 2016 in order to receive their payment in full for this year.
Speaking at the launch Sean Coughlan, CEO of the ICBF commented “The official publication of Genomic Evaluations for the suckler herd is a very important development in the on-going battle to ensure we have a sustainable and profitable suckler sector. Genomic evaluations are another key tool which suckler farmers can use in order to maximise the profitability on their farms. The level of interest and demand from suckler farmers over the last few months, in anticipation of getting their genomic evaluation reports, shows that a large number of suckler farmers are ready, willing and able to adopt the most up to date technologies as they look to secure a profitable and sustainable farming future.
Concluding the Minister said, “No other country has undertaken such an ambitious programme of applying the latest technology to accelerate the genetic gain of their national beef herd. This programme is another tangible example of Ireland’s climate smart approach to agriculture and food production. Correct breeding choices will deliver long-term and cumulative positive effects on the Irish suckler herd. Using the information contained in these BDGP reports, Irish suckler farmers can make the correct breeding choices to ensure the future competitiveness and sustainability of the Irish suckler herd.
Note for Editors
- The Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) is a part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme and provides Irish suckler farmers with some €300 million of funding over the next 6 years.
To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 112/2016 (pdf 384Kb)
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today officially launched the first ever incorporation of the genomic evaluations into the breeding indices developed by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF). Pictured on the farm of Seán McSweeney, Kilbarry, Macroom, Co. Cork with a Speckled Park Suckler Cow at the launch of the Genomix Eurostar Indexes with Sean Coughlan CEO of ICBF.
Date Released: 16 September 2016